Wednesday, April 9, 2014

On a Snake Hunt

Rock and I rode out into the desert today in search of snaky snakes.  The temperatures are heating up enough that our scaly friends should be making their appearances pretty soon.

A while ago I read on someone's blog a reminder that when we ride out alone, we should always let someone know where we are going, what time we are leaving, and what time we expect to be back.   I told my husband I was going to start doing that, because for the past couple of years I've been riding alone without telling anyone.  Of course, I promptly forgot that plan.

One day I mentioned to my husband that I went out riding and he said, "Weren't you supposed to start letting me know when you are going out alone?"

Oh yeah.  So, this time I remembered to send a text message to him.  My fingers are way too big for my tiny phone keyboard, so I keep my texts short and sweet.  "Riding Rock out now."  Once home, I wrote, "Home now."  Not a whole lot of information, but my husband knows to try to contact me if I don't let him know that I'm home within a couple of hours, which I'm sure I will forget to do one of these days.  He knows how forgetful I am, though, so he won't panic if I don't notify him.

The ride was nice.  Rock was gawking at the nosy neighbor who always hides in the bushes to watch me saddle my horses up and ride them out.  The man usually leaves for Michigan by now, so I'm hoping he's not planning on living in that house year round.  I like my privacy.  I feel like I can't talk out loud to my dogs and horses (or fart out loud for that matter), because he's always out there on his back patio surveying what's going on in the neighborhood.

Anyway, the first trail I took went past his house, and he must have come around to his front yard, because Rock was very focused in that direction.  He kept wandering off path and tripping over rocks, because he wasn't watching where he was going.  So, I purposefully took him on a super rocky trail.  All he had to do was have one big stumble, and he started paying attention to the ground conditions and the path ahead of him.

At one point I saw a man's head moving through the bushes off trail up ahead, and I was expecting him to come out onto the trail, but he didn't.  So, I cut across to the trail on the other side of the bushes, and he wasn't there either.  I could only conclude that he was hanging out in the bushes.  That was weird, so I promptly turned Rock around and headed in the opposite direction.  Perhaps he was just taking a whiz or tying his shoe, but being a woman riding alone, I wasn't going to take any chances.

I noticed that people had been building campfires out there, which I believe is illegal to do in that location.  I didn't see any charred wood, so I'm guessing they just built a circle of rocks, put some brush in it, but never actually lit it on fire.  Then I noticed orange ribbons tied around branches along the side of one trail in particular.  I'm guessing that someone either had an event or has an event planned and needed to mark which trail to take.  I'd be interested in finding out what it is for.  Maybe that's what the man was doing -- tying ribbons around branches of bushes.

Rock moved at a good clip, so there was no need to use my spurs.  Also, he only snatched one snack and I never had to use my whip after that to stop him from eating.  He's such a good boy.  One thing he always does is hold still wherever I park and tie him.  Since he's got a bitless bridle with a tight noseband, I can't leave the rope halter under the bridle.  So, I remove his rope halter, and then put on his bridle, and he never tries to walk or run away.  He just sticks his nose right into the bridle to help me put it on.  What a guy!

Here we are shooting the gauntlet...

I noticed that someone knocked down our wire fence that my husband put up at the back of the property to prevent hikers and horseback riders from coming up the bank and causing erosion that could result in our property flooding.  My husband mentioned that he saw an older couple on horseback trotting fast through our yard the other day when I was gone.  I wonder if their horses got caught in the wire.  That would be bad.  We attached yellow ribbons to the wires to make them easy to see, but the wind keeps blowing them into bundles under bushes.  I might have to get some bright orange duct tape and wrap it around the wire once the fence is repaired.  This is one more reason why people shouldn't ignore no trespassing signs.

After a while of traversing the desert, I discovered two other things:  1.  My helmet cam shuts off after an hour from the time I turn it on, regardless whether I have been taking pictures actively or not, and 2.  There wasn't a single snake to be found.  But there was a lot of rustling in the bushes.


Crystal said...

Looks so nice and quiet out there, kinda like our prairie but different.

fernvalley01 said...

sounds like a nice ride Good boy Rock!