Monday, January 28, 2013


Well, I've done it again. What started out as a nice exploratory ride through the woods turned into a disaster. John and I were hoping to find a trail to access a neighbor's land. The previous day, we rode Harley and Rolex, following snowmobliled trails and came out in an old granite quarry, actually riding through a chasm of granite blocks--pretty cool. But due to our late start, we needed to head home before darkness fell.

So on Monday, we headed out with Harley and Ruffy, trying to bushwack our way through to Hank & Lily's place. Ruffy is a bit claustrophobic and isn't a fan of bushwacking. She likes open trails with solid footing. When John asked her to wind her way through whippy little saplings and over sticks on a non-existent trail, she lost it. Next thing I know, John passes me saying, "Stop when you can!" That was it--I was already leaning over to get under a branch, with lose reins, when Harley, Mr. Chickenpants, panicked too. "Don't leave me, Ruffy!" Well, we both were unseated, and our ponies took off, headed for home. Thankfully, no one was badly hurt (at least we didn't appear to be) and we started following their hoof prints out to Hank and Lily's drive. I jogged down to the road, afraid they might be hit by cars, clutching my hurting chest. I got 2 visuals of them, ambling up the road, and calling them only made the horses stop, look, and continue home, as if say, "Oh, it's just her, let's go back to the barn." I finally caught them in a neighbor's drive, standing there looking lost. "Ruffy, you've got the wrong house, "I said, "How about some carrots?" That brought them close and I grabbed their reins. John appeared, a little gimpy, and we walked home, shaking our heads.

A couple of days later, I finally went to the doctor only to find I have a fractured sternum--oh yay! So now my winter may be shot--no skiing, no skijoring, and certainly no riding until I can actually lift a saddle. Yes, I'm so sore I can't do much of anything. I'm grounded.

Do you have carrots in there?
So while John took Rolex back to "the scene of the crash", I went for a safe walk in the woods, exploring the skidder trails and checking out animal activity in the forest.

I may be doing a lot of walking for the next few months. John will get to ride the FB (aka Fuzzy B____d) and keep him worked. Poor John, a lot has fallen on him now; shoveling, water buckets, grain hefting, pretty much nearly all the barn chores. Oh, and don't forget hammering on the frozen water buckets! I guess it's a good thing this happened in winter in that I won't be missing out on prime riding weather when spring arrives. I'm hoping this will all heal up quickly so I can get back in the saddle soon. Cross your fingers for me!
Here are some shots taken from my walk in the woods, sans cheval.

Turkey track--one left by the eight males I was following!

All sizes of deer wandering back there--looks like Grand Central Station at the logging staging area.

Ruffed grouse 
Coyote and deer tracks--hunting for dinner?
A little bit of winter wonderland tucked down in lowlands.
Frozen brook
Our horses looked so fuzzy in the blustery weather, they looked like they had velvet coats. First, Rolex is trying to be big boss mare and is nipping Ruffy, and it the next one, she's given up and I've got a sweet shot of Ruffy. Harley, unaware of the drama behind him, is noshing on the hay (big boss gelding).
Rolex, trying to rule the herd
All's well, time to come in for dinner.


  1. You're much better at identifying tracks than I am :)
    Hope you heal quickly & are back in the saddle for the pleasant Spring weather.

  2. Loose horses are a scary situation! Glad you're okay mostly.

    1. More frustrated than anything, despite the pain. I was just glad we got off without worse injuries and that the horses were ok--only a minor scratch on Harley's leg. Whew!

  3. WHAAT! You are the most adventurous person I know! you are always having wild excursions! But loose horses are not something to sneeze at! And neither are fractured bones! Oh dear, you make me chuckle in awe and fear simultaneously! At least now you have an excuse for not riding in miserable cold! You have a good excuse for waiting until the spring. I cannot tell you how much I love those track photos! Excellent! have you ever seen porcupine tracks? i think it looks like a zipper! Stay warm and heal up!

    1. Yes--a zipper! What a great description. I'm kind of bummed to be missing winter--xc skiing, skijoring, and riding that fractious OTTB, but what can one do? John had a double-header today; he rode Harley and Rolex!
      As for loose horses, that was my first concern once I realized John and I were only walking wounded--hence the jog down the road!

  4. Ouch! I am so sorry to hear about your accident and sooooo glad the babies made it back to the barn safely! What a scare! You guys are really tough up there in the hinterlands riding wild steeds and getting tossed off. My number one worry when riding is a loose horse. Yesterday, Pie almost had me off and I think if I were not near the road he would have - but I hung on because I am so scare of him getting out on the road! Take care heal fast!
    Sorry if this is a duplicate - oh Blogger got me and erased my first comment!

  5. OH!! That was super duper scary!
    So dang happy too, the steeds(wild as Jules said) did not injure themselves! But you sure got the worst of it...OUCH-OLA. So sorry, truly. Your spirits are good though. Yes, take your walks, keep your stamina up, being prepared for when you do ride again! JOHN, you hang in there! Get a heated Water trough!( I also have heated rubber buckets for the stall) They are heaven sent and worth every penny!

    OH BOY....Have had my share of the -loose horse antics- for a lifetime!
    Never a good thing....and building confidence again is difficult sometimes. Though I have learned a thing or two about individual horses and "What NOT to do" matter how confident I am feeling.

    Sometimes Loose rein riding is just an invitation for the disaster. Depends on the horse but, all of them can fall and if there is no boundary...they may fall all the way down. Strange as that seems to read, a contact can save your but! Just yesterday, Wa tripped, while walking downhill. If I did not have the contact, I believe she would have gone all the way down. It did seem to help her, as she hit the noseband contact on the bitless. Contact helps your balance as well.

    You do take care...give yourself time to heal! I have had those spills and really thought I'd not be able to ride again...but I am, and so much smarter. Mine FREAKS in the SLICK and DEEP and uncharted forests. I do it on foot...especially with others. Mine threatens to bolt and no matter of strength I have can keep her head. I have leaned. She has tell tale signs.



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