same but different

It would be nice to go on trail rides and see different scenery again. I think eventually we will get back to trailering to various parks and enjoying grand new experiences. Exploring is one of my favorite parts of trail riding! Of course if you've traveled to new trail locations, then you know not all new experiences are grand. 

Traveling takes a lot of time and planning.

I have the last version (2007?) of a WI equine trail hard copy book. I marked equine friendly parks I wanted us to ride. We rode some places and many others we have yet to explore. I never would have known about some of the fabulous trails we have ridden in the past without my book. Including the often featured Kickapoo Valley Reserve. My fav local-ish trails away from home. My book is very dated, but still a valuable resource. I wish they still published and updated a WI equine trail book.

In this digital search era, trail locations can be found scattered all over the internet. Yet unique places can be hard to find. Trail updates/conditions are even harder to come by. Facebook trail riding groups only help so much. Who wants to ride an over exposed trail system, with full parking and loud riders at every turn. Not me. I like the trails less traveled. The hidden gems.

This brings me full-circle back to riding our ranch. We don't have the gorgeous mountain views we cherished riding out West, but we do have privacy. 

There is a lot we have yet to experience and enjoy right outside our door.

Koda & Nemo

Our last plan was to repeat the exact ride we did last weekend, with a different horse combo. However, no ride is exactly the same. 

You have to ride the trail you come across today.

Similar to the horse saying that we are all familiar with, ride the horse you have today.


Brad chose to ride Nemo. He was such a good boy, especially since it has been a while. 

After a short outdoor arena warmup, we headed out across a couple smaller fields onto a larger field. One border is open, the other three are the road, neighbors back yard and the area I call "where the wild things are".

Sure enough we spotted a deer in the latter area, and stopped to watch it watch us. Meanwhile a car appeared out of the corner of my eye. Koda startled a bit at the sudden car, not sure about Nemo. They were out of my field of sight. Brad asked if I knew who the car/driver was, because they were waving like crazy. Turns out it was a good non-horsey friend of ours, who had the sense to not honk and just wave.

She tried to call me, I didn’t answer. Then sent me this text shortly after "aww you guys look so cute on your horsey ride". Somehow I doubt that, but I suppose it’s not a common sight. There are a fair amount of horses living in this general area. However, I rarely see people riding. 

We rode on and took a path through the woods by the butterfly garden.

Suddenly a large swarm of deer flies attacked both horses!! Creating panic.

Koda was shaking his head so ferociously his Fabio mane was standing on end at times. It flopped up over and all around. I tried to help swat them away and noticed Brad doing the same with Nemo. Not effective. We got the H.E.double toothpick outta there. Our ride was cut short.

It felt great to just ride back to the barn, and not be stuck on some trail dealing with the undesirable, and then have to trailer a long way home.

Every situation is a lesson in itself.

All is well that ends well.

Very thankful our horses had fly masks on. A person could have tried to outrun the deer flies, but that is not something I want to teach Koda.

Flight when things get a little rough is not a good idea IMO. Depends on the degree of danger. If we ever do take off running to escape something, it needs to be for an extreme reason and my idea/cue.

Our ranch trail rides will eventually become much like my dog walks. 

I am okay with same, but different.


Linda said...

I agree. My rides at our local park are “same but different.” I intend to do a lot of same but different rides there with T this year. It will probably be the only place I take him because, like your place, there’s a lot to explore.

I think what you call deer flies, we call sweat flies. I’ve only encountered them once, and it was when we took our horses to a bed and barn on a ranch. We were riding down an old logging road and they attacked. We ended up loping through them, but the horses were able to stay self-controlled. They weren’t happy though. Not one bit.

I agree about making the lope your decision, too. I rode with a gal who wanted to lope back to the trailer, and did so without consulting the rest of the group. We had to hold our horses back the rest of the trip and it was miserable. I was like, why did she do that?!? Of course her horse want to run back to the trailer. If we’re going to run them, it should be AWAY from the trailer, or not at all. I never rode with her again because I couldn’t trust her judgment and riding is too dangerous already.

I bet you two were a sight for your neighbors! I love to see couples out riding and living the dream!

aurora said...

Deer flies are yellow-ish & medium sized. They buzz your ears loudly and circle your head bomber style. Relentlessly. As far as I know, they can bite repeatedly and repellant doesn't faze them. I saw they are called Sheep flies in some areas. They seem to be congregating on the south west bottom of our property this year. It's an odd weather/bug year for us. They follow the dogs too, but not nearly as many as when they swarmed the horses. I usually pick one up walking that area, on goes my head net. I lose them by ducking under branches. If this happened while on an away trail, we probably would have had to pick up our pace & try to loose them too.

Yea, that is rude & dangerous to not at least share alternative plans when riding in a group. We always ride at the level of the least experienced rider or horse, and never leave anyone behind. It is our Golden Rule.

Val Ewing said...

Deerflies are nasty. I put vick's vapo rub on the ears and that helps a bit. I also stick little young branch from a young maple in their bridles right between the ears. Yeah, they need to get used to that for sure. It is not recommended for equine that are not used to it.

We have/had a rule. Never let them lope to the trailer or to home! When I was a kid I rode a pony that ran to the barn and there was no way to stop him. I went flying over his head when he slid to a stop outside the barn and bam, hit the ground hard.
[bareback riding back then] I never forget my uncle getting mad at the other kids he let ride Thunder as they ran him to the barn to go fast.


So glad you got to ride! I sooo much miss going anywhere to ride. No truck now so...oh well.

Sounds freaking awesome!

Far Side of Fifty said...

The deer flies are awful here and soon the little black flies will be biting, I hate them all:)

Val Ewing said...

I don't like bitey flies.

We get a lot of them here in the valley next to the stream.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Same but different is good. And its good experience for the horses too. I hate those bomber stinging flies. They can be really dangerous when they land on their butts and sting them.