|You never know what you’ll find when you go exploring on horseback. Photo: Leslie Potter|
The weather has cooled down quite a bit here in central Kentucky, which makes for ideal trail riding. Since our abbreviated show season is long over, Snoopy and I are enjoying some relaxing meandering on the paths around our boarding farm. It’s usually relaxing, anyway.
The deer stayed just ahead of us on the path for a little while, running off again each time we got too close. Snoopy stopped being afraid of them and actually seemed a bit curious about them. Eventually, they went off the path and we continued on our lazy, relaxing ride.
Encountering deer on the path is a pretty standard exercise for trail riders. In fact, this is the third consecutive ride where we’ve seen deer—although this was definitely the closest. But it reminded me of what was probably our most exciting trail encounter.
Years ago, we were out on the trails near our barn in Maine, approaching the field where I liked to practice Snoopy’s animated saddle seat trot. Suddenly, Snoopy froze. I looked around and didn’t see anything, but could feel the tension increasing in my horse. It was as if he coiled up into nothing but 1,000 pounds of potential energy. I still didn’t see anything, but I heard heavy hoofbeats and the jingle of a harness. Seemingly out of nowhere, a pair of Belgians came trotting into view in the field in front of us, pulling a huge wagon. Snoopy was trembling, but transfixed. We were obscured enough by the trees that neither the horses nor their driver noticed us. I think we opted to skip riding in the field that day, although I’m sure I would have had quite an animated trot from Snoopy after that experience.
What’s the strangest encounter you and your horse have had on the trail? Click “Submit a Comment” below and share your story.
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