I cannot tell you how much I needed a day like yesterday. After the lovely year we've had, the stress, death, heartache we've endured and all the ups and downs yesterday was a day to let go of all the craziness surrounding me, turn off all the chaos and worry in my head, silence the wolves at the door and do nothing but breathe in and out and ride. It was one of the single best days of my life! For two years my friend Elaine and I have gone to this farm and ridden in the Harvest Hunter Pace they host for the local pony club. I blogged about last years ride here. This year I brought the camera so I could take you along as well because I'm sure we could all use a day like yesterday because we're all facing something.
So that's me, taking pictures of the day for y'all, I think it's great Elaine got that shot, too funny!
Here are Harry and I ready to go, and GO! is exactly what Harry wanted to do, I think he'd have run all or at least most of the course if I'd let him. Harry is a sweet, sweet horse, and due to the fact that he looks so similar to Garlic I find him even more endearing. He's got a very kind eye and wonderful easy-going temperament. Having not ridden all summer with the exception of one short 10 minute ride a couple months ago I was certain I was going to die after this 8 mile endurance ride. Mercifully I was not really even that sore! Thanks in large part to a mount that rides like a rocking chair, who's stride would take us up hills and across green pastures in the blink of an eye and an extremely comfortable saddle.
This year Elaine rode Zeus, a.k.a Zeus the MOOSE! This guy is stunning! He's an appendix Quarter Horse with a hind end that, well, quite honestly most women would be horrified to have, but he wears it well. It's more like a couch than anything else, but it's quite a powerful engine, carrying them up and over the hills and through the streams and pine groves with ease.
I love this shot of the boys, I wonder what they were thinking...."Ok, let's do our best and give these ladies a great ride, they both need a break as they are both dealing with a ton of stuff right now. We can do this for them, they are both horse lovers and safe forever homes and they need this." "Absolutely, my thoughts exactly!"
Elaine and Zeus, getting ready to head out! At this point it was impossible to tell which had the bigger grin on our faces, we were both so happy to be away from everything and have this glorious day.
One shot of the barn from the course. The barn isn't really slanted despite the fact that it's so old, it's just hard to take a good picture when the horse you're on does not want to stop, he wants to just go go GO!
another shot from the course...
Elaine and Zeus heading down to and obstacle, then back up to head into the pines!
Ahhhhh, does a view ever get more glorious than that?!
I mean seriously?!
If I could capture the scent in this part of the course, we'd be debt free in no time! The potent elixir of horse sweat, leather, pine, sweet grass, warm afternoon sun, fresh clean air and a bit of dirt is so powerful that you cannot help but stop and breathe it in in a way as if your soul had never been given oxygen or seen the sun. If ever I am stricken with a terminal disease and..... ....take me to such a place and let me breathe.
Harry and I on the other side of the hill Elaine and Zeus were on in an above picture. There were several water obstacles we crossed, one nearly cam up to Harry's chest! (Maybe if we go again next year I'll try to get a picture of that one! It's AWESOME, I can certainly see how this type of thing is addicting!)
Harry and I had run across the finish line and were able to turn around and take this picture of Elaine and Zeus at the finish!
A view of part of the course from the finish line, up near the barn.
Harry and I after the ride, sweaty, covered in mud and ready for lunch, oh and Harry was too!
Grinning from ear to ear! That my friends is a picture of a VERY happy, stress and worries forgotten for a day, woman!
Thank you Harry and Zeus for a ride fit for kings on gallant steeds, thank you Elaine for allowing me to tag along and having a day that I will never forget, thank you God for allowing all things to be possible.