horses, one pinto and a palomino

horses in pasture

sorrel longing in round pen

child and palomino horse

Not to mention leaving a place and business we have given our lives over to for the past two to two and a half decades. The emotional fallout is more akin to divorce than to a career change.

Cody's Num Nums, page 2

Late summer and fall is glorious in Central Oregon. One day after the summer, in early September, the girls and I headed out for a ride, just us three. In winter our skies become the deepest royal blue, in contrast to the washed out pale skies of summer. Fall and spring vary between the two. This day the sky was stunning, the blue a perfect contrast to the deep green of the ponderosa pines and the few white puffy clouds littered overhead.

Little Marlie had settled on a palomino mare, with the color and name of Honey. Although a little feisty with adults, Honey loves children and especially Marlie. As with wolves or gorillas, who sometimes “adopt” other species of babies, Honey somehow knows that this 9-year-old is a cute little human. The staff muse over the fact that Marlie can walk up to Honey in the field and put a halter on her, when an adult would see mostly her back end and tail as she refuses. Marlie loves to canter, as does Honey. They’d both do without walking and even trotting, given their druthers.

Sister was the perfect match for Marlie’s older sister, Hannah. She is a little appaloosa with golden yellow in her mane and tail, speckled white all over. Spunky but not mean, joy in her step, and responsive to her rider.  Hannah is a more mellow rider than her sister. Although she likes a horse who wants to go, she enjoys the trail at a slower pace, walking and trotting through the countryside, enjoying the day and the scenery. So the three of us had horses for our own, and would ride them together; we had a plan.

This late summer day, with the sunshine and amazing blue sky, we headed out for our first ride as just us three. No guests, no wrangler, only us, for the first time ever. Rodney had thrown a shoe, so I rode Cody, instead. A move that would influence the course of things.

We rode to the reservoir, a perfect distance for a picnic lunch and a few hours on the trail. Tumalo reservoir is a small lake, albeit man made, with the Cascade mountains as the backdrop. It is a popular riding destination in our area, with many people arriving by truck and horse trailer to enjoy the place. We watched a coyote, undaunted by the activity, hunting the ducks which were just beyond his reach in the deeper water.

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