This time out I was brave enough to go ahead and use the flash on the little pocket camera while Siera and I were out in a hay field.
She was standing quietly watching the neighbor's cattle while they were feeding.
The flash didn't bother her at all I guess. But one should always be careful, I've seen spooks from lesser scary things.
When we started the ride clouds had already come in and it was fairly dark. I wore a reflective vest over my 'Screaming Yellow' Bicycle jacket that I'd purchased just for riding a few years ago. Believe me, Screaming Yellow is the perfect name for it!
When I do night rides, I stick to the hay fields and sides of our ridge roads that are gravel and not well traveled. It isn't exciting riding, but we can work on going away from home willingly and 'putting in time' under the saddle.
When we reached a hay strip that pointed towards home, Siera decided that she wanted to GO that way. I allowed her to turn and then continued to circle her. After about 4 circles, she realized that we were not going THAT way just because she wanted too.
It seemed that my ridge was deserted! All 3 homes were empty. I suppose they'd gone to the Fair in town.
We reached the black top and crossed the road before we turned around. I never turn around in the same spot...mules will expect that in the future.
By the time that we came back by the cattle, it was very dark out. I could see pretty well and obviously Siera could see even better than me.
Suddenly Siera snorted like a deer whistling in fright. She took a large step sideways and then locked up her legs and turned to stare.
Two curious calves had started to run towards the fence.
That was Siera's spook.
She snorted at them. I turned her so that she could watch these 'horrid' little creatures.
It was a standoff. Mule watching calves...not moving, calves watching mule...not moving.
Siera took a big sigh and the calves turned and walked back to the bale feeder.
The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. Siera walked out in a beautiful Paso Llano (four beat lateral movement in even cadence). I had to do a little work getting her there, but it was worth the ride!
Her spook? If all spooks were like that I would be one happy rider.