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June 22, 2015: Center and Grow

Been looking high and low for a mantra for many years. Couldn’t seem to find one. It’s been said that things found are in the last place one looks. Okay. Mantra appeared today, this one fits. Love and Kindness were already taken, also too vague.

Center and grow. I like it because it’s specific, and brings concrete images to mind. Center like a lump of clay on a potter’s wheel, grow like a birch tree.

A whole lot of centering and growing going on here. Got up early, so as to go for a ride with Vickie. She was to ride to my place, and we’d then ride to her

place. I’d then ride home. I was anxious about the prospect of riding with Vickie. Vickie is a good rider who moves effortlessly with her well-trained horse. I, in contrast am a mediocre rider who moves with great effort on her not so well trained horse. Center and grow.

This was to be the first time that I was to accompany Vickie while riding Raudi. In the past I usually rode steady eddy Tinni. But now that Raudi is my number one riding horse, this was something that I felt compelled to do. Center and grow.

I walked Raudi down to the Murphy Road turnoff, a distance of about 1 ½ miles from our place. I waited and waited but she did not appear. Center and grow. I finally walked Raudi back home. Vickie appeared less than five minutes after I got home. We took off after eating lunch. Hunar was very focused from the get go. Raudi was not very focused. Center and grow.

Cantered Raudi’s Racetrack – came to the four corners trail too soon. I nearly came off. Center and grow. Continued on through the Moose Meadows to the Rocky Road trail, then came to the Ruff Grouse Society trail turnoff. I had a few days ago ridden to this very place, and seeing the steep drop off, opted to take an alternative route. Center and grow. I had no choice but to follow. Made it down the ravine on my trusty horse, who did this as a matter of course. Center and grow.

The remaining trail was nice, challenging in places, with a few more hills. We then ventured onto the power line trail. Center and grow. Had never ridden it before. We then came to this place where there was a whole lot of construction going on. Unreal. Passed a Tyvek covered house surrounded on the side by a small white picket fence. Inside this fenced-in area was all kinds of junk. I said to Vickie that I’m going back to get a photo for the online agility group – the whole place was the ultimate scary corner. Made going through sawhorses with caution tape on them seem like a cakewalk. Center and grow.

We were now in a residential area – there were numerous ATVs, cars, trucks. Made it safely to Vickie’s place, put Raudi in with Hunar for a bit, and said to myself – have centered, have grown.

But the day was not yet over, oh no. Vickie drew me a map for the homeward trek. This was not the route we’d taken, but an alternative route. It was the road route. I got confused in very short order, and decided to ride the power line trail route, the one we’d just taken.

Got lost. Ended up on a forestry road. Kept going because it was a good road, firm underfoot, through the woods and a clear-cut. Thought some about the nature of getting lost. Wondered if Pete would put together a search and rescue group. He is such an organizer. Center and grow. Realized that I didn’t have a phone, and I didn’t have any water with me. At the point at which I was about to start plea bargaining with Dog, the trail opened up, and I found myself on the powerline. Center and grow.

Both directions looked the same to me so I went to the right. In a bit I saw horse hoofprints in the dust, realized that I’d done a loop of sorts. All along I’d been alternating walking and riding. I continued to do this after I got back on track, and made sense of Vickie’s map. Center and grow. A bicyclist pulling a trailer that contained a large cooler verified that I was going in the right direction. Center and grow.

The ride home was blessedly uneventful, with one exception, and that was the porcupine sighting. Raudi saw it first – it was right in front of us, to our left. He was climbing a tree. He changed his mind and then backed down. Raudi did not move until he was in the bushes. I got off her and walked past it. Center and grow.

Trotted and cantered back up Murphy Road, of course loosening her girth and walking the final stretch. I don’t know who was more eager to get home, me or Raudi. Center and grow.

Next: 165. 6/26/15: Putting Things Together

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