Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Giddy up

After a good breakfast we saddled up the horses to head out onto the land. Four of the dogs accompanied us as we made our way across the scrub and toward the hills. I was pretty relaxed on the hoese asit was well trained. This was the first experience for me riding a horse that would actually respond to the reins and trot or gallop with a little nudge from the heels and a click click noise made with your tounge and mouth....Giddy-up!

We were out for the better part of the morning and came across a fox den that the dogs managed to sniff out hidden in a pile of broken boulders. We dismounted the horses and walked over to investigate and behold a fox was peering out from his den, obviously very scared. Fortunately for this fox he was not the guy we were looking for. Two species roam these hills, one being the gray fox and the other, the infamous red fox that dines on a new sheep every 2 or 3 days. Marc poked and prodded the fox until he was within reach and managed to grab him by one of his front paws. The fox returned the favor by grabbing hold of Marc's hand. The fox's teeth had penetrated the gloves and through the skin of Marc's hand. Despite the pain Marc still went forth with pulling the fox from its lair. Once out the little guy let go and began struggling to get free. Marc changed his grip to hold its hind legs and we all got a good look at the feisty little guy. Marc asked me to take off my belt so we could get a loop around its neck. I outright refused since I wasn't willing to risk any kind of bite whatsoever.
With the gray fox released we mounted the horses and headed further up onto the mesa. Here the dogs we sniffing out an armadillo that we all got to have a close look at. These little creatures look like modern dinosaurs running around the land foraging for bugs and other nutrients. They are quite cute and slower moving.
The farm was on the horizon and we were now heading for home. Despite the bouncing and bobbing that I encounter on the bike, it was nothing in comparison to the jarring that I experienced as an unexperienced horseman. I was happy to dismount the beast and walk back to the stable with the horse as a sort of cool down to rest his back. We took their saddles off and gave the horses some food to reward them for their good work.
It was getting on 3 O'clock and the smell of a small fire was in the air I walked toward the smell and saw a huge outdoor BBQ warming the grill. In a basket there were several meats and sausages. The outdoor cook out was a great finale to the horse riding experience and somehow, even though I was a passenger on the horse I worked up an appatite and ate well.

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