Thursday, February 5, 2009
Fall is about my favorite time of year. I'm pretty sure that the horses prefer it to the other seasons. After the first freeze, the mosquitoes and horse files are gone. Dottie and Little Guy get real energetic in the cool weather, and they have plenty of late grass to munch. Dangerous, Utah, and Fremont are always pointing out a favorite yellow stand of aspens. If we are lucky, the river birch will be red along the creek banks we ride. Dangerous thinks I don't see the colors around me, but like most things, he's wrong. I do enjoy wading in the half frozen creeks, and I especially enjoy the trail snacks deer and elk leave behind. The cold weather makes them real tasty. Supposedly, dogs don't see colors that come with the changing seasons. But, you have to remember I'm not like other dogs. While I didn't go to college, I have a highly developed aesthetic sense that lets me enjoy a fresh, fall ride as much as anyone.
Wherever you go in the back country, you will find a "Pleasant Creek." We have one ten miles from the Home Place, and we ride the trail often. Usually, four or five time a year. Since Dottie still remembers her dry, St. George youth, Dangerous likes to start her on the Pleasant Creek Trail. She gets to cross clear, flat water without taking a fit and unloading him in a black, muddy pool. We work up to that later in the riding season.
We have to share the first three miles with ATVs. Fortunately, we ride during the week, and try to stay home during holidays and hunting season when they are out in force. Once we leave the road behind, we have the place pretty much to ourselves. Sometimes we have to share with cattle, but I have learned to leave them alone. I only wish Blue wasn't so interested in refining his herding skills, but he is learning too. It was on this trail where Dangerous introduced Dottie to cows. Since she is an uptown Walking Horse, she didn't know what to think the first time she rode through a herd. Fortunately, Dangerous kept his seat and didn't end up on the ground.
The three mile ride up the road is worth the effort because it is the gateway to some special places. The trail branches in a number of directions. One leads steeply to the top of the world. We follow it occasionally, but have to blind fold Fremont Bob. He gets a bit squeamish when viewing the earth below him from 10,000 feet while sitting a horse or mule.
When we don't have all day, we take the branch where the pictures were taken. In the fall, the colors are spectacular, and we can hear elk bugling all around us. In the past, there was a dead one in a pond that Dangerous kept a close eye on. He didn't think it was going to come back to life, but he wasn't sure I wouldn't take a lovely roll in the decaying carcass. When I do that, he won't let me ride up front on the way home.
Well, that's all for now. I have to get back outside and patrol the fence line. I thought I heard the mailman coming, or even better it might be the UPS driver. Let me hear from you!