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April 27, 2015: Long Ride

Today I took Raudi out for a longer-than-usual ride. We went to Karen Hoppe’s place; she lives on Spike Fork Road, which is three or so miles from our place. I knew that Karen would not be home – it was just a destination. Destinations are good because then one can adhere, coming and going, to a specific route.

It was overcast – the sky had been spitting a bit earlier. It was also a wee bit breezy. Spring though, was in the air and on the ground. The returning birds filled the air with song, and clumps of green grass were emerging from the soil.

Our trails are still soft under hoof. And the adjacent ATV trails are muddy and boggy. It’s for this reason that I’ve been doing more road rides than usual. This time, in hopes of making things more interesting for both Raudi and I, I decided to cut over to Ridge Runner Circle by taking Murphy Road trail, for it runs parallel to it, and to cut over to Spike Fork Road Trail, by taking the Buffalo Mine Road trail, for it runs parallel to it.

The Murphy Road trail was soft under hoof – Raudi, who didn’t trust it, crept along like a senior citizen. And the Spike Fork Road trail was not only soft, but near impassable – four wheelers have discovered and trashed it. In the case of the latter, Raudi and I rode alongside it. We headed back after reaching our destination; somehow I got off-trail after getting on Spike Fork, and then I ended up walking with Raudi alongside the ditch that parallels Buffalo Mine Road. I was fearful, not because there was traffic, but because the sand was soft underfoot.

Soon enough, we were back on Murphy Road. I had Raudi alternate trotting and cantering all the way back to the Murphy Road trailhead that’s near our place, which she did readily. But once on the trail, she resumed moving at a snail’s pace.

We rode Siggi’s trail, turned right onto Jim’s Road, left onto Sybarite, and finished up by doing the long road ride. We got to Oceanview Road – I then walked Raudi the remaining quarter of a mile home.

The question that the above begs, is what does one think about in doing long, solitary rides? This time, I thought about Raudi and my doing the July competitive trail ride, and how I might further train for it. I also thought some about the fact that I won’t have a riding partner for at least another year. This is because Tinni is now officially retired. It occurred to me that this is an instance in which Pete and I are going to have to be adaptable, meaning finding differing ways of exercising Hrimmi and Tinni. Pete and I both thinking that we’ll be doing a lot of horse riding this summer.

There’s no sense grousing about this – the best we can do is remain flexible – and be grateful that Mr. T is still with us. The horse that I am going to eventually purchase is a three year old, so like Hrimmi, she’s also going to have to wait a year before being ridden.

Having one old and one young horse is far better than having no horses at all – or hoping to someday own one. I’ve been there, done that, don’t ever expect to ever be in this position again.

Next: 111. 4/28/15: Jumping Lesson #2

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