Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Ride

Chilly temperatures and a cold wind made for an exciting ride. All the horses had been in for over 24 hours due to rain and wind. They were dancing to get out today. John and I covered some new territory with Rolex Girl and revisited trails Harley hasn't traveled since last spring!

A new way to wear Jog-a-lite vests!
After mucking out the stalls and donning the blaze orange, we sallied forth. Orris Falls was raging--we could hear the water sluicing through the gorge before we reached the brook. A number of limbs were caught up in the outflow from the pond making it seem scarier than usual for Harley. He did NOT set a good example, but we eventually crossed without too much ado, and Rolex followed close behind.  Every rock and stump gave Harley pause to look closely. He really was just testing me; he's not really afraid of these anymore. If we needed a theme song for today's ride, it would be James Brown's "I Feel Good"!

Rolex has a nice walk, stepping out enough to make Harley (who's only an inch shorter) jog to keep up. Plus, he's afraid of being left behind! Since Rolex is barefoot, we opted for a shorter road ride that would put us on a trail network leading us back to North Point. We haven't been out here all summer due to a reported bee or ground hornet nest. By now, the cold temperatures will have put an end to any activity! We had a nice canter across property where we kindly have access, and thankfully, the German Shepherd wasn't in residence today. Harley has only met her twice, and the first time, scared the bejeezus out of him.

After our little canter, we pulled up for pictures, but Harley kept a wary eye on the house. He jigged a bit on the way home and began grinding his teeth--anxious or excited, I'm not sure which. John and I wondered if he would still do it with the bitless bridle, but since Rolex Girl was wearing it, who knows. I'll try it out on him tomorrow.

Don't we look colorful in all that blue and orange? Man, what a sight coming through the woods! Rolex Girl didn't mind leading part of the way, in fact, she likes being out front, but while we were having fun popping over brooks and logs, we took a wrong turn. She doesn't know the way yet, but Harley got us back on track, grinding his teeth, and prancing up all the hills. In the 3 weeks we've had Rolex Girl, she's adapted amazingly well. Tricky footiing, falling dead branches, large boulders from the last ice age, and assorted abandoned bits of junk don't seem to faze her. She's still not crazy about going through water and getting muddy, but after all, she's a "Rolex Girl"!

Hah! Great sign!
The Nature Trails are great for seeing all sorts of weird things in the middle of the woods, shacks, stacked tires, TV's, lumber, yard furniture, etc. But the best was this crazy sign that gave John and I a good laugh. The folks that own the Nature Trails are quirky to say the least, but the footing is great, they keep the trails cleared, and they give us access. No the TV's aren't exactly picturesque, but it's part of their quirkiness and adds to the local color--fondly known around here as Maine Yard Disease.

Once we made the turn for home past North Point, Harley settled down (no more tooth grinding) and actually wanted to be out in front of Roley. A couple of times on the ride, he'd walk along, quartering Roley, and she does the same. I think it may remind them both of being ponied at the track. What cracks me up is when we stop in this position, and John pulls Harley's head over into his lap and gives him a reassuring rub. I think Harley actually likes this. Roley wasn't too keen on it the first time and pinned her ears. It's a good thing they get along so well since they both like to tailgate one another! Unfortunately, the picture I tried to get of them together didn't come out. Roley isn't one to stand around for too long--she's a go, go, go girl.

Once Harley and Roley were cooled off and fed lunch, we turned them out with the rest of the gang. Everyone was down in the far field, but once I let Harley go, he headed across the pasture at a canter with Rolex following. This stirred things up and soon, all of the horses were trotting, cantering, galloping, bucking, and spinning like an equine dervish. What a sight. Here are a few pictures of the Thanksgiving ruckus...
Gator (at left) wants out--too old for this foolishness, and Vance (at right) is the starter. The runners, left to rt: Echoe, Ruffy, Harley, and Roley
Then, they went up the hill, to start all over again!
The sorority sisters, leading Echoe on, ready for more mayhem...
And once again, they're off!
Ah, what a day for all of us--fun in the sun! And not too much turkey (since I didn't get mine thawed out in time). We'll have ours this weekend, after another adventure.
Oh, and of course, Harley had a nice roll in the mud. Here he is looking like a muddy wild man.
Mustang Harley!


  1. Cool!!!
    What fun you had durng your Thanksgiving ride and after!
    Too funny about not getting the bird thawed. How easy going of you, to never mind and do it later. Must not have had company plans!

    I liked be-seen hunterwear and that sign too!
    I just got a bandanna from Mac Moutain tack this it, and love that the mare is SEEN brightly. we also wear a bear bell and I have an Orange helmet cover and vest for me too!

    I am goingto enjoy getting to know you here Imel.
    I also am working on acknowlegement of the neat Blog Award you bestowed...!!!

    Have fun riding Novemeber while the weather holds

    My mare has taken to getting all uppity over the last hill's slick and muddy. Yesterday, I sensed something about that...I decided to go back to the Nurtual bit less bridle I have for her...YUP! She walked up the hill, no fussing. If anything is bothering her, tack that bothers her comes into play as she goes on overload.
    I'll be interested to find what Harley think os the bit less!

  2. Great ride! Rolex Girl is sure coming along nicely. I love the photos of them romping in the field. You are so lucky to have the nice pastures and great places to ride - TVs and all! That sign is so funny! Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Who cares about the turkey - there is riding to be done!

  3. We are wearing lots of orange too in these parts. What is that cool safety orange neck bonnet thingie? i want one of those for Lilly! I also understand all the hairy eyeballs out in the woods. So wary and so cute. as long as none of those scary rocks and sticks don't start moving, you will be just fine! I also lovwe that sign for the hunters about the horses. Ddi you make that? This past weekened I was fantasizing about having a few signs like that posted where we ride. And then, there on your blog was the very sign I was thinking about. Do you think the hunters are careful? I know there are some good hunters, but of most of them, I am skeptical.
    Hah about your turkey! I hope it was yummy when you finally ate it. Maybe it tasted better that way!
    As usual, I loved your pictures.

  4. That silly cool neck bonnet is a Jog-A-Lite vest wrapped around my silly boy's head and buckled under his not-so-slender throat! As for the sign--it's on the Nature Trail lands--those folks put it up. Great, isn't it? I've had no problems with hunters, thus far, and we didn't see any on Thanksgiving, but it was midday; any hunter worth their salt, would be done for the day, or return at dusk. Yes, the turkey was good, 4 days later! We're thinking of packing PB&J sandwiches and going for a ride on Christmas, skip another big meal. Hah:)


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