In which Fiddle and I take to the hills, and Jim measures the new fence

I had a day off today, and the sun was shining: time to go riding!

Fiddle's pasture is still mostly mud right now, so on the walk to the trailer we stopped so she could eat some of the lawn. Yummmmm.

Then, over to the trailer to get cleaned up and dressed. Hmmm, a bay standardbred with purple tack: such a beautiful sight.

Off to the Tree Farm. I haven't ridden in nearly a month, and we were both pretty wonky. Fee kept spooking at non-existant stuff, and I was getting exasperated. Finally, I reminded myself that just because she doesn't spook Arabian-style, by leaping 300 feet into the bushes, doesn't mean that she might not be genuinely frightened by stuff, especially since it's been a long time since we were out alone. I hopped off and led her for a little while, and that helped.

When we came through this stretch of woods 4 weeks ago, there were trees here, plus a scary logging machine. Now the machine is gone...and so are the trees. Yeah, I can see why that might be a little intimidating for a prey animal like a horse!
Jim and I spent at least 40 minutes clearing fallen vine maple branches off the trail at this spot last winter. It probably took the loggers about 5 minutes to clear a much larger stretch of area with their bulldozers. Why didn't WE think of that?

Once we got away from the freshly-logged areas, I could concentrate on looking for spring flowers.

The salmonberry bushes are blooming!
The huckleberry bushes have little tiny berries on them! (They don't show up very well in the photo, sorry)

Dogwoods are blooming! The dogwoods here aren't nearly as spectacular as the trees along the trail at the Mt Adams Endurance Ride, but they always remind me of the fun I had doing the 100-miler at that ride 2 years ago. I also love that Madeline's picture is on the front page of the Mt Adams website.

There's a new trail to the water tank. Whoever built it did an excellent job!
Very pretty trail, nicely built.

The trails are drying out, finally. We saw some mud, but not too much.

The grass in the meadows is lovely. We stopped for a bite or two (I had a peanut butter sandwich instead of grass).

And look: somebody found my missing glove! I lost it back in December, at a trail work party up here. I figured it was gone forever, but here it is, at the lunch stop area. I'm really glad to see it again--I never got around to throwing away the left-handed friend.

Back into the woods.

You can't see the coyote in the picture because he declined to stick around for a photo. But he WAS right there, at the crest of the hill. The deer were photo-shy too, but we saw them several times on the trails.

After a few hours, we wandered back to the trailer. This stretch of road was terrifying to Fiddle on the way out...on the way back, all she wanted to do was eat the grass as she walked.

A quick bath at the trailer. Yuck--wet winter hair all over my sponges. Ah, well, at least it isn't on the horse anymore.

Back to the barn, and time for a few bites of lawn before the hay is served for dinner.

When I got home, Jim and I decided to take advantage of the evening light to measure the pasture fenceline. He measured the distances, and marked the 8-foot intervals with paint, so we'd know where to sink the fenceposts this weekend.

Willy rode his bike around the pasture, to the great amusement of the Shelties.

Paint is good for drawing other stuff, too.


  1. Purple and bay is the best color combo! I have that cantle pack, too.

    What a nice ride!

  2. Hana says to tell you that we don't call it spooking. It's a new gait called "Extended Horizontal Translation", and when you're good at it you can really cover the miles.

  3. fiddle's such a pretty mare! glad you had fun up there and found your glove. that's awesome, how often does that happen!

    we pounded posts today for 2 hours, pulled blackberry babies up by their massive old roots, and now i'm too tired to go back outside.

    everytime i visit my vegetables in my greenhouse, i automatically look around for my tadpoles and they're gone. it's a quiet greenhouse now. no little tadpoley noises. i miss them, if you can believe that.



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