We had an icy fog last night--enough to send out the sanders. Thankfully it melted by the time I got to the barn (the first trip) this morning to feed. Our ramp was a bit slippery so I threw some stone dust onto it to keep everyone safe.
After working a few hours in the garden, putting things to rest, and cleaning up, I decided I'd done enough around the house by midday. It was time to ride! Two days left for regular hunting season, and this has brought the hunters out in droves! I saw trucks parked everywhere, including along the lower pasture where the same guys have been out on the powerline all week. I saw another hunter pull into the parking area at Orris Falls, so I decided to ride in the opposite direction, but still wearing plenty of blaze orange.
Harley was his usual jumpy self as we passed the goats/scary rock location. He settled once we got into the woods, but his ears continued swiveling around as I sang and talked to him. I've got a fair number of folk songs reworked to use "Harley" in them, such as "Handsome Molly" and "Stewball", This also makes enough noise so the hunters will hopefully hear me! We rode a loop, but saw only one hunter in a blind--a very nice man who lets us ride behind his house to access trails. He gave Harley a good spook! We chatted about wildlife while Harley learned patience and standing still. "Lots of turkeys, but no deer. I like to come out a half hour before sunrise and again in the evening. Don't want too long a drag--it's about 500 yards back to the house." I wished him good luck and we left him to await his quarry.
Mr. Prancy Pants hopped over a couple of little log jumps and jogged back up to the road. Considering he was solo, he did very well. Oh, and earlier this week, he actually stopped and drank water from a brook! This is something he's only done once before. Both he and Rolex had a good long drink--a good trait in a trail horse. He's learning how to relax and trust me out there.
We got back to the barn while the sun was still over the treeline. I let Harley eat some hay and cool off while readying the other stalls for the night. He nickered to his friends a few times, so, feeling sorry for him, I put him back out with his pals for another hour while I finished up in the barn. Chilly rain in the 30's is tonight's forecast, so they will be in. This guarantees a good night's sleep and a tail full of shavings. Pleasant dreams, Harley.