Today was an amazing day on the horse front. It was cold, in the single digits. Couldn’t hang out long without my gloves on which drove me nuts because I am constantly removing them. I wore my blue down coat and Steger Mukluks. Moving kept me warm.
Pete and I first took Tinni and Hrimmi for a walk. Pete at one point wondered if Hrimmi preferred walking over being ponied on the trail. I had been wondering if she found walking to be boring. But after thinking about it a bit, I realized that she probably does like the variety. She’s sure getting a lot more of this, plus far more exercise than Raudi and Siggi got when they were her age.
Pete had to go to town, so I was left to take Raudi and the dogs out for their daily bout of exercise. I really wasn’t up for this because it was nose biting cold. Also, I hadn’t taken Raudi out solo for some time. I figured that if she was overly energetic that I’d cut the ride short. As it turned out, her energy level was just fine for the task at hand.
I put the harnesses and leashes on the dogs, tacked up Raudi, and off we went. The dogs stuck close when I unleashed them at the trailhead. Raudi noodled for a little bit, but once I got on her settled down. We set out, the three of us – the sun shining brightly, the temps now in the high single digits. After a bit, Raudi and then I spotted a hiker going up the bench and froze. I gave her a treat and she immediately relaxed. Raudi’s freezing is a good thing because she’s assessing the situation. Some horses would just take flight.
Raudi was a bit nervous, and way more energetic than usual, most likely because she wasn’t having to follow on Hrimmi’s brown and white ass. Going down the first downhill, I brought to mind an image of my feet being like trees, extending roots way into the ground. This worked really well. I had not previously realized that I pulled my legs when going downhill, and this caused me to pitch forward, throwing us both off balance.
There was just one little spook, near Tincan Turn. And there was just one run off, going down Suicide Hill. But generally, it went well. Next time, down Suicide, I’m going to have Raudi make multiple stops.
Nice quiet ride to the trailhead, where the dogs and horses waited for me to hook up the dogs. This was on the dog’s part quite impressive, given that two cars went by on the nearby road. And once on the road, we all had to deal with Mr. UPS truck. No problem – I just kept shoveling animal treats down all the animal’s throats.
Once back at home I set up a mini agility course the driveway It consisted of a tarp, a pole, a hula hoop and five weave buckets. Raudi did just fine – the hula hoop was a bit small for our purposes; I’ll need to get a larger one. The weave buckets – would be better to get some large cones. I focused on having the Raudi, and later Hrimmi, walk on a looser line. This is challenging for us all, but we are starting to get it.
I next did the modified course with Hrimmi. Her attention span is really short because she’s still a baby. This is why I cut the session short. Then I again did the same with Raudi. It works well to first work with Raudi, tie her to the hitching post, work with Hrimmi, then again work with Raudi. That’s two sessions with Raudi and one with Hrimmi. Plus I think that they like having one another close by. And none of this agility training takes much time at all.
Afterwards, I cleaned up after the horses and put hay piles on the ground, so that they’d have to move around in order to get at the goods. Then, this was the most amazing thing of all – I said to Raudi that she was my soulmate. She then lifted her head and snorted. Think of this what you will. It may not have been the words but rather the fact that at that moment I was sending positive energy out to her. Had to have been. So, perhaps it is possible to let animals know that we love them.
Raudi may be my soulmate, but again, this does not mean that I love any of the others any less. There is plenty of love here to go around.
Next: 6. 1/6/15: The Writing Life: Loose Ends