Free Coffin Videos
After a terrible day, I just wanted to unwind...
I swear, I think she'd help me hoist the heavy saddle onto her back if she could. Saddle secured, I picked up the headstall, smiling as she put her head down and forward so I could slip the gear over her ears and fasten it. Because it was so cold out, I was using a hackamore instead of a bit today.
Checkers, on the other hand, was the stereotypical dumb jock. Big and powerful, he could be a handful, moving around as Thom saddled him. I was putting the headstall on Gertie when I heard Checkers take a deep breath. I snickered. It as his favorite trick, taking a deep breath and holding it so the saddle strap wouldn't be as snug as it should be. Cooing and purring, I led Gertie out into the work alley.
"What's taking you so long?" I teased.
I smiled as Gertie looked at Checkers and snorted, probably telling him to stop screwing around so we could go.
"He's being a pain in the ass," Thom grumbled, leading Checkers out into the alley, then cinching the saddle strap down again.
"Boys," I said, shaking my head in mock disgust as I gave Gertie a pat on the neck. She looked at me and snorted again, making me snicker. "You said it, sister."
With Checkers finally saddled and ready to go, Thom opened the alley door as I led our horses into the small paddock, waiting while Thom closed the door behind us. I gave him Checkers reins before we led them out through the open gate to the drive.
I swung a leg over Gertie and settled into the saddle as Thom did the same with Checkers. With a click and bump of my heels, I swung Gertie around and started for the trail we'd cut in the woods that followed the perimeter of our property. Trails meandered all through our trees, trails we rode or used to maintain the property. We took it easy, enjoying the bite of the cold while letting the horses loosen and warm up.
It was cold, in the upper teens according to the thermometer on the stable, but I was dressed for it. The trail began to turn and we stepped out of the trees into the meadow. The stand of trees had protected the ground from most of the snow, but the meadow had no such protection and the snow was deep. Really deep. Six or eight steps in, I pulled Gertie up before steering her in behind Thom on his big bay Morgan, so they could lead and cut a path for my smaller Kentucky Mountain. The snow was almost belly deep on Gertie and allowing Checkers to bulldoze a path would make it easier for her.
I smiled as we cut across the meadow, enjoying the cold, the horse's breath billowing out of flared nostrils to join mine and Thom's in clouds of vapor. It was like a postcard as we walked through a white wonderland unmarred by passage of man or beast. I moved easily with my horse, as comfortable in the saddle as on my own two feet. I lived for this, our weekends at Columbine Meadow, riding Gertie and Checkers with Thom while leaving the hustle and bustle of our daily world behind.
As we approached the tree line on the other side of the meadow, I clucked and urged Gertie on, pulling up beside Thom as Gertie high stepped through the deep snow. We'd traveled Columbine Meadow so many times we knew there was no danger of stumbling into an unknown stream or falling into a hidden swale and injuring a horse. We'd been taking it easy, not working the horses too hard, the fresh snow last night making it hard going.
"Thom, I want to give Gertie a break. Let's head over to the western tree line where the snow is shallower, okay?"
He watched me from under his cowboy hat, his deep brown eyes appearing even darker than normal.
"Can't stand it, huh?" he replied with a smile so broad his eyes squinted slightly.
"I don't know what you are talking about."
He chuckled as he began to steer his horse slightly left toward the trees. The snows normally came in from the west, and the western side of the meadow was somewhat protected, usually making the snow there less deep.
"And just what are you insinuating," I asked in mock harshness.
"I'm not insinuating a thing.