Riding a Behemoth
My niece, (Hubby’s youngest sister’s oldest daughter) talked me in to going on a trail ride with her this past Saturday evening. I really didn’t have to be totally “talked” into it as I accepted quick enough once I knew that Annie had her nap and someone would watch her while I was gone. Someone watching her isn’t usually all that hard either as at Hubby’s parent’s house there is normally atleast five kids, sometimes more and such was the case this weekend. Annie loves playing with her cousins, especially on the trampoline but… I did have to ride a Behemoth. If you don’t know what a behemoth is, you can click the link or to sum it up; is a biblical creature mentioned in the Book of Job, 40:15-24. The word is most likely a plural form of בהמה (bəhēmāh), meaning beast or large animal. It may be an example of pluralis excellentiae, a Hebrew method of expressing greatness by pluralizing a noun; it thus indicates that Behemoth is the largest and most powerful animal ever to exist.
Behemoth aka “Chloe” aka “Princess Chloe Buttercup” is my father-in-law’s horse. She’s a Percheron and Paint cross but somehow missed out on the Paint in her breeding because she doesn’t have a speck of white on her. Also, my niece was kind enough to saddle this animal for me (don’t worry I checked everything out…don’t want to fall off from this high up!), and Rebecca is atleast 5’4″ at age 11 — how tall is Chloe? I’m not sure.
The nice thing about her is that, well, she’s nice! Very sweet and really wouldn’t harm a fly unless it was on accident. She’s definitely girly though… I think her favorite color is pink and her whinny is sweet and high pitched. Not something that goes well with my father-in-law except that opposites attract.
Chloe is the epitomy of “Does this saddle make my butt look big?” Why yes, yes it does, especially since it’s an Abetta endurance saddle!
Off we went, down the neighborhood road and off on to the trail that winds around some catch ponds for the local creek that runs into the local river. Rebecca rode General Morgan, an old guy who has been rode hard and put away wet, but he’s found renewed energy and spark thanks to Becca’s rides on his back.
Grass Valley Creek Ponds – no not THE Grass Valley, CA.
It was neat riding through my old stomping grounds. I let Becca chatter away telling me all about where the roads and trails led. Little did she know that I have known this country like the back of my hand — I’d been riding around here my whole life, by myself as a kid but to a kid her age, she doesn’t realize how young I really am.
Bless her little pea pickin’ heart, she’s doing great on her old steed! I’m proud that she’s wanting to ride so much lately and hope that she’ll keep it up because riding and spending time on a horse is so much better than what a lot of kids do nowadays — including those stupid video games of which I won’t get into. I’ll just leave it as, Becca will be much smarter than the kid who stares at a screen all day if she keeps at the riding business.
There’s my parent’s home (where I grew up) nestled in the trees. Their rough coated collie dog can be seen down on the left, the black spot. I’m standing in the field taking this picture from a place that I’d ridden umpteen-million times on various horses. Their house is across this large field from my parent’s in law’s house — approximately a mile and half via the road.
This is the view with my parent’s house at my back looking toward my parent’s in laws house though they are more over to the left of this picture, through various trees. I love this little valley though, many good memories are here. I used to kick my horse into high gear right about at this spot and we used to go ripping down the side there just to the left of the bushes in the middle. I also would end up ripping out some survey stakes that were set up for a proposed golf course… Yes, I was silent but deadly and so was my horse. We were crime partners.
This river borders The Valley on the right and this is one of it’s calmest spots. Definitely a good little fishing hole right at the beginning of the rapids — many a brown trout has met it’s end here.
Some government entity has been clearing spots along the river lately and so we were able to ride through an area that hasn’t been available to be ridden through for quite some time due to over grown brush. It was a pretty view and that grassy spot ahead is a lovely place for a horse back picnic.
As we end our loop, we come out next to these old corrals. I love this spot, I can almost hear the cattle lowing and the cowboys yelling and moving them around.
This is the upper settling pond, meant to catch the silt from the creek before it goes in to the river. You have to cross here to go to The Valley and back again from my parent’s in law’s house. When the salmon are running, it can be quite an experience because the fish spook at the horses hooves and go scurrying up the water, the horses then spook and I call the fish “Mountain Lions with Fins.”
Nearing the rapids where we have to turn right to go down the trail back to the house. Chloe sure has a good attitude doesn’t she? I also appreciate how tall she is here, the water doesn’t even come close to getting on me!
We’re almost up to the neighborhood road here, one of my favorite spots because of the tall pines and the black berries that grow here are wonderful — especially if you can battle the mosquitoes in the summer.
Back to the homestead, Rebecca is that little dot down there on the road with dust flying behind her. My parents in law’s house is on the left as well as their pasture fence. This road, Dirt Road (yes, it really is named that), is where a couple of Becca’s horse back riding friends live and it’s a nice flat spot to gallop, should you feel the need… Of which, Chloe and I did not. Not only did I have a digital SLR hanging from my neck, I was also in a strange saddle on a very gigantic horse with huge strides that could lurch you if you’re not prepared… I wasn’t feeling too prepared.
When I got back, my baby felt the urge to ride this beast, and I was happy to oblige. My mother-in-law took the photos and did a nice job too.
It was a nice trip down memory trail and riding a horse this large is always novel. Chloe is a sweetie, and such a gentle giant.
Thanks for the ride Becca!