Saturday, September 29, 2020
Yesterday, I finished at work an hour early and rushed home to feed the horses. I was hoping for enough daylight to take them to the forest, to have a ride before dark. We’d be out long as needed to walk only a few miles, so I invited along all the dogs, including my Border Collie, Miles, who for a week has been taking arthritis-easing meds.
While the horses were eating in their stalls, I fed my other critters, prepared dinners for the dogs’ return, and readied the horse trailer. The animals loaded easily and we took off into an approaching dusk. I felt some trepidation about entering the forest on horseback just as dinnertime was beginning for wild animals. But my day’s short working hours offered this rare opportunity for an evening ride.
As hoped for, this outing had enough daylight, the weather was perfect, and our surroundings felt comfortable and non-threatening. The horses traveled on both of the forest trails that we recently had discovered, but this time, we managed to ride on one and at its end connect correctly to the other. The two trails gave our entire ride a “forest experience” by taking us from the trailhead and back with minimal road travel.
In waning light, as we approached my rig, periodically both horses’ heads turned and focused intently toward the west. That’s the direction where our trails lay. From way off, I heard bits of barking, and judging from the horses, the sounds probably were from coyotes beginning to hunt.
Those two trails together go for about three and one-half miles. Walking both takes a horse only about an hour, just right for short outings. Best of all is that lovely environment, riding totally in the forest.
Dear Friends: The dogs loved that outing, and dear Miles did no limping! Diana