Monday, March 4, 2013

Three Robins and a Chipmunk

~Susan and Ah-D in Maine~
I was late getting out of church on Sunday because we had a Bible-thumping Southern Baptist guest preacher who preaches longer (and louder) than our northern free Baptist pastor (not complaining, sometimes it's a good thing to experience something different and I even asked him to lay his hands on me - so, halleluiah to this northern girl!), and my riding buddy Kate was at the barn door with Jax before I was even saddled up.  Ah-D was very happy to see Jax at his door, and even tried to walk outside when Jax meandered around the corner to say hello to Allie.  Ah-D didn't want to be out of his sight.
Since Kate was already at my house,  we were no longer meeting on the way to Sanatorium Hill, and because Kate and I are pretty agreeable and had no set expectations of where to ride, Jax chose the way.  We started out towards our original destination, but then Jax turned right off onto Back Street, and we let him.  It was comical.  Ah-D was agreeable to anything Jax wanted to do, too, so we were a happy bunch.

When we got to the big field with the beautiful views, Jax decided we were going to walk around the field, and even strode right over a pretty big snow bank to get there! So, we did get a beautiful view after all, just not the one we had originally planned. 
I took their picture by the big rock.  If I wasn't looking at the rock, the expanse of snow was so white I had to squint to see anything and felt kind of dizzy, which is called snow blindness for those of you who have never experienced it.  It's the same kind of feeling you get when you are in the surf of the ocean.  You can't get your bearings and figure out which way is which. I was glad Ah-D didn't seem to be experiencing snow blindness.
A big expanse of snow

Whew, out of the drifted snow!
We were kind of surprised that the snow in the field was not as deep as we thought it would be.  Guess the wind sweeps right through there.  I mentioned to Kate that we could get to The Secret Garden from the big field and she was game, so the people took over deciding where to go.  Big mistake.  Both people were numbing it!! (and hubby Dana was only too quick to point that out later)  As we headed down over the hill towards the edge of the woods and the Secret Garden, we found out where all the snow went.  All of the sudden, Jax was up to his chest in snow and headed downhill to boot.  He was struggling but calm, and Kate was upset because she thought Jax might break a leg.  I encouraged her to just try to turn him around and not dismount and get swallowed up in all that snow, but it was too much for Jax.  So, she got off and luckily had reins that were just clipped onto the bit.  I suggested she unclip one side and use the long rein for a lead rope so she could stay out of Jax's way while he careened uphill behind her out of that heavy, deep snow.  Whew!  All's well that ends well.  We stuck to Back Street after that, and then we saw our two signs of spring!

Contented horses and riders
As we passed a house, we saw a little striped brown and white head peeking out of the middle of a snowdrift on the front lawn.  Wow, was that chipmunk ever cute!  His head popped in and out several times.  He was checking us out the same as we were checking him out.  Apparently, he didn't think we were as adorable as we thought he was, and the head disappeared into the hole in the snow for good. Shortly after that, I spied a flash of red in a tree...could it be?  We investigated, and sure enough, three robins flew off into the woods!  Spring WILL be here.  There will be a lot more signs by the end of this month.
Not a speck of ice to be seen

There was no ice on the road, and in fact there were puddles.  Ah-D took a drink out of one of them.  We saw many places where deer had crossed the road. Ah-D spied a suspicious snow bank covered in sand and stood stock still checking it out.  A mile or so later, Jax was frightened of a mailbox and Ah-D decided that if Jax was frightened, then so was he.   We also spied a horse-eating popsicle wrapper that got Jax into a tizzy.  Other than all of those extremely remarkable and potentially dangerous objects, we made it all the way to the end of Back Street and back safely and in one piece.

Jax is clearly the boss horse over Ah-D and likes being out front, while Ah-D is very content to walk three steps behind Jax like some Oriental woman from a century ago.  It is nice to ride side by side though because it makes talking easier, so I had to continually urge Ah-D to stay abreast of Jax.  Jax would have none of it, though.  Here is evidence. 
"Don't you even THINK of walking ahead of me!"

Still, my wishes trump Jax's, so I made Ah-D do it anyway, and Kate kept Jax from nipping Ah-D.  All this horse talk didn't bother Kate and I one whit.  We were riding!!!!  Need I say more?

It was so nice to be out in the fresh air on the back of my Curly.  Once in a while we would catch a glimpse of sun, but it was a tease.  There was a chilly, damp breeze blowing, and I was glad that I had donned an additional vest before I left the house.  My toes were cold, but there was the scent of horse sweat in the air surrounding us, so the breeze was good for our horses with their thick winter coats.

 I was completely content with this late winter ride and not wishing it away wishing for spring (mud and black fly swarms) or summer (sweltering heat and deer fly swarms) riding. I am so thankful that I live in a place where I can get out year round to ride, and I am especially thankful that I have such a wonderful Curly partner like Ah-D  and a friend like Kate with whom to enjoy winter riding. :)


  1. I love how you describe Winter time Susan :) Beautiful pictures, I love Ah-D :)

  2. I just love his winter curls!! I want to bury my hand in them and just play!! What a great ride!

  3. Your ride was very comforting! Jax being swalloed by the snow is exactly what happened to a friend of mine and her husband a few weeks ago here. His horse all of a sudden fell through right up to his chest and they had a hard time getting him out! They decided winter riding would have to be on hold for awhile there after that.

  4. Boy Susan you have all the fun and I must correct you the woman still follows behind the man to show respect for the head of the house hold,,llllll I really do like your pictures and as always and very nice well spoke story... Have a great day and break in you saddle before summer

  5. I haven't seen any chipmunks yet, but I have seen lots of Robins! We have several Bald Eagles who spent the winter in this area and I saw them several times when I rode all the way down to where I could see Little Cobbossee. They were often down there on the ice!! Haven't been able to ride now for a while, but the hip replacement is on 03/18! And Dr. says I only have to not ride for 6 weeks!! YAY!! In May, Dream and I will get together with you guys to ride!!

    1. It's a date, Laurie. I'm writing it down on my calendar. ;)


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