clear cut trail/replanted view
June's arrival has been very pleasant with a heavenly- warm- breeze flowing most days. It made the sultry and heavy air of rain on the way- on a sunshine day, easier to take. I'm not one for muggy, sticky air. Oregon does not usually have that, but sometimes it does come to us too. You just have to think... "this is cleansing somehow" as you sweat and are miserable.
The mare and me have been laying low and just taking little jaunts about the local country side, going across the street to forestry lands. I have rediscovered the immense beauty of it, that I first saw 4 years ago, when I solo trailer-ed to a managed forest gate. I took a chance by parking, and just rode what I found.
It's really beautiful!
I am amazed by stumps of the "trees of yore" along this set of trails.
5 ft across stump
They have got to have been hundreds of years old, before they were cut. You know the ones, with foot holds for the standing planks, sawed right into the large 5-6 foot across trunks. Sad...but true. It makes me ponder what this forest would have looked like before.
The picture does not do the massive size justice...there are many larger than this one too.
I have been seeing so many other horsemen out and about in these woods. It is a destination for many. Just yesterday, I saw 3 horse trailers and wondered how many horse riders I would come across. We seem to know that they are there , LONG before they are aware of us...maybe it's because we are solo, and are not a jabbering away! We always hear them talking in the woods.
I made sure to yield off to the side, as we came across the first duo women riders. I "you who'd"- as they approached, they thanked me and went on their way.....not far behind them was another set of women riders. As they passed ,they gave pause to notice my mare and comment on how cute she was ( I agreed!) . One of them asked if I rode Dressage. They were Western riders with rather large saddles and bits. I am sure the lack of equipment on my mare, bareback saddle and snaffle, helmet, made them ponder us. I answered,
" yes, but I ride "Trailsage" out here, at present." They thought that funny.
I do try to keep a dressage focus by asking my mare to do many elements of it, out on the trails.
Below is a very long, fairly straight trail, that is good for many a "Trailsage" practice; the free walk perfection, the hand gallop , lateral moves,
and just a few days ago,we worked on flying changes.
When we reach the top of this trail, because of the sloppy nature of the wooded trails with all our rains, I must ride the road a bit. The many trails in this area are shaded and very soupy- muddy still.
With the Trailsage I have been practicing with the mare all these months(years really), I have paid special attention to her long, low frame. The mare is connected to me by holding my hands.When I ask for collection, I make sure she is not braced, but relaxed. I know I have the right frame by her snorting. She'll blow out as in acknowledgement. It's quite cute.
Her Trapezius and Rhomboid muscles are fabulous!
My Equine body worker impressed me years ago to develop the correct muscles, you have to do the correct work. We were looking a a lovely "school master" mare at the time...and wowsa, her neck was impressive! Wa mare has those muscles, and has for some time. A nice difference from the yew neck of traveling inverted, and above the bit.
Returning to the soft footing of a clear cut trail , she relaxes again. I am waiting for her replacement "RENEGADE" hoof boot for her hinds . Then we may travel the roads and rockier places of riding . For now, it's keep to the softer places so as not to bruise her. And after her latest trim and removal of bars, she is tender a bit. I am so happy Shannon at, "It's Quarters for me", posted about that last month. I had been noticing her bars folding into her sole. When I mentioned it to my bare foot trimmers, they surprisingly thought nothing of it. I found someone to address it recently, as her hooves are so HARD...I was unable to manage the knife to do it- without hurting myself!
Back to the soft trail...
Up we go...soft clear cut trail winds around stumps and new trees
The bit of sunny weather we had for these rides I took, made the Yellow of the Scotch Broom blaze bright.....
...and the honey bees were certainly a buzzing! Every time we would pass the bushes the mare tensed up somewhat, with the "buzzing humm" nearby.
We came to the top of this newer clear cut trail to find...BUZZZZZING galore!
Honey Bee hives!
I actually had to duck this day, as we traveled away from the loudly buzzing and busy hives. The bees were traveling above our road about eye level, and I could see them coming!
home stretch roads
While we are vanquished from the nicer trails below our stable, due to logging and other such...these roads are what we have, with some wooded trails in between. Of course, unless we trailer away. But most days, we are staying close to home.
The breezes blow through our hair as we settle into a nice 5 mile loop. It takes us an hour, we are leisurely in our times, no rush! Content are we , the mare and me~