Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Fall Colors Between Rhio's Ears

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Count 'Em

The little green dot at the top of the hill is Gesa & Paco.
Fall is absolutely the premier time to ride here in Minnesota - there are no bugs, the footing is good, and the weather is (usually) pretty nice.  This fall has been outstanding, as we are into November now with days still approaching 50 up here in the north.  D-Day approaches, however, as the gun-toting Deer Hunters will infiltrate the woods at first light on Saturday.  So, I've been spending a lot of time in the saddle this week, trying to eek out every bit of daylight from our dwindling supply and ride while I can.

Today's ride was uneventful and unexceptional, except in that it was perfect (well, ok, I will admit to slightly windburned cheeks and mildly uncomfortable chafing in an unmentionable location due to a poor pairing of undergarment + winter tights).  Gesa and I loaded up after the horses all got their feet trimmed (except Rhio who is still shod), and trailered the brief distance to our favorite local spot.  We had about an hour and a half of daylight left, so set off on our normal route up & down the rolling hills of the snowmobile trail.  Both boys seemed a little pokey to begin, and we allowed them to take it easy while we chatted.  With all the leaves off the trees, the trail looks wider and the landscape appears almost foreign.  Around a bend, we met a bird hunter with a pretty little Vizsla dog (who was stunned by our appearance on the trail, froze, then whipped around to join his person, and thence commenced barking from the safety of Dad's embrace), and after that the horses seemed energized and we continued along at a nice pace to the bridge, our turn around place.
Headed for home.  I always ask Rhio to cross the bridge before we turn around.
Heading back the way we came, we spotted a snowshoe hare dashing across the trail; the horses took notice of her as well, due to her unfortunate luck to be already sporting her winter white coat.  Luckily Kelso was sitting this one out, and she was safe from unwanted canine attention.
Working our way up.

Not quite to the top yet!
We mixed things up a bit by continuing across the road where we access the trail, which takes us a brief distance through the woods, past a loud-barking Newfie who challenges our right of way, and onto a short open section up, and then down, a big rock knob.  The trail is grass covered, but with large expanses of flat basalt here and there, and a particular hollow sound to our horses' hoofbeats.  It is a tiny bit of trail, but well worth passing the doggie "gatekeeper," especially in the fading rays of sunset when the light is magical shining off the rock and filtering through the pines.
I guess my grin says it all.
Returning to the trailer, the boys munched hay while we threw their coolers on, and I counted Rhio's shoes.  The last time we rode here, we came home missing two.  I'm pleased to report all four of his shoes are present and accounted for!

Tomorrow is Red's turn!

No comments:

Post a Comment