I headed out earlier than usual to beat what was going to be a hot one. I was riding my 16 year old Morgan gelding “Rocky”, and my friend was on her Quarter Horse mare Belle. Cherie and I decided to repeat the 2.5-hour ride we first rode a few days ago. On that particular day we were forced to go in a new direction due to workers out in the orchards. It was a blessing in disguise as we stumbled upon hundreds of acres of open land, and could see Hensley Lake, five miles away, off in the distance. That was a quiet, beautiful, but uneventful ride.
This time there was more going on in the orchards. As we headed out into the wide open areas, we were stopped in our tracks by a large tractor scraping and spraying the dirt roads out there, clanking loudly all along the way. The tractor passed by in front of us, no problems. Lots of water to go through on the roads from the over flowing driplines and a lot of birds flying out in front of us from the orchards.
During the stretch home we heard activity a couple of rows deep in the trees. There was a large piece of equipment someone had pulled into a pump station, and someone had opened up a waterline, which sprayed out from about ten feet up and came shooting out into our path. Again, piece of cake.
On the stretch headed home, Rocky and I rode in front of my friend and Belle. The orchard was on our right, a creek with
running water to our left, with another orchard on the other side of the creek. The sun was rising, not a cloud in the brilliant blue sky, and a warm breeze had picked up. Out of no where, there was a lot of commotion coming out from one of the trees, the noise competing with the sound of the rippling of the creek and the buzz of the tractors. Rocky stopped to watch in the direction of the ruckus and out popped a DEER running for its life (deers are not part of the normal habitat in this area, we are a little low for that). The adult doe headed opposite where we stood, disappearing into the orchards. Rocky took the scene in stride, watching the frightened deer run towards safety. This was great, given the fact that he didn’t react so calmly last year when a deer hung around my property for about a week. Rocky has been exposed to many different activities and animals, but he wasn’t so keen on a deer being on his property.
Another great ride on a great horse, another one for the books!