An Autumn Ride

It’s mid October in southwestern Pennsylvania, which means that beautiful days are treasures not to be wasted. Soon, the skies will become a deep, slate gray and will stay like that until May. Soon, icy rains will move in followed by wind and snow. Winter is lurking not too very far away.

Yesterday was one of those gorgeous autumn days that make you forget what’s ahead, though. After the sultry heat of the first part of the month, sixty degrees, blue skies, and a light breeze felt like heaven. I had plenty of things I needed to do. I needed to finish the housecleaning I began on Saturday. I needed to wash and wax my car before winter descends on us. I needed to clean up my garden AKA weed patch. But did I do any of those things? No. I went horseback riding.

I took my camera along for a change. Admiral kept mistaking the soft whrrr sound it makes when I turn it on or off for a large bee. Admiral isn’t always the brightest bulb in the package. Every time I hit the power switch, his ears would swivel back at me and he’d start to twitch. One time he gave one of those big wet-dog-type shakes from nose to tail that included me and the saddle. That’s quite an experience, in case you’ve never had it happen to you. I imagine it’s rather similar to a short, but powerful earthquake. Horse quake? Yeah, that’s it. I was glad my saddle was cinched up tight.

Admiral was jumpy the entire ride. I blame it on the bee/camera. Or maybe he’s feeling the approach of Halloween, because he seemed to peering into the shadows of the trees and underbrush, looking for something scary to spook at. He did spook twice. Once he almost spun out from under me. This sent my friend’s mount, Nikki, into a similar spook. If Admiral was running from something, Nikki wasn’t waiting around to see what it was. She was taking his word for it and getting the heck outta there.

I was hoping for some photographs of the fall colors. But there still aren’t any. This may be one of those years where the leaves just dry up and fall off without bursting into those lovely vibrant shades we all love. Instead, here is a picture of Sara on Nikki, leading the way along the ridge road. (Note Admiral's ears at the bottom of the frame aimed back at that evil bee/camera)

And here is one of me on Admiral in my favorite clearing. His, too. He gets to munch some grass when I’m not making him pose for the camera.


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