Monday, September 8, 2008

Deep Creeks and Fall Leaves

My cement-head took a vacation for the day and I felt well enough to ride on Sunday. My sister and I took her 17 year old neighbor girl on a trail ride. Jessica has ridden in horsey summer camps, but not for a year or so.

My Boy put on his catch-me-if-you-can rodeo for about five minutes before I could get him haltered. I don't know what it is about that pill. When I have not seen him for five days or so, he acts like he is a wild stallion on the range. He will walk away from me, or, let me get the halter on his nose then panic and pull back and run off when I go to put buckle strap behind his ears. I thought we'd worked through this, but it periodically rears it's ugly head. Luckily, his pasture is not too large and I know my horse well enough to know he'll run for a bit, but quickly give up.
We loaded up the horses and we set off for the trail head. The day was uncannily warm for September and worthy of tank tops, yet the scent of fall was in the air.

My shiny, handsome stinker ready to hit the trail.

Jessica on Fritzy,and Paint Girl on Brandy, starting out.

We started our loop by riding towards the creek route first. Now, some of you may remember me writing previously about the creek the last time we crossed it, we were stirrup deep in water. This time, as we started down the bank, to our chagrin we observed that the creek had risen even more, to the point it was creeping uphill on the trail leading out of the other side! No creek crossing for us. Without knowing it's depth, it just wasn't safe. We rode a detour trail, hoping it would pop us out and across the creek at a shallower point. Guess what it did? You guessed it. It looped us through ferny undergrowth and pastern-deep mud and rooted logs and fallen trees-right back to where we started!

My sister's mare came off the faux-detour looking like she'd been making mud pies! She was following My Boy, so we can blame him for the big splotches.

Later, we were told by someone back at the trail head that a beaver dam was suspect for creating the deep pool in the creek. Typically at this point in the summer, the creek would barely be a trickle of water. From now on, our loop route will be impassable until the creek bed changes.
My Boy and I riding towards the sun.

Horses and riders taking a break. Even though she's a senior in high school, Jessica was not texting her friends as it appears in this photo, but adjusting her camera. She has an interest in photography.

Jessica takes a self-portrait with Fritzy, her mountain mare for the day!

After water, rest, potty breaks and power bars, we mounted back up to finish the ride.

There were the beginnings of Autumn all around us. The purple thistle blooms that once dotted the brushy logged meadows were now white puffs.

I could not capture it eloquently on film, but as the breeze blew, it sailed the white puffs of thistle seeds listlessly through the air. They floated through the late afternoon sunlight, giving the field a magical aura. If you look closely, you can see a few of the puffs floating.....

My Boy cocks an ear towards a maple tree, as if to say, "Look at it's leaves turning red, Pony Girl!"

The colorful fall leaves are my favorite, and I was happy to see sprinklings of them already.

Of course, I had to have my picture taken next to the tree. I think My Boy's rich rusty color compliments it nicely. The blue bowling ball helmet, not so much!

As we meander down the road to home, another seen and heard sign of a late summer day are the grasshoppers clicking and bouncing through the dry knee-high grass.

There is nothing better than enjoying the changing of the seasons on horseback. It is one of the reasons I love to trail ride. I know it sounds crazy, but I can't wait for the fall crispness to set in, and to bundle in my down jacket and chinks and set out on a ride where you can smell the taint of wood stove smoke on the air.

What Pony Girl? We're done? Time to go home?

Yes, My Boy, it's time to go home. Time for dinner. Good night, sweet stinker!


  1. On your poll...
    A lot of photos
    Common lifestyle and interests
    Different lifestyle and interests
    Blog layout and design
    Frequent posts

    Um, all of the above!

    Glad you got a nice ride in this warm weather!!!

  2. Hi!! I'm posting again, just by the way. That was quite a bit of mud, but a lot safer than the water. My Boy does look good against that red!!

  3. Gorgeous - what a lovely place (and day) for a trail ride. I'm so glad you were feeling better & up for it.

    I really miss the color out here - MI where I grew up had FALL in capital letters & all its glorious color. SD is more muted shades of gold & harvest yellow. A bit of crimson down low in the sumac, but that's about it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. As to the poll (it would only let me pick one!). I enjoy:
    good writing
    lots of photos
    common lifestyle and interests
    frequent posts

    Wow PG, you fit all of that!!

    Sounds like a gorgeous day for a ride. I love fall too, the crispness to the air, the lack of pesky bugs, the colours changing.

  5. Both fall and spring are my favorite seasons, because there is so much change that takes place.

    Does My Boy try to eat the Maple leaves? They are Bo's favorite thing to try and snag out on the!!

    I was going to ask you how the creek got so high this time of year, and then you explained it :) Our rivers and creeks are really low right now...and crawling with salmon.

  6. What a great day! And no mishaps, besides the overflowing creeks.
    Those are the trail rides that become fond memories. :)

    Laughing Orca Ranch
    New Mexico

  7. Lisa~ My Boy tries to eat pretty much everything on the trail...but luckily not the maples. Red Maple leaves are toxic to horses! We also have regular "green maples" on the Painted Creek property (not in the pasture) I think those might be okay but I still don't let him eat them! I'm an overprotective horse mother.

  8. Ok how tall are you cuz My boy looks huge in the picture with you reacing for your flask. LOL!! Just kidding!Seriously he looks bigger than normal in that particular picture! Great photos! So green! I am happy to hear yu were well enough to ride! And did not tip with your cement head!

  9. Ha Ha TW, my favorite crashed mode of transportation! ;)
    I was reaching for my water....but what is wrong with me, a flask is a delightful idea, hee hee!
    My Boy does look mighty tall there...I tell ya, he's 15.2, I barely grace 5'3", on a good day, with, I do look like a small fry next to him. I will have to get some better pics that show our true heights (or in my case, lack of it!)

  10. PG-
    I was referring to the regular "green" maple leaves, not the red!!! They are not toxic, and Shadest used to actually rear up in his pasture, and pull down the branches to eat them.

  11. Don't you love it when they play that hard-to-get game? It's not as if they don't know you're not going to give up and catch them eventually. I guess they just feel like sometimes ya gotta earn it.

  12. I too love riding in the fall. I think it is my favorite time of all to ride. The crispness, the smells, NO FLIES! My babies have been fighting too many horseflies this year. Is it that way everywhere?

  13. Your new blog colors are a lovely complement to the season!

  14. What an awesome, tranquil day. Thanks for taking me with you. Although I ride once a week, they're lessons and I would dearly love to go on a trail ride a bit more often where horse and rider can just enjoy the scenery and each other's company and not be 'working' the whole time.

    Glad to hear you're feeling better.

  15. What a great day! Your story brought back wonderful memories of my young trail riding days. Love your meadow photos and descriptions, too! I felt like I was there! :)

  16. Hey PG! From that picture, it looks like your sister got a spotted horse after all :-)

  17. Looks like a lovely ride! I love this time of year for riding.

    I wanted to choose multiples on your poll too. I chose "frequent posts." For me to come back frequently though it has to have lots of photos and either be horse related or really funny. I think I only read one blog that isn't horse related, and she cracks me up and has bizarre kids, which I can relate to.

  18. That looks like a really fun ride! I can't believe that fall is coming already. Where did the summer go? I wish we had trail rides like that around here.

  19. Cool ride and I appreciate you taking me with you!
    Makes me want to ride more often.
    I need to have my son make me the step I need to be able to get on my horses when hubby isn't there to shove me up into the saddle.. LOL

  20. I LOVE watching other folks' trail rides! Thanks for sharing! It'll be November before we really get any cooler riding weather. All the horses and riders look great...(even with blue bowling ball helmets) ;) I switched from a shiny blue one to a dull brown one.


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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