It was around 55 degrees out, and I am cold natured, so I put on my fleece Kerrits and headed off to the barn around 2 in the afternoon. I couldn't believe my eyes when Razz greeted me at the gate. I usually have to cross a huge pasture to grab him because his little herd likes to graze at the farthest point from the barn. Once I brought him in and started grooming I see he has acquired a few extra pounds lately. When did this happen Razz? I didn't notice it yesterday when I was holding you for the farrier.
|we may have to cut you back to half a scoop buddy|
I finish my grooming ritual, which is very thorough and takes close to an hour, and get all tacked up. No saddle bags needed today because my husband is hiking with me. We both love to hike so it is not an issue to persuade him to join me. We leave the barn property when we cross the bridge over Shoe Branch.
|this bridge is a really nice touch to the farm|
|just making sure you're still back there babe :)|
|almost there, just ahead on the left|
I get to the sand pit entrance first. My husband is always about 20 yards behind me. Which means even though we're together we are really on two different hikes, both lost in our own thoughts. The entrance is kinda dark. Razz marches right in just like a brave little trail pony should.
|we're goin' in (no his ears aren't funky, they're covered in bug repellent just in case)|
From the moment you get in the woods its obvious why this is called the sand pits. Its a new growth forest, and its thriving in deep white sand. I'm guessing there are forty acres here, give or take. The bugs are almost nonexistent. Thank you cold snap :)
|we're going left|
Today the woods are quiet. Razz is doing his usual look and sniff as we walk along. The sand is good footing to ride when you're horse is barefoot. I used to keep him shod all the way around but the new barn doesn't allow shoes. I will probably pick up some easyboots or something similar before its all said and done. For now we are good though. As I ride the thought of how chubby my pony has gotten enters my mind again. Looking down at his sides I can't help but notice the small trace of appaloosa in his winter coat. A few white spots above the big whorl on his hind quarters. They are on both sides, but the chestnut is drowning them out this time of year. Summer coat has way more white flecking on his rumps, but still not enough to make a legit appy blanket.
|the only trace of his appy roots|
|coming up on the apartments|
|just passing thru|
|and headed back into the woods|
We get back into the woods and continue on our way. There are lots of deer tracks and shoe prints in the sand here. There are deer prints all over the woods, but shoe prints only in this area. I figure it is apartment dwellers walking their dogs but strangely there are no dog prints. I begin whistling once more. Better safe than sorry. By now its roughly 4:30 and the deer become active around this time. So do the hunters. There aren't supposed to be any hunters in here but someone could go rogue, you never know. The husband is still trucking right along too, on his own quest scanning the path for sharks teeth.
|yep, still back there|
At this point Razz picks up the pace a little bit. It's the headed home walk that all horseback riders are familiar with. The sun is getting lower in the sky. I am not ready to leave the solace of the woods quite yet, so I soak up the last half mile I have left in here. Eventually we make our way back to the beginning of the loop trail and out of the sand pits.
|the beginning of the loop, going right is the trail we just covered, straight leads out|
|out of the sand pits, back onto paved roads|
|coming home on the buckle|
|almost back, what a lovely evening|