September 19, 2009

Beautiful autumn ride

Fame and I had a beautiful trail ride today.
It was a sunny, clear day, autumn at its best!
The sky was turquise blue, and it was warm; 19-20 centigrades.

Why don't you join us?

We cross the road and take the path leading into the (ex)forest on the other side.
Just a short distance down the path is blocked.
Great to have a 4x4!
My vehicle was a bit surprised about what was lying in our way as it wasn't there last time we were there.
She agreed with me that it was better to go around than to climb over it.
It was a bit tricky as there were a lot of branches lying around from the trees that had been cut down, but we made it through.
Good girl, Fame!

After riding through a short stretch of forest, we get out in the open for a while with a field of oats on our left, and then into a smaller forest section that stretches down towards the creek.
This is a favourite spot for the moose in winter time.
Lots of bushes to eat, and water nearby. Due to the current the creek often stays open even at winter time.

Coast is clear.
No moose.
The path winds alongside the creek, which is on our right.
Fame is looking out over the field on our right hand side.
One has to be On Watch.
We are to cross the creek where you see the end of the path in the photo below .

As we have had dry and sunny weather lately, the water level is low now.
Easy to cross.
I can feel that Fame wants to wander about some, but today we just ride over.
She can linger on our way home when she is warm instead if she wants to.

Reaching the other side, we continue on the path running there.
We trot a bit first, then canter.
Two pigeons fly up right in front of us, and suddenly we are at a dead stop two metres aside from where we were a split second ago.
Let's just say I am happy I did not ride bareback today!

After another 10-15 minutes ride, we come to our "destination".
If you look at the picture of our "new view" in the post below from yesterday, you can see a large mountain in the right side of the picture.
The road where we are to ride today winds up on the side of that mountain.
It is a lovely ride as you ride in the sunshine and get a marvellous view over the valley as you climb.
And it is super fitness work for the horses too!
So, here we go! A trot?

Unfortunately the picture below is not sharp (might have something to do with an impatient horse) but the bright red rowan berries were such a beautiful contrast to the dark green of the spruce.

Are you ready for a canter?
It does look inviting, doesn't it?

Climbing upwards, the slope at the side down towards the valley gets quite steep.
You don't want your horse to do something stupid.
It's a long way down.

And on the other side there are rocks.
We are looking downwards here, walking for a bit before starting next canter interval.

Climbing upwards, the view is really beautiful.
Unfortunately the trees have grown here too.
If you look at the photo below you might see the same creek as we crossed a while ago within the red circle far, far down below us .
(Sorry, photos from the cellphone are not the best. I could see it clearly in reality though.)

After a while, we stop and turn back.
I jump off Fame, loosen her girth and let her have some grass.
She has done a good job, she is sweat and slightly blowing.

We walk down all the way, with the occasional stop to have some grass.
All the way up the peace was unfortunately disturbed by heavy shooting from a shooting range below.
The hunting season on moose starts soon, and that is the highlight of the year for many.
I suppose we should be grateful that they practise...
Fame behaved very well. After flinching at the first shots, she just ignored the rest.

I just love when the sun filters through the spruce trees.
It gives me a fairytale feeling.

In a mossy hillside, we hear a sound in the fern.
What can it be?
A small animal?

Yes, it was.
An adder.
He was trying to hide as well as he could, and when I got nosy he finds out it was better to leave.

Then the battery in my cell phone went flat, so no more photos unfortunately...
We had an uneventful ride home.
Fame was relaxed but stretching out nicely in the walk.
I love the sense of combined smoothness and strength.
When we got home Fame got her shower and I let her out with her hay.
She was happy, and so was I.
When I got home my hunting husband had returned from the forest too.
He is a very good berries-and-mushrooms hunter.
Look at his catch!

A whole bag full.
We are gonna have a Very Nice Dinner tonight!

Thanks for keeping us company!


trudi said...

Oh I did enjoy our hack, thank you.

Mmm, chanterelles yum.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Such beautiful scenery on your ride and it does look magical with the sunlight shining through the trees. Fame is such a good girl, I'll bet she enjoys the trails too. I did love the creek it looks so crystal clear and refreshing. Glad you had a wonderful ride and thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Lovely trail ride - thanks for taking us along!

RuckusButt said...

I am not sure what I would enjoy more, a ride like that or those mushrooms! Lucky you, you get both!

Irene said...

Så otroligt vackra bilder! Tack!

Once Upon an Equine said...

Thanks for the ride. Beautiful. Your rides are never dull, what with moose and snakes to look out for. Yikes. And soon hunters. When moose hunting begins, do you still ride Fame out in the woods? Do they hunt in your riding area?

Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous ride....and chanterelles are my one of my favorites (but don't grow in Alberta, alas). Not too many folks raised in N. America eat wild mushrooms.

Do you ride out alone?

mugwump said...

I have never had fresh chantrelles, only dried.

jc said...

Wonderful! What's it like meeting a moose? Can't imagine it here in Scotland!

RuckusButt said...

Wow, I never thought I'd feel sorry for you Mugs ;)

HorseOfCourse said...

Thanks for your comments all!

OnceUpon - yes, they hunt in the area where we ride. We usually stay at home for the first main days of the hunt. Depending on how many moose they get the hunt may be extended, they have a certain number they are allowed to take. If the hunt is extended we ride anyway. I usually wear something bright, and might add a bell on the horse to be on the safe side...

Alberta - yes mostly I ride out alone. Well, not alone because I have the company of my horse, which I enjoy very much. I like the stillness when it is just the two of us, it is easier to tune into my horse.
I would however like to have the company of my daughter, but as she has turned 14, riding with Mum is not that cool anymore *sigh*

Mugs - fresh chantarelles are really delicious! Do they grow in your area too?

jc- we ride into moose often. More seldom during summertime, but very often in winter. One thing I like with hacking is that the animals are not that frightened. I often see something when out. Mostly moose but also roe deer (which are very shy), foxes, hares and smaller animals. And birds.
Saw a heron the other day.
It is seldom we return without seeing something.
The moose are most of the time curious but not aggressive. If you meet a cow with calf I stay away, and I am also a bit more weary at wintertime because they are not very keen to leave the path if the snow is deep and heavy.

Fattern said...

No adder. Grass snake.
Le vieux

RuckusButt said...

Horse of Course, I know you would love to ride with your daughter but I think it's really great that she is still riding at her age. I was around that age when I stopped was the worst thing for me! There are so many changes in the early teen years, I think horses are a good grounding force.

Kamee said...

This is one of my many favorites...along with just about every other one, too!