After some two months of drought and desert-like temperatures, we've cooled off gloriously. Yesterday was mostly overcast, and except for the few times the sun peeped out, a flannel shirt felt pretty good.
All summer I've had to do any horseback riding at dawn; it's been too hot to ride during the day.
So it was a treat, yesterday, to be able to ride my horse after Cliff left for work at 2:30 P.M. When I went outside, the sun was out and I took off my flannel shirt. However, I did tie in onto the back of the saddle before I left. That turned out to be a wise move.
I rode south on one of our many country roads. I got Blue up on a bank out of the way when I saw a school bus headed our way on the narrow gravel road, and did the same when a huge grain truck met us; my horse does very well with traffic, but sometimes he'll get just a touch of panic if something really big gets too close, especially if there are steep banks on both sides making him feel he's trapped. Farmers are harvesting corn like crazy, which means there are lots of big grain trucks coming and going this time of year. Anyhow, we made it just fine with no incidents.
As I crossed 24 highway, I realized the clouds were getting heavier and darker, and I needed the shirt I'd brought along. A cool wind started whipping Blue's mane around and I considered what might be the best way to head home. I'd passed up one road home, wanting a longer ride than it allowed me.
Looking across a field, I could see my neighbor's house, far over to the north on the old highway. My quickest route home would be across some corn and soybean fields which, alas, have not been combined and harvested yet. Normally, I keep Blue out of the crops; I like to respect the farmers in this regard, although I doubt Blue would do that much damage walking through a soybean field.
It started sprinkling and I made my decision: Cut across the fields instead of riding another mile to a through road. If I stayed right at the edge where soybeans meet the corn, it should take me home.
That was one of the longest short-cuts I've ever taken: The soybeans grow so thick and tall, it was difficult for Blue to navigate through them. Forget about taking him through the corn; he has a bit of claustrophobia when ridden through anything taller than his head. At one point, he stepped in a huge hole that was hidden by weeds, and jolted both of us.
Believe me, when Blue came out of the fields onto a path he recognized, he quickened his pace and foxtrotted the rest of the way home!
I think from now on I'll stick to the roads, until all crops have been harvested.