Monday, November 29, 2010

Harley sees his first moose ever...twice

As we headed up the road, past North Point Equestrian Center, a bull moose wandered into a neighbor's back yard. Thankfully, it turned tail and headed back into the swamp, but not before we both saw it. I said, "Oh no!", turned Harley around and then thought better about it. I might be teaching him to run away! Of course, he had a bit of a hissy fit, but I got him headed back up towards the woods. We reached one of Harley's "trouble spots"--the trail leading to Cheney Woods Rd. is flooded in places. So once again, he backed up, whirled, snorted, and tossed his head. I decided to try another trail which he consented to go down, although now on high alert. As I sang and talked to Harley, I thought, "hmm, that moose could be out here too. We rode a ways to an intersection, crossing two boggy spots and one brook (so much for scary water!) before I turned back. Should Mr. Moose reappear, I didn't want to lose it and be hoofing back on foot in the dark! We made it home with no more animal sightings. I untacked Harley, tossed his cooler on and we headed out behind the barn. Just as Harley put his head down to graze, a moose appeared, trotting across the back meadow, up into the woods. Once again, Harley tossed his head into the air, watching, too nervous now to even eat. Poor Harley--two moose in an hour!

Friday, November 26, 2010

This saying says it all...

Found on the web:

In the quiet light of the stable, you hear a muffled snort, the stamp of a hoof, a friendly nicker. Gentle eyes inquire, "How was your day old friend?" and suddenly, all your troubles fade away.
                                                -Author Unknown

I can't ride and talk at the same time...

So there I am, whirling around by the "trouble gate" (after already dealing with one Harley hissy-fit) when the cell phone rings. Harley's practicing to be a cutting horse, and  I'm just trying to keep my seat! Wouldn't you know John tries to call me at the exact point when my hands are really full. Harley is snorting, backing, side-stepping, and tossing his head while the phone rings in my chest pocket. I finally got him to stand still and tried heading back towards the gate, and yup, the phone goes off again. "All right, I'm thinking, "First, let me get off this horse!"
I dismount and start pushing buttons, but can't figure out how to get missed calls. John hasn't shown me that nifty trick yet. Well, so much for having a cell phone when I ride!
I get Harley past the scary gate, remount, and of course, he tries to go home again. I'm having none of that and boot him around, snap the crop, and hiss, "Get up there!" He knuckles under and trots up the trail grudgingly--crisis averted.
As we head home, the phone rings yet again. With everything hunky dory in Harley's mind (home is good!), I can ride on the buckle, pick up the phone call, and chat away. "Yes John, I'm still riding. Had a few rough patches to deal with. I'm through the swamp by the dead beech tree and heading for the water. Yes, I'll see you at the barn. I need hang up now--approaching the brook. See you soon." Well, one more tricky spot and then we're home free.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pinch me, is this real?

I took Harley on another short ride today. His feet are a little tender from having his shoes pulled, so we stuck to the soft edges of the trail. Given it's Sunday, and in Maine, that means no hunting, everyone not toting a gun heads for the woods in a free for all. The Orris Falls parking lot was crowded, cars nosed in and edging the shoulder of the road. A few were leaving as Harley and I approached. He had his head up like a giraffe, his back hollowed out, as he pranced down the pavement. But once we got into the woods, he let out a big huff, and relaxed.
We lollied our way down the trail until we met an older couple, and then a father with 2 boys and a baby on his back. He herded the boys to the trail edge, saying, "Now stay over, don't get too close." The younger boy exclaimed, "Ooo, I like the horsey. He's a pretty horsey."
"Thank you", I replied, giving Harley a pat on the neck for behaving so well.
 Then I began to daydream, probably not the best thing to do on an unpredictable horse. But lulled by Harley's hoofbeats, I remembered being a kid, much like that little boy, oooing and ahhing at every horse I saw. And if someone was riding by, I thought, "how lucky she is".  And now, I'm that lucky person, riding down the road, astride my own horse. Somebody pinch me, is this real? My dream come true.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Best birthday ever!

Out of the woods, and back in...
 After years and years of begging my parents for a horse, I finally spent my birthday in the saddle! Harley made my day (as did John with some nifty new horse gear). We went for a little jaunt out the "lollipop trail" to Emery's Bridge Rd., past the scary gate (!!!), through the leaf-covered water (!!!),  and home, just as dusk was falling and the woods were getting scary-dark.

Last week, my brave steed went almost all the way to Mt. Agamenticus, with John and I switching off. John ended up on the mountain bike with Callie loping alongside. I couldn't believe it when Harley actually crossed a narrow wooden bridge without twitching--maybe because John and Callie were on the other side and he was headed home! If he'd been alone, I think there would have been a whole lot of backing up, sideways prancing, head tossing, and whirling.

Today, I'm off on another adventure to who knows where...