In which bloggers collide twice in a single week, and there is sunshine

Lytha and I used to see each other all the time.  We didn't get to ride together much (because our horses were usually stabled on opposite sides of a very large Swampland county), but we participated in a lot of the same events, and sometimes we'd hang out and make soup and talk about horses when we didn't have horses close-at-hand.

Headed up the hill, watching for deer...and bears
Then, she fell in love with a wonderful man and moved to Germany (and she took her horse with her!).   Now we don't see each other so often, because she can only visit the American Swampland every 18 months or so, and my budget for European travel is, uh, pretty much non-existent.

But this week, Lytha came to visit...and I finally got to take her riding!

"dirty car"!

She has always been meticulous about car-washing (and truck-washing, and horse-washing), but this is a rental car.  I had to take a picture, because I've never seen her in a dirty vehicle before (except in mine, obviously)

Green grass, bright sunshine, and a happy pony.
That's a good day, right there.

It was great to see Lytha on a horse that wasn't one of the dead-headed school horses or the green sale prospects that she's been riding lately in Germany.  She saddled up Hana and out we went.  She said that Hana feels a lot like Princess Buttercup , the pretty little chestnut mare she used to ride in endurance when she lived in the Swamp.  The mares are of similar size and color and temperament--both pretty and nice to ride.
The "photo by the Monument" is obligatory,
even when the position of the sun makes the picture kind of awkward.

Hana was not a Bad Radish for our ride.  She was perfectly sweet.  And she had fun, too!

Jogging the downhills.  I had to pony Hana so she wouldn't drag behind.
Obviously, I was still aboard Gigantor when I snapped this picture!

I used to get off my horse and jog down the hills too...when I had a shorter horse and knew I could always hop back up.  These days, I've conditioned Gigantor to carry my butt down the hills gracefully, which she does.

Hana would really like to stop for "lunch" in the meadow.

I hope I see that smile on my friend's face when she finally finds the right horse to buy in Germany!

Checking the GPS:  nine caches found, eight caches not found

Back at the parking lot:  her man had amused himself geocaching while we were gone...and didn't realize that we had parked the horse trailer 10 feet from the rental car!  I guess the purple flames on the rig didn't make a huge impression.  Huh.

They are heading back to Germany soon, and I won't see them again for a long time.  I hope they find a nice horse there...soon.

The very next day, I threw both horses in the trailer again so Hana could guide Monica around the same set of trails.

We didn't see any deer on either day, but Monica and I did see a young bear scampering across the trail ahead of us.

Big trail-riding grin.

Up at the Monument, Monica has an unusual approach to photography

Hana doesn't understand why you would take a picture of something other than Hana.

Before re-mounting, we availed ourselves of some of the local cuisine.

Monica can get the thimbleberries that I cannot reach.
Some days I think it must be really convenient to be tall...

Hana loves to work.  She also likes to smile for the camera.

Obligatory "overlooking Puget Sound" photo

On the wide-trail back to the parking lot, Fiddle scooted over to Monica.  "Uhm, she's asking for a hug," I said.  Fiddle thinks that her Auntie Monica gives good scritches, too.

"Hug, please."

We travelled the "tourist loop": 8.5 miles, a mixture of logging road, trail, uphill and downhill, with some deep forest and some open meadows and a few big Views To the West.

If you come visit the Swampland, I'll take you too.

Who's in?


  1. Love to see Fee asking for a hug. Very cute!

    Jealous that you get to ride with all these awesome bloggers. Haha. Nice to see Lytha on something more appropriate than the things we've been seeing in her entries of late.

    As for jogging down hills... NOT gonna happen with Ozzy, but I did do it with that big gray mare I've been riding and she's 16.1hh. It ended badly when she got away from me in the creek at the bottom of the hill, though. If she'd pulled those shenanigans with me still in the saddle, I suspect we would have been fine.

  2. It IS really nice being tall...that is, until you hit your head on something ;-). I enjoy Lytha's blog as well and it's nice to see her having an enjoyable ride. I, too, hope she is able to find that nice horse soon :-)
    Hana seems to be quite the "community" horse these days - a job she seems most valuable at. At least she doesn't have to feel left out in the picture department...her own human seems to take plenty....and all us readers enjoy them! :-D

  3. One of these days...if you promise we don't have to trot the whole way! ;-D

  4. From all those great pictures, I'll be there next week! Seriously, it looks like a lovely time of year to show some friends around. A horse that many people can ride like Hana is worth their weight in gold. (Sorry Fee, I'll owe you some scritches).

  5. Awesome you finally got to visit with Lytha :)
    And...oh me!!!! If only I could find a babysitter...or a child sized helmet. Sigh. The first week in November there's a serious of Buck Brannaman clinics in Spanaway I really want to drag Becky to. Thoughts?

  6. Hana is awesome. It felt like I was on Baasha or Princess Buttercup again, she was so responsive to voice, leg, and rein, and so full of joy. We had a total blast, especially cantering beside Fiddle doing her 7th gear (of 10) trot while Aarene played Alec Ramsey winning at the racetrack. As I said, I didn't think Hana was so fit, but even after we did a steep climb, she asked to trot off again.

    That is a lovely loop and my friend Tami mentioned she was going up there to ride so I'm really glad she will get to experience it. I'm happy you got a photo of my geocaching husband too, thanks for including that. The next day he went canoeing and I wanted to go, but I couldn't stand to drive that car another mile looking like that so I washed it thoroughly inside and out. Of course.

  7. That is fantastic that Lytha got to come for a visit! I love her blog and she is so sweet!!
    Cracks me up about the dirty car... I used to be the same way!

  8. Looks like Lytha enjoyed her ride w/you & vacation time! Sorry to have missed seeing her!


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