|Harley tacked and ready to go|
With sandwiches, water, carrots, and apples packed, we headed out. The horses felt sparky with the cool weather--primed and ready for a long walk in the woods. Harley was happy to follow Nina most of the way. When asked to step out in front, he balked. Only taps from the crop would convince him to take the lead. I think he'd rather let Nina deal with the demons residing behind the boulders and stumps. If they stopped together, it was a tie for who would be least willing to lead. What a pair! When out front, Harley's ears are up, he's watching his surroundings, and peering around corners. But when he's following, the ears flop to the sides and he shuffles along like a dude-ranch horse. I can't help but laugh at his behavior. Much to his chagrin, I made him lead a few times, as a confidence-builder (I don't know if he'd agree).
|Our peak baggers|
En route back down, we heard voices below. Harley and Nina, unable to see where the chattering children were hiding, tentatively picked their way down the trail, peering through the trees. The hiking group, taking a break at the trail junction, admired our horses as Harley and Nina looked sideways at everyone, fearing woods trolls. Pointed in the homeward direction, Harley stepped out at his fast walk,, telling himself, I'm going home, I"m going home with each step.
Sunday was a short ride day--only an hour and a half of meandering through the woods. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes seemed to have appeared with the warmer weather. Our plan is to hack Nina home on Monday. Echoe will miss her company, as will Vance, he beau in the neighboring paddock. It's been such an enjoyable week for all--John, myself, and the horses.