In the Autumnal Glow looking out over the Live Oak Camp trails, toward the coastal mountain range.
And here are two Tobes looking up to that same chalk cliff face from the river bottom below, wondering what route to take for our ride today.
and proceeded down the trail with Jamie, Noe and Deborah.
Then the drama started.
We turned up the southern trail, into the brush, and above us appeared a stag. Not a tremendously big one, but pretty impressive for a mule deer.
We all stood and watched it. I started to try to take a photo and then "Marcos, he go crazy!"
Noe's Andalusian/Azteca stallion Marcos apparently wasn't paying attention, because all of a sudden he saw that stag and had a meltdown. He started to rear up, whirl, and demonstrate his "airs above the ground" maneuvers.
Tobe Mule hadn't been bothered by the stag, but this display of equine freak-out was too much for him, so he spun around and ran down the hillside trail back the way we'd come. I pulled him up after maybe 30 yards, and turned him to face the danger. At that point he calmed, and we watched as Noe rode out the tantrum.
Here I insert a testimonial for the custom saddle made for me by Colin Dangaard, an Australian saddle with poleys both in front of and behind my legs. They absolutely kept me securely in the saddle when Tobe spun, and I was never at risk for falling. Whooooeee!
After that thrill
all the rest of the ride went smoothly.
At the top of the hill overlooking the lake we stopped for my tradition of portrait-taking.
This tree draped in Spanish moss with a huge colony of poison oak crawling up the trunk made a properly October-themed spooky sight.
But I'm not scared.
Not with me, my mule and his shadow.
“PULVIS ET UMBRA SUMUS."
(We are but dust and shadow.)”
― Horace, The Odes of Horace.
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