Sunday, January 30, 2011

Deep Snow makes Tough Trails !

Here's our Saturday ride from my perspective :)
I always snap this photo as we trot down the hill toward the Apple Tree Farm. Mount Ascutney in the distance -- I have plans to ride up that in the future and snap a view pointing this way :) Now I said to Zoe -- if the fellow who lives here would cut down that pine and maybe the two maples I'd have a much better photograph.

As Zoe mentioned in her post- when we headed out - we had one destination in mind - but that course was modified along the way. And besides - it's good to keep our mounts on their toes with differing routes.
We trot past Hidden Valley pond - which looks like a vast expanse of snow now. Someone or something was out on the ice searching.

This is a banner year for icicles because of the extreme weather we've been experiencing. You can tell that this little house on the corner does not have much for attic insulation-- all the snow has melted off their roof.  We've had such cold weather here in Vermont lately -- the roofs are quite deep with snow which has not slid off yet... we are waiting for a thaw and a big slide.

Mineral Springs just ahead... love this stretch of road here with great views. I usually see the kingfisher at the beaver pond - and sometimes a heron or two.

Keri gets bonked in the head with Zoe's crop quite often during our rides.. she's used to it.

There's a nice trail which winds around the back of this pond which we have not been on in a awhile -- we make a mental note for the next trip.

No sun today -- it is not as cold as it looks though.. a bit of a January thaw -- which means it is no longer below zero.

As we amble down this dirt road - we see evidence that the "stroller lady" has been out today

I applaud this young woman for getting out with her kids and dogs no matter the weather -- but as I suggested to Zoe - perhaps we should get her number and call ahead.. if she's on the road we'll take another route !  The stroller is a double decker of sorts -- two children.. two dogs lunging on leashes and very squeaky wheels.  First time Keri saw this obstacle - her eyes bugged right out of her head - and she's seen a lot in her days.  :)  

And what is a blog post without my canter video ?  heading up what we have always called Mile Long Hill (it is exactly a mile)  Zoe and Elektra cheat a bit -- as they pass us and stick that crop out as a barrier. Well at least she does not bump me into a ditch the way naughty Teasel does. :)  We head to Heidi's house - one of the reasons for taking this route.

 Denise knows I have no problems walking my horse up to a person's front door -- but I was not sure if the deck would hold me and Keri - so Zoe dismounts and raps the door with the butt of her crop.

just waiting for someone to answer the knock.

I hand Heidi the camera to get a shot of me and Zoe and our lovely mounts.

Now soon you will see how those elegant legs of Elektra's are going to be quite handy --

Headed onto trail.  Elektra has to perform her customary poke first to be sure.

Here's Zoe taking a photo of me taking a photo of her.

Elektra is still wondering where the road went.

Right here, in the warmer months -- there is a huge puddle... this is where Fiona did her first big puddle walk for last year's mini contest.  Cold enough so we don't even break ice today.

The snowy forest is beautiful and quiet... made me think of Robert Frost

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

 it wasn't long that we all were questioning the wisdom of trail riding in this deep snow... wow -- we tried trotting.. too tiring.  Elektra is having an easier time of it - here is where the legs come into play - she travels like a graceful tango ---- while Keri trudges along with whatever the opposite of that would be - an awkward cha-cha ?   Somedays it stinks to be short.

But -- trudge along girls as Frost says-- 

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 

Carving on the tree -- Mountain Man .. can't seem to get the zoom on my camera to work -- it's tired too.

This is what it looks like in the summer .. wonder who left this memento 21 years ago ?

I keep re-assuring Keri we are almost there !

As we clump and waddle and galumph along .. we notice in these woods skillions of bunny tracks this way and that -- what the heck do rabbits eat with this much snow cover ?  it was like the Rabbit Convention in here along this trail -- we saw plenty of spots where they had evidently dug down for grass and other goodies.

Once we reach the copse of pines - I tell Keri.. almost there girl !

I love this spot.... even better today :)  another half mile and we are out on the road.. it's just about dark - as Zoe snaps a photo of the sun setting.

By the time the horses are put away - I am stuck doing my chores in the dark of the night.. what a great adventure though.  as usual I am totally refreshed :)

Enjoy ~


  1. Great pictures, it looks just like here in Norway, with all the snow and trees and everything! lookd like a fun ride, and lovely horses :)

  2. Nice to see this ride from your perspective. Great pictures and video! I like the carving in the tree too! It's nice to see these kind of things on your ride!

  3. You two are amazing and make me ashamed of being such a whimp!
    Tthanks for sharing and being so adventuresome! I shall borrow some of your "go gettum's" one of these days! LOL
    ellen cheyenne, wy

  4. listen Ellen -- no shame girl.. just enjoy what you do and that's enough :)

  5. Another fun report, thanks for sharing!

    I meant to mention that my partner's NSH is from Alberta, where he evidently learned to walk well in VERY deep snow. I have never seen a horse do this, but he sits right back on his haunches and lifts his legs from the shoulder and sort of slides his front feet forward through the snow, barely bending his knees at all. In this way he sort of glides through the snow and it is seems to be much less tiring for him! Smart horse, I wish I could teach my horses to do this, but we rarely get that much snow here!
    Shelly in Summerland

  6. Oh such a beautiful report. And SO MUCH FUN! I simply love that cross country riding, I envy you! Great day, thanks for sharing it with us!

  7. Besty, you always have such fun, adventurous and interesting posts! I especially like the snowbank picture.


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