We went out to Emery's Bridge via a trail that's been inaccessible since last fall when a tree came down creating a chest-high barrier. But the trail crew must have come through recently--the tree was gone, but so were all the little low "jumps" as well. We passed a peeper pond with the last of the snow hugging the shore. The hemlock canopy on the hillside shades this bit of swampy water. But it's also home to some wood ducks. We heard their calls, but saw only the spreading wake rings left from their take-off spot.
Once we reached Bennett Lot Road, it started to spit sleet for a bit, but then quit. Rolex took us off on a spur trail that required mashing through saplings and around downed trees. She's smart enough to assess things before crashing forward. Harley, worried about being left behind, was crashing around trying to stay right with her. He's not the lightest on his feet, and I have to admit, I remembered what happened the last time things got a little crazy in the puckerbrush! I was walking home with a fractured sternum. I suggested we get back on an established trail. At least if he's going to be silly, I only have to deal with him, not worry about getting smacked in the head by branches while controlling my snorting steed. Harley was Mr. Prancypants the rest of the ride--gotta catch up to Rolex, gotta get home, let's go, let's go...a rather unsettled ride! When we re-entered the Orris Falls trail, he was finally calming down, just jogging to catch up to his power-walking gal, Rolex. Then it started to hail, lentil-sized pieces of hail bounced off my helmet brim and stuck in Harley's mane. If he would have stood still long enough, I'd have taken a photo.
We came upon a family out for a hike. The kids thought it was fun to feed the horses, and their yellow lab was curious, but calm. Rolex thought the whole thing was a hoot--more people to feed her carrots, and interesting dogs to sniff. Harley, anxious to be home, but happy for carrots, made his giraffe face, as if to say, "Can't we go home now?"
One of the best things about this ride was that both horses stopped to drink. This is always a good thing when we're out for long trail rides. When we first got both of these horses, they were afraid of the water. Now both are willing to stand in it and slurp down a good glug.
Back at the barn, we turned Harley and Rolex out to take mud baths, which they did in no time. They plastered themselves with goo, enjoying themselves while we groaned. Ruffy came in for her spa time. She had so much mud on her legs, it looked like a clay poultice! John pulled her mane, brushed her until she shone and gave her a pedicure too--she looks great!
|This Chic's Got It! aka Ruffy|
The wind howled up the hillside, drying the mud to a nice crust on Harley and Rolex. We brushed them outside, letting the wind carry away the dirt. I think half of it went in my eyes and nose! The stiff wind blew so hard, it held a kestrel aloft over the barn. We watched in amazement as the bird just hung in the air, not moving forward as it hovered over the barn, then winged off on the wind. An amazing sight!