January 25, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Weekends I normally go trailriding. It's a nice change from the dressage work both for Fame and me. As it has been snowing for two days, the trees were heavy with snow.
It was really beautiful.
I like the winter, well at least most of the time. I suppose it's a bit of "if you can't beat them, join them". Enjoy the pleasures that it gives, and try to bear the days with foul weather without getting foul tempered.
There's just one disadvantage with the beautiful trees:
They get in your way.
So you have to hang over the neck of your horse, or try to walk around, which isn't too easy at all times.
Problem is, when you're hanging there over your horse, the entire tree releases its burden straight over you and the horse. Into your neck, on to the saddle.
I always ride with a false sheepskin over my saddle in the wintertime, to keep the bum warm.
It's just that the sheepskin and the snow are very good friends. I try to get rid of the snow, but it really sticks in there. The result is of course that my bum that should stay warm and cosy get all wet.

The snow muffles all the sounds, and in a way makes you feel like in a time vacuum. It's as if the time stands still. I wonder if this feeling is a result of being drenched in sounds when we are awake? Think about it. It's seldom that you don't hear any sounds at all.

Another nice thing with the snow is that you can see all the animal activity going on, or at least traces of it. I found something interesting today: At first I thought it was just snow that had fallen down from the trees. But it continued, and was interspaced with smaller footprints. I suppose it must be a weasel of some sort.
And then there are the moose.

As we live in an area with mountains, they gather down in the valley when the snow gets too deep further up. And that's where we ride. Today we saw four.
Normally they get out of your way, but you can't count on it. Many times they are a bit too curious of the horses.
The first two were some 35 m in front of us, and started off over a field when they heard us coming.
The next encounter was just some 15 m ahead.
The path where we were riding ends in a small road leading to a parking place for people who are going out skiing. As Norwegians are pretty crazy about skiing, and as it was a Sunday with much snow, it was kinda busy down there.
So the moose had four options:
1) to go straight ahead ending down on the road
2) going right, but there was a steep some 10 m ahead
3) going left, where a thicket separated the path from a field and
4) to turn back in our direction.
He started off to the right, but soon realised this was not a good solution, turned back to the path and stopped. Looked at us. Think, think.
Luckily he chose option no 3.
The last moose lay under some trees to the side of the path. Took a picture with my mobile phone, but it's not easy too see. If you look close you can see the head and ears in the middle of the picture.
I'm fascinated with them. Of their ugly-beautifulness. The fluidity in their movements. How they get going in all kinds of terrain. They can jump over 2 m. Quite impressive, huh?


Anonymous said...


Wow that is a fabulous photo and spectacular trails. We have moose too here in alberta.. Although we seldom have such uneventful encounters with them. Our horses are scared of them...or maybe we are scared of them and our horses sense it. Usually ends in someone bolting, horseless rider appearing at the barn...etc.

I think you mixed me up with Daun..she is a much better rider, and Brego is much farther along in his training/adventures than Me and Molasses (dark,slow and but very sweet).

HorseOfCourse said...

Hi Alberta! Sorry to mix you up. So there are two of you riding Percherons? How cool!
Do you have a blog of your own? Please send a link if you have.

Anonymous said...

hi again,

Yup, at least two of us riding Percherons. I would not have thought of it either....but, she is just perfect for me, since I love riding trails too.

No blog. No computer skills although I spend all day in front of the damn thing. Can't even figure out how to give myself a name.
Alberta works for me.