seeing green

Green. The color of nature. Among other things, green symbolizes growth, hope, harmony and freshness. It has great healing power, and is the most restful color for the human eye. With the generous rains we've had, we headed north and found an abundance of green to find respite in...

surrounded in green

...we left behind another frenzied start to the work week, and headed north to pick Koda & Nemo up for our first trail ride of the season. Our trainer sent us off with good wishes, as she patted the horses and told Koda to be a good boy. I assured her, he would be. The antics Koda conjured up in previous weeks, had all but disappeared. His training, and our weekly rides, have taken a turn and gone really well. I believe his antics in general are part of his personality, and will likely reappear when least expected. My hope is with consistency, knowledge and confidence, it will be to a much lesser degree - if at all. I am more then happy to say, Koda didn't act up on either of our two trail rides. His behavior was as close to perfect as I've ever seen. He didn't back/shy/refuse in his silly way, not even once!! 

It's hard to describe what a difference it makes to ride a horse that listens. Someone to work through what nature tosses your way. Together, instead of disregarding your safety and his, as partners. This trip was the best both Nemo & Koda have behaved up north.  A sign our boys are growing up.

Koda will likely always need more reminders then the average horse. That doesn't bother me, it's the battles that do. I am so thankful we had none. We experienced quiet rides, and didn't encounter but a couple squirrels. Only two separate ATV's passed us on the multi-use trail. I wasn't sure how Koda would react with the movement coming up behind him. I made sure he saw them, but felt nothing from him. As in years past, both horses took the ATV's in stride.

I didn't take any pictures of our first ride. Not really knowing what to expect from my horse, I left my camera in the cabin to give my full attention to the ride. Amazing how the rain made the familiar paths sooo lush, and different. Fond memories of past rides on horseback, and snowmobile, flooded my thoughts. It was wonderful to be back in the north woods! The fresh smells, the endless paths, the remoteness of it all. One of my favorite places to just be.

We rode up to the "lookout", or maybe that was the "other lookout" we stumbled upon last Fall?? Not much is marked, you can call it what you want. Since us humans were not in agreement, we agreed to just disagree. Doesn't really matter which lookout it was anyways, it was too wet to be rock riding. Needless to say we didn't ride all the way up on top of the cliff, but Koda sure wanted to. He likes rock riding (me too). We headed back towards the ranch, our first ride of the season was a success!

Koda & Nemo stay right outside our cabin, it's one of the things we enjoy most about our trips up north. We truly love having our boys so close by! Enjoying camp fires, many nickers and snuggles, and just being together with our horses. 

We traveled some new trails, on our favored second day of riding. It was fun discovering abandoned cross country ski trails, maneuvering water logged mud slick hills and valleys, and riding over, under and around, many countless trees! No photos of the tricky stuff, just know it was remote, lush, beautiful, and downright fun!!

riding in the pines

giant lush ferns were everywhere

taking a break at an intersection

Even with a month of being ridden at the trainers consistently, our boys who are in decent shape, were tuckered out at the end of both rides. We thought about squeezing one last shorter ride in before heading back home, but returned from breakfast to find both boys laying down in the sand sound asleep. It was time to make the long trip home. 

nicolet 3
entering one of many Y intersections
There is much to be grateful for, spending precious time with those you love, engulfed by peaceful lush greenery and carried away by the soft shuffle of sauntering horses...

Sunday Stills ~ Horses

The best picture of a horse, is that which is felt, between their ears.

between ears
Riding in the Nicolet National Forest
June, 2013