Sunday, July 26, 2009
Spirit Mountain Sunday Ride
Overnight our weather forecast improved a lot, from all-day thunderstorms to only "partly cloudy"; so I was glad we had made a plan to meet at Spirit Mountain for an early Sunday morning ride.
The trails were in great shape even though we've had so much recent rain, and there were only a few flies so conditions were just about perfect.
It seems to have been a naked horse contest however. We had Laura who rides in a rope halter; no bit, no bridle:
We had Bridget who rides on a bareback pad (no saddle) in a rope halter, no bit no bridle:
And we had Ron who rides his horse with a saddle but only a string around the neck - no bridle, no rope halter, no bit:
And if we were seeing a naked horse contest, John was the biggest loser since he had not only the complete saddle and bridle, but even his granny ears fly cap. He didn't seem to mind though.
I wish I'd taken pictures of Bridget doing the bareback mount-from-the-ground demonstration. Her horse is cued to lower his head; she clambers over onto his neck near the withers, stomach down. then cues him to raise his head slowly. This slides her down onto his back, at which point she is over him like a sack of potatoes or a dead body in many westerns. She then wriggles over and upright. I don't think I will be trying it any time soon.
"Can you hear me now" Ron got a phone call from a faraway friend and had a nice long chat. Trail riding in the 21st century: Interruptions are always possible.
It was a good day for the view, all the way over into Wisconsin:
Spirit Mountain is so named because it contains land sacred to the Ojibwe; they have ancestors buried there and hold its beauty close to them. In addition to sacred Indian land and in tension with it, Spirit Mountain houses a big ski operation and an ever-growing number of 'mountain villas' and condos etc.
Whenever we ride there we get lost, and today was no exception: all of a sudden we are off the trail, bushwhacking, no direction familiar...it feels supernatural somehow. Sometimes it has taken hours to find our way back from a planned two hour ride. It is a contested landscape.
None of this bothers John as long as he can get a bite to eat now & then!