Sunday, November 4, 2018

fall is definitely my favorite

Happy Sunday everyone! Maryland right now is experiencing what I consider basically the most perfect autumn, and I can't help but share.

piebald deer!!! see video below for more!!
Fall is my favorite season for riding. And yet the last couple years have been more than a little disappointing. Remember in 2015 I broke my leg, then in 2016 Charlie was fresh off the track and we really didn't have much rapport built up yet. And last fall, 2017, Charlie was recuperating from his own surgery.

love how there's still so much green!
This year hasn't been exactly ideal either -- Charlie's latest splint injury meant we scratched from our last event of the season. But. BUT! The horse seems hale, hearty, healthy and happy. The leg looks fine. And so, we ride.

pictured: my happy place
As previously mentioned, Charlie is technically back "under saddle" again.... But.... we're taking it pretty easy.

windy day = v alert charlie
Per force of not getting to the barn until near-dusk during the work week, we've only been riding in the dressage ring (or the indoor two nights ago bc of the rain). Mostly at the walk, with a few trot transitions thrown in for shits and giggles.

pops of vibrant color
All I've really wanted to do tho, being totally honest, is hit the trails.

blue skies reflected in the clear stream
Finally: this weekend we got our chance!

so much red in the treeline!
I was supposed to volunteer all day at the event I scratched from, but with the overnight rain storm their parking field became too much of a mud pit. And thus they had to cancel the whole thing.

sayin hi to those hell raising bebehs
It was a shame for entrants but... Eh, I wasn't too sad to get that unexpected free day!

snack attack! also these reins are the best - the perfect length for this brontosaurus! 
And what a day, too: Temps in the mid 60s, strong sunshine, and gusting wind haha.

more colorful bushes! not pictured: all the bluebirds flying around the hedgerow
The wind was definitely up Charlie's butt too haha. You could almost tell he is a thoroughbred who has been off work for two weeks. Which like, let's be real, that's saying something for this big quiet dude haha.

woods are still so green tho!
There was much scooting at first - and a few genuine heart-pounding spooks when a horse or person or ... something ... would appear unexpectedly in the corner of Charlie's vision. And he may or may not have been fairly convinced the wolves were definitely gonna get him.

vernal pools errywhere!
But he held it together pretty well, and was much happier once we got into the relative close quiet of the woods. And the longer we went, the more he relaxed and eased into his big ambling lumbering mosey. Letting him pause for the occasional snack also helped him settle <3

wide open fields!!
While I know Charlie tends to prefer company on the trail (esp if he can just kinda mindlessly fall in line behind another horse), it makes me so so so happy that he's such a rock solid pleasant mount out on the trails by himself too.

just try to tell me those trees aren't freakin glorious
Bc sometimes I really really really like being alone out there. Just me and the horse and the birds and the leaves and whatever. Not having to make small talk. Not having to think about anything. Just enjoying each step along the way.

the rainy season has meant there's still a TON of grass left!
Which, obvi, this time of year, meant reveling in the colorful spectacle that is autumn in Maryland. Everything is so vibrant right now. Sometimes if we have a lot of drought over the summer the leaves will just all go brown and fall off. Or if it's a violently rainy fall, the trees get stripped too early. This season tho has seemed jussssst right. The color is fantastic, even as the grass is still lush and the temperatures are still balmy.

i'll probably never get tired of this view
It was especially cool too bc I ended up somehow losing my trail at one point -- which is a little ridiculous considering I follow the same exact path almost every single time we're out there (what can I say, I'm a creature of habit!). So Charlie and I ended up kinda bushwhacking a little bit.

happy horse heading back out to his friends
I knew which direction we needed to go in, and could see the open field through the trees. We were just taking.... the road less traveled to get there haha. This meant a few extra stream crossings, plus stepping over a few logs.

Which reminded me of Charlie's first ever "real" trail ride at Sweet Air a couple winters ago, and how at first he was totally mind blown at the prospect of stepping over a log or pushing through any shrubberies or undergrowth.

This time, tho, he didn't care at all. Even tho he definitely knows his way around those woods probably better than I do, and definitely knew we were "off course." He just went with it anyway. And when I got totally sidetracked stalking the piebald deer that lives out there too? Yup, just totally went along for it.

such a perfect autumn <3
So ya know. Obvi I'm always eager and excited to do the technically challenging stuff like jumping or schooling dressage.... But right now? During this season?? The trails beckon. And I hope to spend as much time as possible out there!


  1. Agreed - fall is the BEST season! Although here in Vermont, it was very short-lived this year :(

    1. Aw that’s such a shame! We have had a couple dud years lately in terms of color and/or weather conditions but so far this year has been pretty nice!

  2. Agreed! Fall is the best for riding and the trails beckon to be explored. Even the ones I know like the back of my hand.

    1. Definitely. Esp now that the weeknights are so dark we really have limited options for getting out and enjoying it!

  3. I haven't lived ou boarded somewhere with trails in a long time!! I miss it. That looks beautiful. I think it's great bonding too. (I've come to hate that word in regard to horses.. bond. But you know what I mean I hope. )

    1. Agreed 1000%. Trail riding has been hugely important with Charlie for building trust and teaching him how to use his body better. We’ve learned a lot about how to communicate with each other just by nosing around the woods facing whatever random obstacles await.

  4. It’s my favourite too. Glad That you are out and about. I love going on n the woods but that is curtailed until hunting season is over (except for going to My friends place). Finally we have a break in the rain but the wind is still terrible

    1. Luckily these woods are private so I think the only ppl who hunt back there are the family members. All the same tho I’m finding that I really like using the racing reins from that hunter pace costume we made bc we definitely stand out haha

  5. So happy you've been able to enjoy a lovely fall!! There is truly nothing better, right? We've had the most incredible fall as well and while I didn't ride as much as I had hoped, I hiked and ran and did things outside as much as possible.
    That deer is crazy looking! I've never seen anything like it!

    1. Isn’t it wild tho?! We had a similar kind of deer at Isabels barn and the first time I saw it I definitely thought it was a goat that got loose or something haha. But then I googled it and yea it’s a thing. Apparently not all that uncommon either considering here’s another one just a little ways away.

  6. I envy you your trails though with all the people in Tenn shooting all hours of day and night not sure I would use them if I had them here.

    That deer is SO COOL...Glad you are riding again. I love Fall too but DANG if it doesn't stop raining here some day so I can enjoy the Fall! UGH. pouring again today. I finally locked the horses up for a couple hours to let their feet stay out of mud for a few hours and to let them dry off!

    1. Our trails aren’t super duper extensive - I basically just do the same loop every time - but I’m always happy to have them! Hopefully stops raining for you eventually!! It’s got to dry out at some point, right?

  7. Replies
    1. i was stalking it for so long, and then suddenly she just turned around and walked straight toward me haha. v convenient!

  8. Oh that is just beautiful! Our falls DO NOT look like that haha

    1. oh man, fall in maryland is definitely the best -- it might not last very long but i'm going to enjoy while i can!

  9. So pretty, thats where I would be too!

    1. the trails are always a nice place to be, but esp this time of year


    I hit the trails yesterday and it was beyond perfect. It's all I want to do right now lol

  11. I can absolutely see why you would be an autumn person with such beautiful scenery all around you (whereas California is like what cooler but relatively looks the same in the fall.. yet I am right there with you with that autumn love).

  12. So glad you guys are back out and enjoying such a pretty time of year!

  13. Trails? What are trails? Ugh ours are too hilly for Penn while he has healing, and now they're too mucky and hilly for a freshly healed leg to go for a walk.

    Also, piebald deer = awesome
    There's a deer farm somewhere in north eastern PA that breeds deer for color (no hunting), and you can take tours through the farm and meet some of them I think.


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