Sunday, April 23, 2017


First thing this morning I had an appt with my saddle fitter. Ashke has had a couple of dry patches bilaterally on his back, not after a dressage ride, but clearly there at the end of our last trail ride. She could feel what I could feel and agreed the flocking needed a touch more just under my seat bones, which is also right where the billets attach. She added more flocking on each side, then smoothed it out with her little mallet. When we placed the saddle on Ashke's back the slight gap was gone and the middle of the saddle was solid against his back.

After that was finished, we loaded him up and took him to Barr Lake.

It was a wonderful ride with lots of nature.

It started with Black-Bag Trolls. They were crouched by the edge of the trail and it took a long time to get Ashke to walk past them. There was snorting and backing up and more snorting. Then some quick sideways steps as we went past them. The large herd of Black-Bag Trolls was not as scary as the two single Trolls sitting right next to the trail. Sideways at the edge of a deep canal, not as much fun as one would think.

We were trotting at a solid pace, when we came to a screeching halt and let the very large Bull snake sunning in the middle of the path to slither his way into the bush. Then back to the trot. Ashke moves so effortlessly on trail now, it's such an amazing feeling. And then we came to another big ass Bull snake. They are pretty hard to see.

We saw some Black Scoters (a kind of duck), a Cooper's Hawk, a Redtail Hawk, pelicans (yay!!! they were back), cormorants and their rookery, Canada Geese, red wing blackbirds, Blue Heron, a Osprey and a couple of deer. It was a feast for the eyes.

We stopped at a big patch of grass and stopped to let Ashke munch some. There was a huge splash and Ashke spooked pretty hard. And then another Splash. I turned around in time to see a big ass fish flop out of the water. It had to be 8 or 10 pounds. J got it on video.

We saw them at the bottom of the canal on our way back to the trailer. Very good sized catfish, I'm pretty sure.

J commented several times about how strong Ashke looked, how good he was moving and the solid rhythm of his trot. So J captured this video:

On the way back we spooked another snake. So happy that none of them were rattlers.

We were almost back to the trailer and saw a couple of hikers who had just seen a couple of Bull snakes. I told the woman that there were snakes on the trail the way they were headed. She asked what kind. I answered. Then when we walked off I said to J, "Big, motherfucking snakes, is what kind." J almost fell of her bike with laughter.

Lots of wonderful wild life. Nice temp during the ride. Even sweat patterns under the saddle when I pulled it off.


  1. It's awesome that you got to haul out after all!! And yay for an amazing saddle fitter that you can count on! :D

    1. The sun was good. The saddle was good. And no mud for the win.

  2. We also encountered a black bag of death this weekend. Ours was rolling along the road next to the trail. Usually Bag trolls are not scary, but the rolling was was obviously going to attack!

    What are the fish doing? Catching bugs? And I wish there were snake photos, I'd love to see big, non-venomous snakes! Ashke looks like he is moving amazing, yeah!

    1. Bag trolls are very scary. Ours were filled with brush and sticks and everyone knows how dangerous sticks can be.

      The fish were jumping at bugs. A lot. Spooked Ashke at least three times and there couldn't have been more than about 18" of water in the canal. And the snakes moved away too quick for us to get our phones out. Bull snakes look a little like rattlers in their coloring, but their heads are not viper-shaped and no rattles. The garter snake was about as big and kind of a dusty green. I'll take my GoPro next time and see if I can get video.