In which I haven't forgotten how to write about farm and horses

I've been writing a lot lately: working on the book proposal for Endurance 101, working on the annual Gift of Stories booklet, and writing a brand-new Skookum story, which I plan to post here on Christmas Eve.
I haven't been riding as much as usual because it's winter.  It's cold, it's wet, blah blah blah.  I've been riding once each week for the last month, usually in a lesson. 

This week, though, I am determined to ride twice, so I saddled up Miss Fiddle this afternoon and took her for a ride down my own road.  We haven't done this since last February.
Up the road we go
 Fiddle was hyper-aware of all the Weird Stuff going on around us.  She is fine with cars and trucks zooming by on the road--she sidepasses nicely to the shoulder and stands still until the vehicle is gone.  Regular cars and trucks aren't even vaguely scary compared to the logging trucks that she isn't afraid of, so normal traffic is no big deal.
What IS this thing?
 However, there are things in the pastures beside our road that are Just. Too. Strange.  Like, in the photo (above), what is it, exactly?  Looks like maybe a carnival ride truck...or a sculpture...or ???  It looks solid, not like a shell.  And it's definitely weird. 

There are also neighborhood horses watching us walk down the road.
This big palomino was very curious.  As soon as I took the picture, the two greys went back to grazing and never looked up again.
Highland cattle
The Highland Cattle didn't even look up, although one was "mooing" in a kind of "snoring" kind of way.  I don't think she was asleep, just sort of mumbling.
The gate to the electrical tower trail
The path around the gate has been trompled down recently, but the trail beyond it (running under the power lines) has NOT been maintained at all.  The last time I was here, I saw evidence of the power company's weed spray.  That stuff is all gone, and the blackberry vines are now growing up and over the access road.  Still, we were able to wiggle through, until we got to the
"MOO, d*mmit!"
Bovine roadblock.

In case you can't tell from the photo, the large bovine person in the center of the picture is not a cow, nor a calf.  He is not a steer. 

He is, rather, a 2,000+ pound BULL.

And he would really prefer that Fiddle and I not take a shortcut through his pasture. 


He was exceptionally clear in his communication about this, and his "moo" sounded very similar to a boat horn.  On a ferryboat.  A ferryboat on steroids.  On, like, a LOT of steroids.

We turned around. 

Fee was tremendously steady in the face of this bull and his homely harem.  She Doesn't Approve of cows, despite her admiration of cow-horses like Hudson

Someday we will go learn some cow-moving skills.  For today, the better part of discretion involved a simple manuever called "reverse thrusters full, turn the heck around and go home."

So we did. 

All this amounted to only a 4-mile outing with my horse in the sunshine. 

But hey:  I went four miles in the sunshine with my mare.  In December.

It's good enough.


  1. YAY for four sunshine miles!

    Maybe Laura Crum will come lay on the real cowhorse wisdom, but I don't think I'd ever have the guts to try to move a bull around his own territory all by myself. No way Jose.

    Those t-posts are shameful. Dear horse owner: if you spent $100 on a fence charger you could have a hotwire that would keep your horses from laying on your fence!

  2. I rarely even SEE my horses in sunlight these days--we leave before sunrise an return after sunset; AND it's been foggy as all get out for the last two weeks!
    But I'm OFF (in more ways than one) for the next TWO WEEKS! (Please forgive the all caps--I never have figured out how to do the html italic thingy.) And it's supposed to clear up a bit, so maybe...

    Funder--I'm not sure those are fence posts, however, for the life of me, I can't figure out what they might be--tree stakes? Aarene?

    wv= "apook" --> That nasty bovine gave my horse a bit of apook!

  3. Huh, you're right, the poles in the foreground aren't t-posts. I still think the ones behind the grey in the green blanket - the ones I was originally looking at - are tposts.

  4. Willie enjoys chasing cows, and Jabby would probably try to befriend one, but I wouldn't willingly cross paths with a bull. Nuh-uh.

  5. I've been really fretting about only riding once a week or so since daylight time savings went off and my mare had the hoof surgery. It makes me feel better to know that its not just me!

    Enjoyed the ride photos, as always-Fee has such lovely ears :)

  6. Hey--My computer is repaired and I can comment--I'm just a little late. But here's the cowhorse wisdom on bulls. We mostly tried not to move them on horseback. Especially in confined spaces like corrals and crowding alleys. When we had to move bulls, we got off and did it on foot--because, as you noticed, bulls are often willing to act aggressive (and will sometimes charge) horses. I have gathered bulls from a pasture before on horseback, but everybody was pretty darn "thoughtful" about it. We were well aware of the danger. So, yep, I wouldn't try moving the bull on Fiddle.

  7. We don't mess wi da bulls. They are MAFIA. A bull says "no" and we say "okay, sorry we're alive, we'll go die quietly now out of sight". LOL. Good job!

    I"m now officially grateful for our weird (but lovely) warm rain-less weather. I actually rode in a T shirt a couple of days ago. I had to put on sunscreen. Then I had to look at my calendar again. December, right? 60 degrees?? Sunny?

    Thank you weather Gods. I know my time of once a week riding will come...


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