Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tis the Season for Riding

Winter and spring are when hiking with dogs rules. But summer is best spent with furry friends who have longer legs. And that you can hitch a ride on. And who sweat more than you.

Summer is for riding.

I am blessed indeed to have two fine riding animals. Peanut my paint pony mare and Danny my dashing dark mule. (Sorry, I couldn't resist all that alliteration.) Actually, I prefer it when Danny isn't dashing but is calm and sensible. Which is just about all the time. He's never dashed off with me on board and long may that continue. Peanut, well, Peanut is just about the perfect pony. My Christmas dream.

I'd sure like it if I could ride all the time, but that doesn't happen so each day of riding becomes a shining memory in the catalog of good times.

Here are some photos of our most recent adventures...

This is on a ride out from Sisters Cow Camp, a place that intrigues me when I think of its history. There's an old loading chute in the horse camp there, left from the days when cattle were allowed to graze in the mountains of Sisters Country. Nowadays, the ranch we manage has the permit for the only grazing allotment left in the Sisters Ranger District. Hazing cattle through this country must have been the highlight of the year.

And Peanut, my faithful cow pony would have been up to the job!

Today my friend Gayle and I went for a scenic ride up Green Ridge, that forested arm that reaches out to the north from Black Butte in the Metolius Basin.

It was like riding in a park, God's park. The sky was clear, the air calm and we could hear chickadees calling as they flitted through the trees. The Santiam Lillies were still bloomimg, butterflies did their butterfliey thing between our horse's ears and the trail just kept on going around the next bend. Until it was blocked by a really large tree that even the dashing Danny couldn't jump over.

Mountain views never get old!

Danny actually spent a lot of today with his head near the ground, snacking as we went.

It was like riding through a quiet country park. With no other people .

Three Fingered Jack

The perfect place to start a new life, complete with a mentor.

Danny managed to find grub no matter where we were.

We still covered 10 miles and got our engines revved for more!