Sunday, May 24, 2020

2020/05/24 Live Oak Eastern Plateau ride

I'm trying out a new mapping program, so these are not very high tech yet. But it shows our route accurately and the terrain we explored.
We convened back at our favorite Live Oak Camp, and agreed that today, a bright hot sunny Memorial Day weekend, we would do just a short ride.
From the Live Oak Camp parking area we crossed the river and then headed East to the border of the Rancho San Fernando Rey.
The Santa Ynez River is only flowing here part of the year, so it is a pleasure to have the sight of it be the start of the ride. Cold and clear, good for Tobe Mule to take a big drink before a hot afternoon walk.
The wild oats were precisely the height of a mule or horse's nose, a distracting temptation that makes riding more difficult. I want him paying attention to where he is walking, he wants to snack.
We went up the switchbacks on the access road, then headed off toward the border of the County and private properties. There on the other side of the fence we could see cows lounging in the shade of ancient oaks.
I always presume Tobe Mule has MUCH better eyesight than I do. Equine eyes are eight times larger than human eyes; in fact, they are larger than those of any other land mammal. While what I saw were those specs under the oak, this is what he saw.
Tobe spent his first seven years in Kentucky, so possibly this kind of Jerry-rigged hillbilly gate system looks familiar to him. But I thought I caught a look of disdain in his eye.
We kept walking through the oats, occasionally passing through stands of oaks and stopping in the shade a bit.
The wind was giving Tobe a bad hair day.
Then it was time to take today's portraits. Just two people rode with me, so it wasn't the big process that it sometimes can be.
My stalwart pal Jamie Buse on her thoroughbred racehorse Mosca the Horse Fly. You can take a racehorse off the track, but you can't ever get them to forget how much they love to run. Mosca has a very big engine.
Maggie Gerring came along riding Jamie's old trusty Woody the Quarter Horse. He's a been there done that kinda guy, but Mosca has developed an infatuation with him so taking them out on the trail together calms her down. He actually doesn't seem to care.
And there we are, Tobe Mule and I, so pleased to be out and about.
And then it was time to turn around.
This blasted oak was right next to the fence line. Magnificent bark.
And on the way back we did stop and let the equines graze a bit. They were doing all the hard work, it was only fair.
All this grass will be dried up in just a few weeks as summer progresses, and we passed a lot of dead oak trees with picturesque Spanish moss hanging from the limbs.
Looking across the fence it is easy to see how the cows and deer have kept the grass eaten down on that side compared to the Country owned land side.
Once again we came up along the cow resting area.
And once again there's the Tobe's-eye-view.
Like all equines he is especially attuned to movement, so the flicking of an ear or swishing tail rivets him on what could be a predator.
But alas, Tobe Mule is no cow-cuttin' Quarter Horse, no rodeo competitor. He's just a guy who likes to go look at landscape, and humors me out on our adventures.
So the ride was drawing to a close, and another nice stroll was had by all.

                        "Who sews virtue reaps honor."
                          -------- Leonardo da Vinci

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Who sows virtue reaps honor. Leonardo da Vinci
Who sows virtue reaps honor. Leonardo da Vinci
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