Specifically, what happens to rivers after a big storm?
When there's a dam downstream and the dam goes up, the river gets higher. Normal, sane people are aware the river is not crossable, and even us crazy trail folk won't try it when the dam is up. River to my feet? Fine. River that would probably be to pony-ears? Nope.
However, when the dam goes down, it is often safe to cross again fairly soon thereafter. Woo, exciting! No longer stuck going in muddy circles!
So, as the dam was down (we confirmed Saturday evening) and there had been nearly 48 hours without rain, we figured what the heck: let's try it before the next rain comes (expected late Sunday night).
We did not slip and slide down the steep section en route to the river. It was amazing how well the water had soaked in.
It did take some convincing to get the ponies in the river. Yes, ponies, it's okay.
However, what shows up in rivers after a storm? Silt. Silt means that the 'solid' bottom of the river is no longer solid, and ponies sink. Little bit of silt? Fine, if the rest of it is solid. But when we get slightly more than halfway across.. my poor, tolerant pony sunk when I asked for a pause to consider how bad it was. Bad move: stopping leads to sinking.
I'm not sure how wet I was, but I wasn't soaked and she wasn't falling over, so I asked for another step. She dutifully rocked back, hauled herself up, and LEAPED forwards a step, only to sink just as hard. Several more rear-leaps later and I turned her around and back towards home we went, careful to NOT stop no matter what.
Note that the pad is wet about halfway up.. and pretty much her entire front end is wet.
What a good pony. We won't try that again, at least not today. Maybe after the next storm blows past...