Sassy and I have ridden all over the desert at the Salt River, even blazing a trail going from Phon D all the way to Stewart Mountain Dam Road, which is north of Water Users!! We've had to turn around and find alternative ways sometimes when an area we got into was too dense, etc. Somehow we've always been able to find that alternate route ..... until yesterday. She and I got into an area way back in behind Phon D, that was so dense, there absolutely was no way out. Hard for me to admit, but we couldn't even turn around and go back out the way we came in. LOL I'm sure Sassy could have gotten herself out, but not with a rider on her back. :)
So, I got down, and told her we had to weave our way out of the maze. There was one area where she and I both had to duck our heads to get under to get to an opening. I stood and contemplated about whether to take her saddle off or not, knowing that the saddle horn would probably scrape the branch. Well, my girl surprised me again! As I started to slowly walk forward, I ducked down and reached up with one hand to show her the branch ~ actually to bring it to her attention just in case. LOL Silly me! She automatically ducked her head as she followed me!???
Then it happened.....I heard branches breaking, twigs snapping, leaves rustling. I expected Sassy to spook and run out from where she was probably getting stuck, so I moved aside to get out of her way. When I turned to look, I burst out laughing! This horse must've seen it all when she spent those 5 years alone in Tucson before being rescued because nothing seems to bother her (except when we go slow!!!) LOL
She slowly, carefully emerged from the vegetation, and there was a huge branch draped across the saddle, and it stayed there as she took a couple steps! What was Sassy doing? Nothing. That's right, absolutely nothing. OMGosh, if that had been Maverick or Chase, look out!!! :) Not Sassy; she just looked at me as if to ask when I was going to remove the forest from her back. I walked over and took the branch off and tossed it on the ground. Photos below. :)
The second picture shows part of the area we were stuck in. We did find our way out of there, obviously, and I don't think either of us will forget our way in that area the next time. LOL Although, the truth be told, it wasn't Sassy's fault, but I haven't admitted that to her just yet.
About an hour or so after the "uprooting of the tree," Sassy and I had a little fun chasing a coyote! Obviously, she'd never hurt one, but for some reason, she gets a kick out of chasing them. The chase is very short-lived, usually only about 20-30 seconds or so; not because she's not fast enough, but because there's too much cactus, etc. I just let her think she's giving him a run for his money. LOL
Anyway, we thought this particular coyote had taken off and was long gone. Maybe about 30 minutes later, though, here's what we saw: