It was twenty-two degrees, a pretty snow covered the ground, and the full moon shone down on everything. We decided we would take a ride. We dressed in layers, and headed out to the barn.
I think "The Girls" were a little confused when after grooming them we saddled them up, since we don't often ride at night. But soon they were into the adventure as much as we were.
With it being night, we headed to a spot near us with fields. It is too dangerous to ride the woods at night -- you just can't see all the branches. Out on the field we could follow deer paths, and the moon was so bright we actually could see the terrain ahead.
The air was clear, there were only a few tiny twinkling stars in the sky, as it was still rather early, and the dark grey-purple sky overhead faded into orange on the horizon line. There were some close, small, puffy clouds just above the horizon. The snow was sparkling, and the moon was so bright we could actually see our shadows. It was truly beautiful.
We loped along at a nice pace, going around tree lines that separate the different fields. "The Girls" were enjoying the experience, and cutting loose. After a while, their pace slowed and we explored at a walk, looking for a safe place to cross over to the road. We found a clearing that lead to the road, and from the road we found our usual entrance to the woods. We took the short path through the woods that leads back to our house.
John dismounted and lead Zora through the woods, while Divna and I picked our way slowly through the wooded trail. All four of us know this trail very well, so we felt safe.
Back at the barn it was carrots and sweet treats for the girls, and a beer for us. With Serbian music playing, we blanketed "The Girls" and closed them in their stalls with grain, hay and fresh water. Once their body temperatures normalized, they got a good brushing and then we turned them out into the pasture.
There was something just so special about this ride. It is totally different riding at night -- it is actually a spiritual experience. Feeling connected to the horse and to nature, you get a feeling of being a part of everything and closer to God. The horses do more for us than they will ever know -- they keep us grounded in the real world, they relieve stress, they personify love. We have always said that getting horses is the best money we have ever spent.
(About the picture at the beginning and lack of pictures throughout-- I am not the best photographer, and to top it off, have been haiving problems with my camera. It just will not hold a charge in spite of buying a new battery. I have to charge it up for an hour or two before I can use it. Last night I got the one blurry picture of the barn before we set off on the ride, then the battery died. I was really perturbed at that....I wanted to get some pictures of the full moon ride. Since it was a last minute decision to take the night ride, I was not able to charge it up before we left. so you will have to use your imagination to picture the night as described. RZ)