Forest Trails

Marking the trail

Monday, August 31, 2020

Ahead, more perfect morning hours on horseback, to follow yesterday’s lovely ride.

Several evenings ago, the horses, dogs, and I traveled over two obscure forest trails that recently came to our attention. We found where they connected to create a complete horse-trail loop. It’s special beauty is being almost-entirely off-road. It loops through about three- and one-half miles of forest. A horse walking-only may complete the loop in about an hour. For me, it takes a few minutes longer. Often when I’m riding, my donkey Pimmy follows loosely, and slowly. She wears a bell and occasional pauses to listen for her skews my timing.

Yesterday, our friend Anna rode the loop, too, and had with her a spool of pink ribbon. In today’s header photo she’s across Forest Road 200 and moving Rosie into position. They will pause for Anna to tie a ribbon that shows where the trail continues.

The ribbons make it easier to identify trail points, but keeping entirely on track still means following the dogs. Parts of the trails are very faded, easily might guide humans off-course. Experience has taught that my dogs like trails and tend to stay on them. Following the dogs has solved many trail confusions.

Today, I’ll ride the trails with another friend. The more horses travel over them the more defined they’ll become. It happens that my fellow-rider, Cindy, is a carriage-driver. Maybe she can help to solve another problem, about getting a horse-pulled cart or carriage up and over a very rocky and unavoidable hill. It’s a road point that could hinder driving-access to roadways beyond which appear excellent for the purpose.

Dear Friends: Our changing weather is cool and perfect for riding in the forest. Diana

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