Sunday, February 3, 2013

Celebrating Groundhog Day on a Horse...

TRIPP:  "I am sure of it...if Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, could spend the day doing anything he wanted, he would spend it on a horse away from all the cameras and silly questions like "Did he see his shadow?"  It is winter so who cares if he saw his shadow?  Doesn't the time all calculate the same?  Just sayin'..."


Tripp seemed a little touchy today so we took it easy.  He was just as curious about everything as he always is, and enthusiastic, but he seemed a little foot sore.  I kinda left it up to him.  When we hit a cross trail, if he wanted to head back to the truck, I decided I was going to let him.  But he didn' fact, at the end of the ride when I did the first loop again, he tried going that way a third time.  But it was time to head back...he already did great and was a trooper!  We did try to ride on the leafy surface as much as possible, but other times he scooted himself right up on the trail.  Going slow gave us both more time to see the scenery around us, and to find new things.  Next time I am going to find things that look like shapes, like animals or people.  :-)  That should be fun!

Anyways, Tripp has done very well with the small water crossings, but this one was frozen completely over where the trail goes across.  I asked him to go across knowing the ice would break but he said "No thank you!"  I asked him several times and he would get right at the edge then stop.  I decided it isn't worth a fight, so I got off and led him back and forth a couple times.  We did not go over the center that was frozen the most...we went to the side that would give to his weight and there was less chance of him sliding.  It was all good.   :-)

I love watching the water flow under the ice, and the bubbling sound is soothing...we stayed down there for a while just looking and listening.  I also got some close up shots of the ice and someone who was not there they are probably bad pictures.  Since I was there, I can hear the beauty...  :-)

What is it with me and the need to take pictures of fungus?  Maybe because I am surprised at how much is growing this time of year and it gives me something else to take a picture of?  I also wonder if it is in soups.  Hmmmmm....

The moss is greener than green too!  It really is very pretty when it is surrounded by all the brown and orange leaves.  Pretty amazing stuff....

This tree is very big and full of a bunch of knotty areas.  I don't know if they are branches that were trimmed a long time ago, then the bark grew around the ends or what they are.  It is very unique and I bet it has a story of it's own to tell...

TRIPP:  "It has bumps.  Do they itch?  Nicker, snort snort!  Hey Girl, I bet you could use them to climb up there.  I promise to stay right here and not move a hair....wink wink!"

A little bit of left over snow in the end of the roots of the cut down tree, along with some moss across the top.  So many people look at winter and think of everything as dead.  There is so much life in every little thing out here!  

I started out on the trails alone.  It was 34 degrees when I left the house, breezy and cloudy.  Not the prettiest day to pick to ride.  I was getting ready to ride the first loop a second time and I heard some talking behind me....there were two gals riding.  Look closely and you can see them over my shoulder.  Tripp was moseying along so they caught up to us pretty quick.

Tripp knew they were there and tried real hard to listen to me when I let him know we didn't have to turn around and STARE!  Ha ha!  He got to turn a couple times, then we would head down the trail again.  He did real good and we went a pretty good ways when I stopped him and turned him around.  He is awesome!  He did not talk to them, and they didn't talk to him.  Me and the gals said our greetings and they went the way I had gone earlier, and we headed to the short loop.


TRIPP:  "Oh how embarrassing!   Okay, I could let her know what her mistake is (Hello!  Holding camera in front of face...oy vey...) or do like Clinton Anderson does and just let the Girl make her mistake.  I hope she does me proud and figures it out."

GIRL:  "Look Tripp!  Let's take a picture of our reflection in the truck window!  How fun is this?"

TRIPP:  "I can't look...people will recognize me.  She is getting better though...slowly but surely.  I stick around because the Girl needs me.  Snort snort!"

GIRL:  "Oh, silly me...that first one did not work so well, but it makes for good blog material!  Hee hee!  Quit hiding, nobody will know that I did what I did the first time."  :-)

Here are some random pictures of the trail....this cross road is where my GPS quit tracking, so it shorted me a minimum of one mile.  When we got to the area where the trail goes back to the parking lot, or continue to go straight to do the first short loop again, he did not hesitate and kept on going.  I rebooted the GPS on the phone and away we went.  We did that loop the opposite way we did it the first time.

 This is the large tree that is across the trail...the one that Tripp thought we could go under, although he denies he ever said that.  :-)

Another frozen creek...

TRIPP:  "Hey Girl, another frozen creek.  Are you going to carry me across?"

GIRL:  "No Tripp, I know you can do it.  This one is not as bad as the other one was.  Trust me..."

TRIPP:  "Hey Girl, why did the mustang cross the creek?  Wink wink!"

GIRL:  "I don't know Tripp, why did the mustang cross the creek?"

TRIPP:  "Snort nicker snort, to get to the other side! SNORT SNORT!!!"

TRIPP:  "See?  This is the other side!"

Whenever we came up to muddy frozen spots, I had Tripp walk through them for practice.  Practice makes better...and better he did!  :-)

Just a neat picture...

There are several burnt stumps through the park, and most of the time they startle Tripp.  I would love to know how he sees them.

Round and round the trail goes...

Okay, I admit it...this photo made the cut because I love Tripp's mane.  :-)
When I brought him home in June 2008, he had an uneven short scrubby mane.  I let it grow out trimming...and this is what he ended up with.  I LOVE IT!

I was picturing what it is going to look like in spring when leaves start budding out on the tree branches that are reaching over the trail...

Tripp snuggling with me....

TRIPP:  "I love you Girl!"

We got a few miles in and I had to call it quits.  Tripp was ready to go another loop at the end but I thought he had done enough.  It was a nice ride...but aren't they all?  :-)
A friend and I talked and we think that maybe he was sore because of the uneven frozen ground.  All the mud around our places and hers is frozen and peaked, and it is a little much for some of the horses.  She has one that is tender footed anyways, but this ground is messing with him.

I was at the parking lot brushing on Tripp when the other two gals showed up.  Come to find out, they are members of the local mounted shooting group!  I thought I recognized them but was not sure until I made it back to the parking lot and saw the brand on her trailer.

Another wonderful day in paradise....

Until later...Karen and Tripp who says he could have gone miles and miles!

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