My younger daughter is home from college for the weekend, and will be tending to Dawn - I don't know if she'll have time to ride as she's running around trying to see friends - so I rode Maisie in the afternoon on the trail - the arena is still a bit soupy. The temperatures had only made it to the upper 30s, and were falling, so I bundled up and was comfortable, except for my feet - it's time to bring out the insulated paddock boots. We were out for about a half-hour and took several trail loops as the sun was starting to set. She was relaxed - she startled once at some dogs that ran out barking but calmed right down when I sat quietly and didn't touch the reins - and very soft and responsive - she would turn down another trail in response to my simply turning my head. We saw great flights of Canada Geese streaming across the sky in all directions, and as we were coming by the pond near the barn on the way back, we were privileged to see a Muskrat swimming. There was little wind, and the almost still surface of the pond was reflecting the sky. The Muskrat was swimming across the pond towards us, leaving a perfect V wake. When it saw us, it dove. We waited for it to resurface, which took a while. When it popped back up, Maisie noticed it and we watched it together for several moments. It swam towards us a bit, then stopped again and stayed still and flat in the water. When it decided we were no threat, it started swimming again and it was close enough, and the water still enough, that I could actually see the turbulence stirred up as it kicked with its back feet.
As we approached the barn, the sun was down and sky was becoming an incredible purply-pink all across the Western horizon. Truly a wonderful day with horses!