In which it's about dang time we were putting the band back together

Some of us have been riding together for 20 years or more.
Some have joined the group more recently.
But it's always a good day when the Usual Suspects hit the trail.

Patty's horse Flower is finally sound enough to do a little work on the trail, and she's not yet too pregnant to fit into her saddle. 

(Flower, that is.  Patty is not pregnant.  Flower's foal is due late May 2020).

Does Patty look happy to you?  She looks happy to me!

Last night I got the ping from the group:  Meet at the trailhead, 9am.  Walking for a couple of hours.

That sounds great to me--and to Fiddle, too.  She hasn't seen nearly enough of our friends lately.

Katie and her awesome new little horse Chili

Sirie and Hana

Meagan and Pony

Jennifer and Katie Horse (not to be confused with Katie Human, above)

Dory and Freya

L-to-R: Sirie/Hana, Patty/Flower, Me/Fiddle, Meagan/Pony, Katie/Chili, Dory/Freya, Jennifer/Katie

And off we went, into the woods!  But not fast.  Because we found these:

Lobster mushrooms!

We found enough mushrooms for everybody to get some.

One of the big mushrooms is enough to be the base of an entire soup--
or chowder, if it's happening at my house.

Plus, there was the riding.

We had a little rain this week, so there were some slick spots on the trails,
but everybody did fine.

One of the neighbors had warned me about the frequency of bear sightings lately. I wasn't too worried.  Black bears don't like noise, and 6 ladies and 6 horses make a LOT of noise.

There was a lot of giggling.

In addition to being a great social occasion for the riders, this kind of ride gives the new/baby/green horses a chance to learn how to behave on trail when they are surrounded by calm experienced horses. 

The ferns have enjoyed our mild summer.

Riding helmets in the open area look like easter eggs.

A traditional stopping place.

Katie's new horse Chili is only 4 years old, but she is lovely--one of those "born broke" horses
that are worth their weight in gold.

Meagan took this photo from the back of the group

Not too far.  Not too fast.  Not too hot and not too cold.  Not many bugs.

But plenty of smiles.

And that is a Good Thing.


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