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April 8, 2015: Raudi’s 12th Birthday
Alys: Raudi, on April 11, you will be 12 years old.
Raudi: Well then, why did you take my picture today?
A: Because I won’t be here on your birthday.
R: Where are you going?
A: To California – to learn how to be a riding instructor.
R: Does this mean that I’ll have a new job when you get back?
A: I don’t know. We’ll see if this is something you do or don’t want to do.
R: Good idea.
A: What’s your earliest memory?
R: I remember the first time I stood up. My legs were shaky, which surprised me. I remember that the sky was clear and that there were stars. Gergen, she was my dam, she took her nose and pointed me in the direction of her nipple. That first gulp of milk sure tasted good.
A: This was because this contained colostrum.
R: I don’t know what that stuff was, but I could go for some now.
A: You wrote about this in your book.
R: Yes, because it was memorable.
A: Well, how does it feel to be 12 years old?
R: Sort of like being 11 years old. Actually, I still am 11
years old, so I can’t yet say how it feels to be 12. Ask me again in a few days.
A: Well, this past year, what were some of the high points?
R: As always, I enjoyed spending time with you. Learning to jump was fun. And we had an okay time together in the competitive trail ride.
A: Okay time?
R: Yes. I had a sore shoulder.
A: And you think you’ll be okay this year?
R: Yes. Just don’t lunge me beforehand. This makes it hurt.
A: Did you enjoy going for winter trail rides?
R: Yes. But I now want to do something else.
A: Would you like to go on another long trip?
R: O yes. I had a really good time on the first trip.
A: And the second?
R: Losing Mr. Siggi was very, very hard. I still miss him something awful.
A: And Signy?
R: I don’t miss her.
A: You now have to contend with her daughter, Hrimmi.
R: I like Hrimmi. She does what I tell her to do.
A: And Tinni?
R: I do what he tells me to do.
A: And what’s that?
R: I move over and let him have his share of the hay. He’s not very demanding.
A: Why is this?
R: Well, he’s getting up there in years.
A: Does he want to be retired?
R: Sort of. He really likes getting out. He would like to be ponied.
A: Will he allow you to pony him?
R: You need to ask him this question. This conversation is about me.
R: Apology accepted.
A: So what’s it like, being a mature trail horse?
R: It’s good. I most like being out front. It’s boring, just hanging out and looking at the horse and rider ahead.
A: Is there anything, trail-wise, that you are afraid of?
R: Northing. Absolutely nothing.
A: Why is this?
R: Breeding. I come from a long, long line of very savvy trail horses. Logi from Skardi, my grandfather on my mother’s side, he was sort of a blip. He was an excitable competition horse.
A: Well, do you want to do jumping lessons this year?
R: I’d much rather be out on the trail. But I do like going to Beth’s place. I most like hanging out and talking with my horsey buddies.
A: What do you think of them?
R: They’re a really odd lot. They don’t have much trail experience. But as I say, to each their own.
A: What do you think about my leaving for two weeks?
R: In your absence, Pete will take very good care of us.
A: You think so?
R: Absolutely. But remember, I’m sure to meet you at the distance.
A: That’s an old joke.
R: But one that is absolutely true.
A: Happy Birthday Raudi.
R: Thank you. I have one more thing to say.
A: What’s that?
R: I can’t wait until tomorrow because I get better looking every day.
Next: 92. 4/9/15: Arriving at Anita’s Place