I later realize that I’m getting more confident about my physical self, but am not yet fully confident about my mental self. The two are on nodding terms but are not yet shaking hands. I might never get there. But then again, I am light years away from where I was in 2003, when I resumed riding. Back then, the idea of hopping on a horse and going for a trail ride seemed to me to be unfathomable. I thought those who did this were very brave – and I was not brave. Now I ride on the trails nearly every day. It is just that I am not fully one with Raudi yet. Close but no cigar.
After lunch, Pete and I headed for the trail head. Pete walked Hrimfara and I rode Raudi and ponied Tinni. It was difficult ponying the old duffer. My fleece gloves were bulky and loose fitting and the leadline was a tad bit too long. I was also carrying a crop which I did not need. Raudi was feeling energized. Also, Pete, walking Hrimmi, kept getting ahead of me. This was not a bad thing at all. We’ve discovered that her habit of stopping on the trail, when being ponied, isn’t an issue when one or the other of us is walking her. So we now taking turns walking her. This works for us.
We were about a mile out when two snowmobilers came ripping down the trail. The machines were noisy and fast, in fact nearly ear-splitting. I hopped off Raudi. One ‘biler saw us out on the trail and stopped. Then his buddy, who was paying no attention to anything, ran into the back of him. Something must have happened to his machine, because in seconds, he and his buddy were under the hood, fixing that which was broken.
Pete and I moved the horses onto the lower trail, and put Ryder on her leash. The other two dogs hung close to us. We waited, and in time the ‘bilers went racing past. And as they passed, I gave the horses treats. I well knew that it was I and not them who was rattled.
I remounted and made sure that I had Tinni’s lead rope. Further down trail, I inadvertently dropped Tinni’s lead. Tinni, seeing he was free, did an about face and high tailed it for home.
I started to give chase but then realized two things. The first was that if Raudi and I gave chase that Tinni would run faster. The second was that there was the likelihood that Raudi would bolt. So I again hopped off her and walked up trail, with Pete, walking Hrimmi, right behind. We caught up with Tinni at the main trail junction. One way is the long way home and the other is the short way. He was down on the trail that was the quickest way home. Smart boy – he knew where his herd was – he just wanted it known that he wanted us all to take the path of least resistance.
Once I had Tinni in hand, I elected to have Pete get on Raudi and pony Hrimmi. I wanted to see if Hrimmi would do better being ponied. I handed the line to Pete and he dropped it. Hrimmi took off, but less than a minute later, returned to where we were standing.
Here’s the deal. I got off Raudi twice and walked. There’s a part of me that has been thinking that this was the coward’s way out. I perhaps should have practiced clear intent, and stayed on her back. But no, at the time, walking seemed like the safest thing to do. In both instances I was supposedly preventing the unknown from happening – my thought was that Raudi might bolt. All this to say that such instances are a matter of perspective. It really is how you look at it.
Nothing bad happened. The entire time the horses and the dogs were well behaved. Oh well. One of these days I’ll stay put when snowmachines race by. Then and only then will I have embraced the concept of clear intent.
Next: 13. 1/13/16: Me, Training to be a Warrior, Who Woulda Thunk it?