Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Wild Horses

I don't have much news on the Artemis front.  My brother took a friend out to ride the other day and they had the saddles way too tight.  Both Socks and Jimmy have saddle sores now in their cinch area and are on vacation until they're healed.  Artemis is getting lessons in manners again, she tends to forget sometimes.  So this post isn't actually about them, it's about a ride I took nearly a year before Artemis was born.  I was looking for pictures of Pawnee and came across these pictures.  It was the last time we took Socks out in the trailer before she came down.  This will be a long post, mostly because of all the pictures.  The picture format kind of got messed up at the end but oh well.

My dad and I went, on Sadie and Socks.  We went to a lake that's about an hour's drive from where he lives.  We stopped and saddled up the horses, taking our time and letting them relax after the trailer drive.  Once saddled we took our time riding the little looped quard trails around the truck.  Socks and Sadie were both in a great mood.  It was stormy in the distance and we hoped that it would miss us.  We soon rode down the road to a trail we'd passed on the drive that went up into the hills.  The area was well-known for wild horses and there was signs of them everywhere.  We were hoping to see them and thought that by getting up high we'd have a better chance of seeing where they might be.  The trail was nice and wide, obviously well used by quads.  I didn't mind; it meant the trail would be clear for several kilometres. 

We came to a split in the trail, one continued on straight and one cut up into the trees.  It was obviously a little detour for the more adventureous quaders who wanted a bit of a rougher trail.  It would soon end up back at the main trail so we split up.  We decided that if we didn't meet up in twenty minutes, we'd return to the fork in the trail.  I took the dog and continued on the main trail while my dad took the detour.  My trail continued uphill at a steady rate, and the left side of the trail broke off into a steep hill.  We saw several deer and at one point Socks was nervous about something down the hill but Si didn't find it interesting.  We came to the top and the trail stretched on for miles and miles.

At this point I decided to turn around.  I couldn't see my dad anywhere on the trail ahead and it would take at least ten minutes to get back to the fork.  Socks was feeling good so we had a gallop down the trail with Si racing ahead of us.  We got to the fork just as my dad was coming back down his trail.  His trail had continued higher up as well, but there had been several logs fallen across the trail that made it too difficult for him and Sadie to continue over.  We decided to head back down the road and find another trail.  We hadn't travelled long before my dad spotted two black dots in a distance meadow: horses.  We were hoping for a better view of them so we decided to try and find a trail up to where they were.  We ended up on several looped trails and it was steadily growing colder.  I didn't think we'd be lucky enough to avoid the rain or see the horse.

We came to a trail that led up to the main road and followed it, hoping to hook onto another trail from there.  We'd just come out of the trees, and right across the road from us was a herd of 11 mustangs.  They didn't notice us at first and were content to continue grazing happily.  Socks and Sadie were immediatly interesting in them but didn't utter a noise as we came closer.  Finally, the sorrel mare in the far right of the picture lifted her head and noticed us.  She gave a warning snort and ran back to the rest of the herd.  A couple of last year's foals were lying down and their mothers quickly got on their feet and they formed a tight circle to watch us.

The stallion, a beautiful bay with a thick blaze, was unsure about us.  He was interested and ventured a few steps close before returning to the herd to protect them.  Getting excited, Socks swung her head around and the herd took off.  Caught up in the excitement, Socks and Sadie thundered after them.  We didn't get anywhere near them before they disappeared into the trees.   Soon the crashing faded and the forest was silent again.  We tried to follow but the forest became too thick and we turned around.  Happy with our encounter, we picked the next trail and ended up doing one very large loop.   We were near the rode again when we came to a big pipeline.  The horses were there again.
Once again the horses' were on the alert.  The mares and foals huddled together while the stallion pranced in front, watching us and snorting.  Socks and Sadie were content to hang back and watch, not wanting to venture too close to the stallion.  Finally my dad urged Sadie on and the wild ones took off.  We followed behind slowly and came out to the road again.  The horses were now grazing in the meadow across the road.  Once again they looked up at us but we decided to leave them alone. 
The storm was right behind the horses but we weren't ready to finish our ride yet.  We continued down a newly-made road, hoping to get further west than the storm.  The ponies were happy to continue down on the flat road without having to pick their way across logs.  The machinary lined up along the beginning of the road didn't bother them.  Halfway down the road it began to pour so we turned around.  The ponies didn't seem to mind the rain, it was almost refreshing after the long ride.  They're eager to go back to the trailer now and fight to trot down the road. 
We come back out to the road and the wild ones are still there.  It hasn't rained here yet so we take the oppertunity to give our horses a run.  Socks begins and the mustangs soon follow suit out in the field.  The stallion begins snorting and neighing as his mares run.  They stopped as they reached the rode and resume grazing.  We took the trail leading up to the truck, leaving them for the last time.  The ponies were beginning to slow down, tired from our long day.  They are happy when we reach the truck.  We stripped their gear off and gave them a good feeding of sweetfeed.  We let them graze for a while and I brush off both of them.  Socks enjoyed it more than Sadie who just wanted to eat in peace.


Wolfie said...

How exciting! Encountering wild horses....I am so jealous!!! Sad about the clear cutting, though. :-( Thanks for taking me on your adventure!

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous ride! Love the photo's