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May 16, 2015: Attentive, not Reactive

It was the nicest day of the year yet, weather-wise. It was like it was when I was in Bremerton, WA last month – warm, sunny, just a tad bit breezy. It was one of those mornings when you get up and, true to form, I was up and out within seconds after finishing my oatmeal.

I’d planned on taking Raudi for a more lengthy ride – I’d given serious thought to doing what we call the Spike Fork Loop, which is exactly what I ended up doing. I got out right after Pete who was heading to Anchorage for a meeting. We

left the house simultaneously, at 9 a.m.

I brushed and tacked up Raudi, and then headed out around the loop. Then I went down Murphy Road and got on the Ridge Runner cross-over trail. It was still punchy and wet in places. Raudi, as she always does, wound her way around the horsey divots and tree roots. We came to the clearing in no time, but instead of going left, continued straight on ahead, up a bank and into a residential area. Oops. It being early Saturday (still) we hustled out of there and back onto Murphy Road.

We took Murphy to Buffalo Mine Road, and Buffalo Mine Road to the Spike Fork Trail. This was also punchy. Like many of the trails around here, the ATVers have trashed it. We next went up Spike Fork, and then onto the trails that take us to the Four Corners trails.

The Four Corner trails were an absolute mess, meaning they’re muddy and ATV rutted. Raudi was so good – she picked her way along this section in a slow and careful fashion, at times deliberating before deciding what side of the trail to walk on next.

I was full of praise when finally we stepped out onto Murphy Road. If she had slipped, both would have gone down. She may have if she was a lesser horse. We happily trotted up Murphy Road, and cantered a small portion of it.

It was by now noon, so the denizens were out and about. The guys who live on the upper road, what I now call Rug Rat Road (because there are so many children) were parked by the creek and filling their 350 gallon water container. Across the way, two monster males were breaking off dried cow parsnip stalks and fighting with them. Raudi paid them little mind as we got onto the adjacent trail.

We next rode Siggi’s Loop and Jim’s Trail. We ran into four people, two males and a female, picking nettles and fireweed. I was glad that Raudi had a long time ago been desensitized to large plastic bags because this is what they were carrying. We continued up Jim’s Road and did the creek trail. After, we headed down Jim’s Road and then back home.

I was very pleased with how Raudi did today; in fact, she could have not, in my estimation, done any better. Frank and Claudia Sihler are coming over for a ride late this afternoon, so Raudi, poor dear, is going to have to go out again. Around here, it’s a rough life for a horse.

Next: 130. 5/17/15: If You’re not Ahead, You’re Behind

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