One of my missed blogs concerns the attack of the pinecones. One morning I got a call from one of our “adopted riders”, wondering if there was a possibility of a ride that day. Sure, the sun was out and Bill said there would be time for me to slip away for an hour before check-in, so I grab Washoe and Estes and get them saddled. Mary arrives with an explanation about a fall she has taken from her bicycle a couple of days earlier and how that has prevented her from doing her morning runs. She was going crazy from no outdoor physical activity and thought maybe she could handle sitting on a horse (her whole left side was pretty banged up). This was the first time she felt obliged to use the mounting block, but was quite grateful for it.
I gave her Estes, as Washoe was being a little feisty and I didn’t think she needed the extra effort necessary to control his “eating” habit. We did a nice loop around one of the back mountains and I asked her why she was so “fancied up” – she had makeup on – for a horseback ride! Her reply, “It’s my birthday and I have a dinner engagement tonight.” She thought a ride would put her in a more festive mood, and she got to see areas she had never seen before. As a special treat, I chose a trail that skirted the top of a ravine with a great view of the beaver ponds. I was happily chatting about the eagle soaring overhead when I hear, “Ouch!” I turned in my saddle to see a streak of blood running down her cheek. She hadn’t paid attention to the low slung Ponderosa pine branch hanging over the trail – or the heavy pinecones they have at this time of year. One of the pinecones had made a couple noticeable scratches across her cheek, drawing blood in a couple of places. What do you say when someone asks, “Did it leave a mark?” LOL I just told her she needed to make up a really cool story about the wild ride in the forest and the pinecone that attacked her!