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February 1, 2015: Stupor Bowl Sunday

This may be my favorite day of the year, but not for reasons that most people would expect. I don’t like football, to me this is sanctioned violence. And the Stupor Bowl is perhaps the number one sign of the collapse of American civilization. There is over an hour of advertising minutes, and 17 minutes of actual action – what a friggin waste of time.

I do enjoy getting out on this day, however, because all the dumb shits who are usually out on the trail are inside, eating buffalo wings and drinking bad beer. I just wish that their doors would

automatically lock and that they would be permanently contained.

The outside world on Stupor Bowl Sunday is the way it would be if, as the pope suggested, people stopped breeding like rabbits. My rephrasing: stopped breeding like fucking rabbits. The redundancy of mine – I think it’s lovely though rabbits might rightly be offended.

No two days are ever alike, but today was a lot like yesterday. I did pretty much the same thing – wrote and rode.

The writing – I worked on Lessons Twice Learned. Actually, I did what I call writerly futzing. I checked to see that the table of contents page corresponded with the chapter headers – and I gave considerable thought to what I’ll include in the how-to sections, and as well, how the two are going to dovetail. I want for there to be continuity, which is for one idea to build upon the next. I’m going to start out by talking about mapping, a concept put forth by writer/rider/instructor Mary Wanless. Mapping involves look at our self-perceptions in relation to riding. I would like to write about how, over last summer, my self-perceptions changed while taking arena lessons.

I have also given my subconscious an assignment, which is to work on the introduction to this book. I want to make note of the fact that the writers whose work I’m citing are offering returning riders some ideas as how they might become more confident and adept. I am specifically speaking to those who are older and consequently less sure of themselves. I’m not there yet with this. I have to let this thought simmer a bit more.

Pete has finished reading the If Wishes were Horses proposal, so I need to implement his suggestion and then get this document out to publishers and agents. So, I’m going to have to set Lessons Twice Learned aside for a bit.

Riding – today Pete and I also rode the Grizzly Camp Loop, this time, going in the opposite direction. I didn’t think we were going to do this because it was fairly windy. Pete said that we’d decide what to do once we got the horses saddled up; and this is what we did. I started out up front – walked the two dogs and horses, with Pete following. I bypassed the Murphy Road Trailhead and we keep on going, downroad.

I let the dogs loose at the Murphy Road Trail intersection and mounted up. We took the Arch trail to Four Corners, went down the steep hill, then rode the Upper Moose Meadows straightaway. It dead ended, so we doubled back a bit and took the snowy side trail to the Corridor Trail. Then we went up trail, to the Grizzly Camp Trail, and back home.

This ride was (at least in my estimation) a challenge. Not so for Pete, who was riding Steady Eddy Tinni. This got me to thinking – if Siggi were still around, Pete would be riding him and I’d be riding Tinni. And if Signy were still around, I’d be riding her. Five horses was a lot of work, but I still really miss those two.

We had to again cross the two narrow hollow-sounding bridges. Raudi knew I was concerned, which was why she let Tinni and Hrimmi go first, both times. And again, we had to deal with ice flow. The toughest looking spot actually turned out to be quite easy – this was what we call the mud puddle area. We had to drop down a steep incline, and then cross the ice. But this time, we were able to go around the ice, which was snow covered and somewhat soft.

We concluded our ride by going on our regular trail, up to Jim’s Road.

Once home, I practice going around a barrel with Raudi – this in preparation for our doing the trail trials. As I understand it, the rider must go around a barrel that has a stick on the top of it. You have to move the stick in a circle, and keep it from coming off the barrel. I had a hard time at first, then Pete suggested first circling the barrel, riding English (with two hands) then circling the barrel, riding Western (with one hand). This, chunking things down, worked really, really well. I think that given the fact that I have two week’s time, that I’ll be able to do this.

After, we did some agility wok. Raudi was understandably tired and hungry, so she didn’t do her best. No matter, I was still quite proud of her.

Two great days, all ‘n all. Yep, I’m living what Pete’s dad would call the good life.

Next: 33.2/2/15: Henpecked

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