I was going to wait to write this, but I was itching to post about something a little on the lighter side, some good news. Afterall ; it's been like living on pins and needles here these days....
While JB recovers, there is another little horse that needs my time and even through all of this over the last several weeks, I have managed to continue to ride Maggie. Every Saturday and Sunday, I have been taking her on 2-3 hour rides. We have managed to make some great strides in the last few weeks together.
We have passed through knee deep snow, waded in deep water, chased mountain bikers (only the rude ones!) and even crossed paths with a black bear. We have passed hikers, marked trail for a poker ride and even managed to keep our wits about us when another horse blew up in front of us.
Yesterday, we rode up into new country. A trail called Wild Bill trail ( how appropriate..)was the intended location. We climbed to about 5000 feet in elevation, taking various trails only to find outselves hitting dead ends. For the first hour and a half, we were lost for 80% of the time but having fun nonetheless. Pretty soon, the snow starting to come down which then turned to hail, which proceeded to come down very hard and fast. The visability was horrible and I could barely make out Maggie's ear's. I wasn't too concerned as I knew it was a passing squall but it was certainly taking it's time to pass. We rode along, (still happy since we were riding !) wet and covered in ice pellets , several of which had made their way down my back by now when finally, we discovered the trail we had just spent the last 2 hours looking for. YIPPEE!! In the midst of all this excitement, we turned a corner, only to find a large bull moose standing right in front of us. RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME SINCE I WAS IN THE LEAD! (thus the reason for being lost most likely) He couldn't have been more than 20 yards away. With the snow and wind, he must not have heard us (my friend and I weren't exactly being quiet either complaining about the snow storm we were in) but there he was, in all his glory,standing taller than what a 16.2 hand horse would be. Maggie, as surprised as I was, just stood and stared. There wasn't an ounce of fear in her. Luckily, the moose decided two of us was more than he really wanted to deal with and dashed off through the woods. Phew......We turned back and headed the way we came , partly because he headed in the direction we needed to go and partly because in order to continue down our newly discovered trail , we were going to have to cross chest high water. We decided to loop back (we were scouting new trails and doing alot of back tracking) and found another trail , only to find ourselves back in the same place we had just left... and wouldn't you know it, there was Mr Moose again !! This time he was a bit futher off thankfully. Maggie seemed fascinated by him. I was just counting my blessings that it was a bull and not a protective a cow with her new calf. We would have been in more trouble if it were. We turned back around for the last time of the day and headed back to the trailer, about 4 miles down a forest service road.
So, Maggie has picked up where JB left off and we are logging a few LSD miles with good success. She has even taken to drinking out of puddles along the way as she sees fit. She takes good care of herself. I really like that about her. She's unsure about alot of things at this point, but for less than a year's worth of riding, I think she is doing quite well. Confidence will come in time.
More wet saddle blankets... please.