Friday, May 29, 2020
I’m back in the saddle!
Took both horses, donkey Pimmy, and the four dogs, off to horse trails at the Tumalo Reservoir, one of my favorite places where there’s a meandering natural spring to water horses and dogs. To my surprise the trailhead was closed. I looked for signs of recent horse traffic but the parking area was clean, and so, we left.
I didn’t want to come home without first riding and so headed toward a different Tumalo area, to find a BLM I’ve ridden in and know exists. Getting there wasn’t easy as anticipated. We came across a gravel road that seemed familiar and might have taken us there, but had a dead end. I feared taking a chance and maybe winding up someplace too small to turn around.
By now, irritated and tired, my best options were trails on the city’s other side. Maybe it would have been best to forget the outing and go home. In that warm afternoon, horses and dogs were hot in the rig, tired of riding, so time to quit. Somehow, I couldn’t and drove straight past our place, heading for Horse Butte.
I’ve avoided for years riding horseback at the Butte. Word long has been out among horseback riders that many bicyclists routinely are taking over the Butte’s established horse trails. Central Oregon has many bikers. They’ve found “bicycle heaven” on our horse trails in beautiful areas. Always on trails, horses are supposed to have the right-of-way. Many cyclists are polite about this, and others just pop-up, in front of or behind a horse, going full-tilt and frightening an animal. It’s dangerous-scary for a horse-rider. When confronted, cyclists often don’t care, considering themselves as extreme athletes, loving to pedal at highest-speeds over complex terrains.
I digress, sorry, but bicyclists are increasing. They’re narrowing a horseback rider’s safe-trail choices. Anyway, in yesterday’s late afternoon, the Butte had not another soul in sight. I unloaded, tacked-up, and our little group started off. I was on Sunni and ponying Rosie, Pimmy followed loosely, and all the dogs were in absolute heaven.
Later at home, I dozed before the television with every dog laying around, asleep and quiet. Those are my favorite moments with them. I relish extreme peace and quiet after they’ve been let loose to run long and hard. They do crave action, extreme athletes.
Dear Friends: With summer here, we’ll find still-safe local horseback riding trails. Diana