New series? New series! Will I keep up with it? Probably not, but I’m hopeful!
A few weeks ago, I took Simba on a rambling ride through Mason, New Hampshire. It was early in the day, the sun was shining but the weather was comfortably cool, the bugs were on the way out…perfect day for a long ride without any sort of destination or goal except to go play.
I’d noticed lately that Simba’s resistance to riding on the road was lessening, so once we had gaited our wait down the rail trail for awhile, I decided to walk home via the road. Now, this is Middle-of-Nowhere, Mason, NH. It’s as country as you can get in this neck of the woods. I absolutely adore it, because I can ride down the road without worrying about risking my life or my horse’s life.
So, we went down the road on a loose rein and he became more and more relaxed the more we traveled. He eyed a few trash barrels suspiciously, regarded a barking dog with a flick of an ear, blinked sleepily at a herd of horses in a paddock running up to the fence, and was honestly the best he’s ever been on the road. We gaited where we could on the shoulder, but we were mostly happy to just meander along.
We hit a patch of road that was surrounded by woods on both sides, with no houses for a stretch. Simba relaxed further, as houses are the main cause of his concerns (Scary Boogeymonsters live in houses, obviously). He was practically on the buckle and was stretched out, doing his Bloodhound impression and snuffling the ground as he walked.
It was quiet and calm and enjoyable for all…for a minute or two, anyway.
There was a sudden, LOUD rustling that came from the right side of the road. We were on the left, so both of us snapped our heads to the right. Simba stopped dead. I gathered my reins hastily, preparing myself for the Ultimate Sit n’ Spin.
A beautiful, elegant doe came bursting out of the woods. She was mere feet in front of us — close enough for blind as a bat me to see the whites of her eyes. She bounded gracefully across our path, her tail flagged and panic written all over her body. I love deer, despite the fact that they’re probably a pain in the ass and like to jump in front of cars (and horses, I guess). I find them beautiful and fascinating. I was waiting for my horse to lose his shit, but I was also thrilled to pieces to be so close!
I needn’t have worried. Simba stood, statuesque, watching the deer practically graze his nose with her fur. His ears stood at attention and his head was in the air. I couldn’t see his eyes, but I expect he wore a wild-eyed expression. His whole body was tense, and I sat deeper, juuust in case he decided to pull out that Sit n’ Spin
Of course, he did something that surprised the shit out of me instead.
Just as the deer was breaching the woods on our side of the road, Simba let loose the loudest neigh I’ve ever heard from him. Body shaking, pulled from the tips of his toes, bounced me int he saddle kind of neigh.
I blinked, stunned.
He continued standing stock still, his ears swiveling, waiting for a return call.
I collapsed into helpless peals of laughter, falling forward onto his neck. He jumped a bit when I flopped fowards on his back, but didn’t move as I howled, patting him as I rested my forehead against his mane.
When I could finally sit back up, his ears were rotating like antennae, his confusion evident. I wiped the tears from my eyes, patted him again, and urged him forward. He walked off without a second thought, almost as if shrugging. He knows that I am a Weird Human and I do Weird Human things and it’s up to him to tolerate it, so he toodled on like nothing strange had gone on.
I, on the other hand, continued hooting with laughter for quite some time.