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July 14, 2015: Competitive Trail Ride – Getting Ready

As I write this, Pete is out with Jay, they took the dogs for a walk. It was an excuse for Pete to show Jay our trail system. Jay is going to house sit for us from tomorrow (Wednesday) until we get home Monday. She will do an excellent job – we provided her with detailed typed notes. And as Pete was going over particulars, she was making her own notes.

We met Jay via Claudia, our friend who trains dogs and now owns Icelandic horses. We had gone for rides last spring, and J had followed. Then last year, J came and hung out with us all at the CTR. So did Mark Carney, another

mutual friend of ours. I didn’t think that the sparks would fly between Mark and Jay because Jay is at least a decade younger than Mark. But they did. The pair were married last January. We went to the reception.

Jay is now stepmom to Mark and Mark’s ex Brandi’s kids. Several years ago Brandi threw up her hands and said “enough!” to Mark, and left him and the kids. Millie is now 17, Fiona is 14, and Waylon is 9. Brandi, who has MS, is still in the picture. She’s considering moving to Texas and taking Waylon with her.

Meeting with Jay is just one thing that we had to do, that was on an extremely long list. We are now ahead of schedule – the trailer is organized and packed, and the truck is nearly packed. We’ll drop Hrimmi off at the Lemay’s early tomorrow – writing that sentence makes me realize that we are really attached to her, and as well, she is attached to us, us including Tinni and Raudi. We’ll head uproad after saying our goodbyes to the Lemays and to Hrimmi.

The fact that it has been a bad fire year in the Interior has me concerned. We may have to deal with the Parks Highway being closed, or once at our destination, heavy smoke in camp and on the trail. I’d say that there is a 50-50 chance that we may or may not do this event. We are proceeding with plans as though we are going to do it.

If we do not go, our work will not have been for naught. We’ve done quite a bit of reorganizing, so we know where things are. And we’ve cleaned those items that we’ve reorganized. For example, will attend the CTR evening presentation on Friday. The ride organizers will then provide all with course maps and go over ride specifics. We are prepared for this. We are bringing along lawn chairs. I put the items needed for this presentation in my pack. These include, but are not limited to, pens, yellow highlighters, clipboards, note paper, and a ruler. The latter item will enable us to make tidy and more legible mileage/time charts.

It’s now Tuesday evening and we are packed and ready to roll. I am late in getting to writing my affirmation. We’ll do well in part because we’re so organized. We won’t be leaving and arriving in Fairbanks in a dither. From start to finish we’ll be organizationally on top of things because we have everything we need and know where it all is.

Raudi and I are up for this event because we’ve been training for it for a year. We’ll just truck along, me singing songs, her snorting – both of us totally enjoying ourselves. And she will amaze the horsemanship judge by doing as she’s told, every time I ask her to do something. She’ll back the required number of steps, sidepass, cross the Chena River, and stand quietly as I open and close required gates.

The novice award ceremony will be on Saturday evening. Once again, Pete and Tinni are (in Millie’s words) “going to dominate.” Pete claims to be a sack of potatoes riding an older pony, but this is just a competitive ruse. I am going to imitate Pete and all weekend be relaxed, cool, calm, and focused, always, every minute having a good time.

It’ll also be fun getting together with our Fairbanks friends on Thursday evening. Like I said yesterday, this is all going to be so much fun that I’m not going to want it to end.

Next: 182. CTR 2015 Photos

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