In which there is a sunny interlude, so of course I go riding

Almost every year, smack-dab in the middle of the dreary stuff,
we have a week (sometimes two) of sunshine.

Sunshine AND blue sky

Apparently, that time is now.   And that means:  RIDING!

Darlene and I haven't ridden together for almost two years.  We needed to fix that.  So we met up at the trailhead last weekend.

reminder to local riders:  please fill out the 2019 liability form if you ride at the Pilchuck Tree Farm

Fiddle loves Darlene's mare Rosie...but Lola isn't as easy to love.  She pins her ears and makes ugly faces, and tries to grump-boss Fiddle around.

"Ooooh," I said to the Dragon.  "Darlene brought a baby horse!

Travelling along / Singing a song / Side - by - side!

I don't know what it is about that phrase, but whenever I say it, Fiddle's posture relaxes and her ears flop.  She loves babies of all kinds. 

So now whenever we meet any new horse, I say that it's a baby horse, even when it's clearly a senior citizen.

<shrug>  Whatever works, right?

With the sunshine still happening--and the forecast says it will continue until next week!!!--more saddle time is needed. 

Such a pretty day, such a lovely mare.

By the way, that thing that Ralph was teaching me in the arena, about the ears?  Totally doesn't work on the trail. 

She loves being out.  So do I!

When she's on trail, Fiddle's ears are all about the trail: about the rocky/sandy/muddy footing, about the deer lurking in the bushes, about the shiny plastic wrapper on the road ahead, about the fork in the trail and the choice she recommends we take, whatever. 

I could flop over sideways and do the Y-M-C-A with my arms on the trail, and her ears don't care. 

(I HAVE flopped over and done the YMCA.  Recently.) 

She has a job to do on the trail.  Keeping me in the middle of the saddle is only about 20% of the job...and earns only about 20% of the ears.

Speaking of me doing foolish things, here's a new one:

the next step in our "harness training" practice

I put one "shaft" through the stirrup cage, and asked her to walk forward.  When she pointed a worried ear at the branch, I offered a cookie.  She took the cookie, adjusted the ear, and walked forward.

Then I swapped the "shaft" to the other side and repeated the process (including the cookie, of course).

Then I added a second tree branch shaft (and a cookie), and that's how we finished the ride, dragging branches all the way down to the parking lot.

An excellent finish to a fine, sunny day!

Ahhh, it's good.


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