Heading into the woods on a fine day over the weekend, we found many horse trailers parked at the trail head to the forestry lands.
These trees are ringed with orange in the"managed cut" or "select cut" areas we rode through, on the way to the gate. They were the "chosen ones" and likely will be 60- 80 years old, by the time this area of the forest's time is due for cutting again. It sure makes a nicer forest, to leave some trees!
I was noticing that the storms of the week before, had left remnants of themselves along our paths...and the snow level has been dropping again, with winds high. Nothing like your storms in the Midwest though-wowee baby, just heard more snow dumpage with a side of those high winds are on the way -again! Heavens!
There was some gunfire somewhere in the woods, so I unclothed my "Bear Bell", so it could go before us with it's jingle jangling noise. This past year I have been told by many a hunter we have happened upon, and some fisherman from the private lands below the stable, "That bells sound really carries, and can be heard from afar off!".
So, during the thick of hunting season we (mare too), do wear brighter hunter Orange colors, for the visual impact of being a human/horse presence in the woods. And now, I rely upon my Bear Bell , to be the first indicator we are not the prey, to those lurking in the woods!
The folks with horse trailers, parked at the forestry gates seemed to be loaded up and ready to go...but they stood there, watching me (hearing me too) approach on the stretch of road I ride to the gate's entrance.
Once Washashe mare and me got up to the horse trailers, a gal stood and talked to us for a some time about trails. She was inquisitive about all my gear and the trace clip Wa was sporting. She exclaimed too, "Your horse is HUGE!" Then she managed to get all of the others over to see just how large my horse was. I told her," truly, she is a petite TB mare, compared to others in her breed. She just has a Big Presence". She also said, " You smell so very good, what is that scent?"
I could only come up with the most recent application of "Calm Coat" to my mare's mane. She has been super itchy, and has rubbed parts of it thin . This has kept her from giving herself a roach job!
After talking a little more, we were off to the rest of our riding day.
Pretty it was, with a smattering of white, her and there.
The mare was begging to dive down, and munch into the greener parts of the trails, but I made her wait till I could dismount at a specific destination I had thought of, where the greens are plenty. She loved her break and bites of sweet grasses.
I also partook of a snack I packed along....not really being hungry for most the week, "starve a cold feed a fever" kinda thing. I made my ALLTIME favorite sandwich!
Ready for this?
Dave's Killer bread with Avacado, cheese, grated carrot, a tiny bit of Safflour mayo, Spinach and Almond butter.
I also KNEW the mare had " to go". I began my "P" whistle song. Usually the "X Files" tune. YUP, she parked out, and did her thing.
This makes for a better ride back along the roadway and tree'd area's I know she gets uppity in. I do KNOW her well, and am patient when she displays less than perfect behaviors. I just begin to breath deeply and if needed, we do figure eight's around trees or stop altogether. Then I ask her to shut down the adrenaline, by putting her head lower. The signal to me that is happening, is a snorting she does. Then, we can set off for home again. I tire of her behavior and she gets tired of my relentless antics... but, she always gives! The snorting release is the final straw for ...I usually giggle a little too, happy to have her calmer.
I spied "Lilly Deer" here, once we reached our stables gates.
She is the resident fawn, that never leaves the property. She likes to bed down here, and is rarely scared of the cars, or even us as we pass by ( or shoot photos!). We all have discovered something definitely wrong in her gate. A hitch in her giddy up. She never jumps and is confined to the property, as it is entirely fenced. Her mother used to come back every night, to stay with her. Now, I am not sure that is the case, as it may be a season for finding some deer-love again.
It is VERY stormy again today, so I am pleased we took the ride yesterday in the dappled sunshine, with calm air.
The wind now is up, and with it sleet going sideways, oh my!
Not fun for horse or rider.....so....we'll steal the rides from winter, one at a time , as we wait upon Springtime to arrive!