The greatest horse ever – we should all be compiling stories. A case in point: Last night I got an email from Deb Moore saying that she and some others would be meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the Buffalo Mine Road parking area. The plan was that she and a few others would then do the Moose Creek loop, which is the same ride a few of us did a few Sundays ago.
I deliberated about going with because this would mean that I’d need to get up at 6:30 a.m. so as to eat breakfast, clean up after the horses, and ride down to the parking area. I finally decided to do this because this way, I’d be getting in miles before it got too hot. Further incentive – Pete decided to come along; he’d ride Tinni and pony Hrimmi.
We set out at 7:50. Raudi was immediately all business. She moved at a fast walk, and soon put considerable distance between herself and her herd mates. We cut over to Ridge Runner on the trail, then cut over to Buffalo Mine Road on the trail. We went down Buffalo Mine Road a ways, were passed what I called the trailer convoy, which got to the parking area just minutes before we did.
I could not believe it – this time around Deb had rounded up a dozen women riders, of all ages, from 12 to 60. I grew nervous in seeing so many riders and so many big horses, but then less so when I realized that some of the riders were people who I respect a great deal, Deb, Terri Meilke, Karol Kohlmeine, her friend Cathy, and Jessica Kelsh.
I was still hardly awake when, 20 minutes later, we sat on our horses and contemplated the first Moose Creek Crossing. In plunged the first few horses. Raudi was two horses from last. Terri and Cathy were right behind us. There was that familiar clunking sound – hoofs on rocks, and the near-deafening roar of the fast moving water. I kept my eyes on the far shore, and continued to urge Raudi on. Once across, I cheered inwardly. One creek crossing down and one to go.
The far trail was rutted and slick in places. Raudi, who was energized by being on a ride with other horses, tripped a few times. I place her behind her old pal Lifre – I think that they both liked this arrangement. He was longer strided than she was, so she repeatedly fell behind and then trotted back to her place behind him.
I’m usually too nervous to talk on group rides, but this time I found myself engaging in conversation, mainly with Terri.
We came to the creek area – to get to it we had to first cross a large overturned log. Most of the horses stepped over it, with their riders on their back. Another rider and I walked over it. And Lifre (who is getting jumping training) jumped over it. We next came to an overflow area – it took a bit of time to get Jessica’s horse George over it, but finally, he did join the others. During this time, Raudi was growing increasingly more impatient – she saw the creek in front of her and wanted to cross it. I walked her towards it, and she marched right on into it. Across we went, through the swiftly moving water. I felt her feet leave the ground and my feet get wet.
I clicked and gave her a treat when we got to the far side. I then went to get my camera out of my pack, so that I could take some photos. I didn’t get any photos of the others crossing the creek because Raudi walked off. I caught her (thankfully) before anyone else took note.
The ride back to the trailer was on the dirt road. The road sloped downhill slightly, making the horses rushy. Seeing as the horses were more hurried than they should be, Deb had us all do a circle exercise, the first horse dropping back behind the last horse, then the second horse doing the same. Raudi was fine with this, though she did try and cut her corners, so as to get in behind Lifre quicker.
I left the others behind shortly after we arrived in the parking area. I headed up Buffalo Mine Rad at a good clip; my goal was to get to and turn onto the Spike Fork trail before the trailer convoy caught up with us. I did this, and then did the larger neighborhood loop.
It had gotten increasingly hotter, which was why I elected to walk Raudi up Murphy Road. I arrived home, grabbed Ryder, and then went out again, this time doing the local trails.
I originally planned on going to jumping lesson this evening, but after far too much deliberation decided to forego this. First of all, it’s hot. Secondly, the air is smoky. And thirdly, I don’t want Raudi to be standing in a hot trailer with construction going on.
Now thinking back, I have to say that I’m pleased with how Raudi did today. I’m also pleased with my own progress – riding in large groups has never been my forte. But this was a good thing to do because it verified that indeed, Raudi is the best horse ever.
Next; 160. 6/17/15 Impromptu Groundwork Lesson