Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2014 > Daily Dispatch #103

April 13, 2014: Horse Training and the New Herd Order

The better part of today was spent dealing with what I call “the new herd order.” As I said to Pete yesterday, I don’t want to ever have to assist horses in sorting out their relationships with one another ever again. As I now know, doing this right takes considerable time. Plus, there is usually some uncertainty. And it also can be a dangerous preposition.

My “work day” began with me taking the dogs and Tinni out on an outing. This was my attempt to make Tinni feel better about Lifre’s being here. It’s an understatement for me to say that he’s unhappy about the Big Headed Pinto Loaner Horse now being the object of Raudi’s affections. However, we had a wonderful ride – Tinni was full of spunk – and he alone now gets access to the shelter area.

The groundwork went well. Lifre isn’t very keen on being alone, so early on I tied him to the trailer and let him watch me watch the other horses. He got increasingly more relaxed as time went on. Finally, he was calmly eating hay out of the big bucket.

Pete and I went for a ride after lunch. Pete rode Lifre and I rode Raudi. We also brought Hrimmi along. We originally planned to go for a short ride on the trails close to home, but then once we were out, we kept on going. We did get off to a shaky start – we decided to play the whoa and go game – having one horse pass the other and stop, up the trail. Lifre let it be known that he didn’t like this by rearing with Pete on this back. So I got off Raudi and walked her – and we initially kept the distances quite short, then slowly lengthened them. This worked fine.

I rode in front for a bit, then I let Lifre go ahead. This also worked okay. When finally, we got to Grizzly Camp, Pete suggested we keep going. I was okay with this idea – my reasoning was that if we turned around and headed back, that one or both of the horses, knowing they were heading home, would bolt. So, we continued on. Turned out, this was a good thing to do because I reconnected with Raudi, who I had lost connection with at about mid-winter. I can’t explain why disconnection occurs, but generally it takes a long ride to get it back. This is because (I think) I have to arise to the challenge. This time the sense of connection was so strong that Raudi tolted, which is something she had not done in some time. Because we went so far, and on such uneven terrain, we’ll do well tomorrow, on what will be a shorter ride.

I suspect that this is going to be the last long loop outing for some time because the trail is now melting and muddy in places. At about the three quarters point we came across a couple in a swamp buggy, followed by a man in a high powered ATV. This was out in the middle of nowhere. We continued on, and saw that they had done minimal damage to the trail. The sad thing is that they’ll do more damage, because they will ride when it’s muddy. I held my tongue when we passed because I have (finally) learned that there’s nothing that I can say that will change their habits – absolutely nothing. And if I say anything, no matter how polite I might be – they will take offense. Of course, they’re also all carrying guns.

I saw on our ride where previously I went right and I ought to have gone left. As I explained in a previous dispatch, I went the way I did because the trail looked less traveled. This time, I, following Pete, went left. This did cut some mileage off the route.

We got home in really short order; however, Hrimmi was in the end pretty tired. This was her longest outing in quite a while. It was also her first longer outing without Signy. When off lead, she sticks pretty close to us. We’ll have to pony her when the grass appears because otherwise, she will be distracted by the forage and foliage.

It’s good having a horse for Pete to ride. And it’s good that this is a temporary arrangement because the truth be known, neither one of us are wanting to get a fourth horse. In time, Hrimmi will do Signy’s former job.

Next: 104. 4/14/14: Horse Training: Only When You Have the Gene