In which "you know it's almost winter when" is more than just a blog-post

You know it's almost winter when...
Not summer anymore.  Dang.
Fiddle stops before exiting the trailer. 

She is checking the ground:  if it's mud, she wants to step carefully and not slide.  In summer, she doesn't hesitate, she just walks out.

You know it's almost winter when:
Dressed for success in polarfleece and gortex.

the horses have their tailfeathers covered for the duration of the ride.
Ignore the red tree.  This forest is almost ready for winter.

They probably would have been fine without the rump rugs, but we kept moving between clear/sunny skies (above)

and completely socked-in-fog (below)
foggy morning

and the air has a distinctly clammy feel this time of year.

We rode on some of the higher-elevation trails, trying to get above the fog and clouds.

Triumph :  enough sunshine to make shadows!

...and made it all the way to the monument.

Cue theme music:   Also Sprach Zarathustra

This tract of the Pilchuck Tree Farm is also home to the Pilchuck Glass School. The monument is dedicated to the late owner of the Tree Farm, and a co-founder of the Glass School, John Hauberg.  His ashes were scattered at the site of the monument, overlooking Puget Sound.  There are also carved stone seats nearby, so persons on foot can rest and enjoy the view.   

(The Glass School's most famous founder/artist is Dale Chihuly.  Visit his website HERE to get your eyes knocked with amazing color and concepts in glass!)

Uh, Shade?  Could you smile?  Or at least WAKE UP?
 The monument site is an excellent place to take "Facebook Photos".  So we did. 

You know it's almost winter when Skivvies (below) wears long-sleeves!

FB profile picture

Then, since we finally felt like we were not wrapped in a layer of cold woolly fish, we moved some layers of clothing around.  Patty tried on my new jacket:  a Muddy Creek Short Raincoat.  
Monumental sunshine

I bought a size medium, but I think I need a small.  Patty fits the medium just about perfectly, so she'll probably order a small and then we can swap.  Actually, from the lineup of people trying on my jacket the other day, there may be several new Muddy Creek wearers around here in the new future. 

See?  The coat on me is the right length, but there's room enough inside for me *and* Fiddle!
I'll keep everybody posted on how the coat performs in the pouring rain, I haven't had a chance to test it in REAL weather yet.  

You know it's almost winter when everyone starts frantically checking their outerwear for water repellency!

Meanwhile, there's a lot of fog.   In the photos (above) and (below), we used a cliff trail with foggy background for a few interesting pictures.  It looked really creepy...

"Entering Mordor.  Please declare all valuables at the border crossing station.
Especially rings...."
like, it wouldn't be unreasonable to post a sign that says "Mordor 2 miles ahead."   Really freaky-looking!

On the way back to the trailer, we met up with friends, including Katie and Dean.  Dean is riding his old (retired) endurance horse Banner, who is looking fat and happy. 

Doug on Banner, Katie (without a cast on her foot!) on Horus, Ruth on Fire.

Back at the trailer, Patty wanted to try out my saddle, since I love it so much and she doesn't currently have a saddle that she loves. 

It's a long way to the top of this horse!

The best way to try out my saddle is to try out my up she climbed!

"She rides like a Dory-trained horse"  <<---the coolest compliment I've gotten in months.
"Standies have feet where Arabs don't have feet!"  she told me.   Um....yes?  

She looks pretty comfy up there in the saddle, though.  If it came in PINK, I'll bet she'd order one today.

"Go ahead, little girl:  the first ride is free. 
Oh, the saddle?  The saddle is nice too."

Heh heh heh.  I wonder how long it will be before she starts thinking about getting a standie of her own? 

Heh heh heh.  I am so bad.


  1. OMG! I'm not the only person in the world who does not insist her horse back out of a slant! Yahooo!!

    Man, I need to go riding. :(

  2. I don't insist a horse back out either. If they're sensible, it's easier to turn them around.

    Love the Mordor photos best. <3

  3. Came to ask what kind of saddle you use on Fiddle, but am also chiming in to say, "Asia, too!" She calmly loads in her slant and then turns around and rides backwards. She is so much happier like that, although she will trailer facing forwards if I think the horse in the second stall won't like her facing the opposite way. It's rare, but it has happened.

    Back to your saddle. I am searching for one to fit my round backed, stocky mare, India, who is not built like her TB momma, Asia. I am having a very hard time. I suspect that Fiddle is built more like Asia, but I am looking for all sorts in my quest. Thanks.

  4. Hi Kathleen,
    Here's a link to some information about my saddle:

    I've changed a few things since writing this post. The important change is this: Specialized created a PURPLE seat for the saddle (the seats are interchangeable, attached with velcro and two screws), and I *had* to have that. The new seats are also more padded than the old.

    Here's the direct link to the manufacturer:

    HOWEVER, if you decide to buy one of these saddles, I **HIGHLY** recommend that you use a dealer. The customer cost is the same, and you will be much happier:

  5. I have the red coat from Muddy creek, I love it. Can't wait to hear the different style does.


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