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June 27, 2017: Too Many Choices

I own four riding horses that are at various stages of their lives and at varying levels of ability. This is lots of work but way fun. Working with each one, nearly every day, is also time consuming. I would like a fifth horse, but then I would be shorting the others. I’m stretching the bubble gum as far as it will go in having four to work with.

Pete’s been going riding with me – doing this now in between making cheese and tending to the garden. Right now I can see him from my study window – he is working on finishing the middle garden fencing.

We are supposedly getting ready to do the upcoming Competitive Trail Ride, called the Challenge of the North. We don’t yet know what horses we’ll be riding or what

divisions we’ll be riding in. We need to decide soon because the ride is at the end of July.

Here’s where we are now. Tinni (Coal), aka Scout, is 28 years old, but in excellent shape for his age. The other day we took him on what I call the Bridge Ride, a ride that takes us up the far side of the bench. This ride had steep up and downhills. Tinni never wavered, not when we hit some boggy terrain or when we came to steep uphill climb. And he took me back downhill in a slow and steady fashion, giving me the confidence to do this ride on Raudi. Pete rode Raudi, and she did just fine. We need to work further on getting Tinni into better shape for the upcoming CTR.

Raudhetta (Little Red Riding Hood), aka Princess, is 14 and in the prime of her riding life. She would like to retire early and have a baby, but this isn’t going to happen unless we suddenly win the lottery and purchase a lot of land. She listens to me when I’m riding her—and like Tinni, she never hesitates when I ask her to deal with uncertainties, such as bogs or steep up and downhill portions of trails. Yesterday, she took the lead on our trail ride to Grizzly Camp – Hrimmi barged ahead at times and Raudi said “whatever.” Raudi is more forward than she used to be –this is something that we have been working on. Yesterday she backed and turned, going down a steep hill. I was really pleased with this. It was sort of a breakthrough.

Hrimfara (Frosty traveler), aka Moo Moo, is 5. Born here, she’s maturing into a strong, long strided riding horse. I rode her around the loop the other night. I was surprised with how well she did. The icing on the cake was that she tolts. This seems to come more naturally to her than it does to Raudi. Pete and Hrimmi are bonding – this is so good to see.

Tyra (Spark or Glimmer) has many names. She came to us with the name Peanut. We also call her Sparky and Twinkle Toes. She’s four, and I just started her under saddle. She’s not yet very confident. I need to take a few steps backwards and do more groundwork with her, in particular line driving and body work. But she’s confident and enjoys being out.

So much to do –today I’ll do agility with Hrimmi – Pete is going to put down his fencing tools for a bit and video us. We are also going to take both Hrimmi and Tyra up the bench trail – I will walk Tyra up parts of it.

CTR options are materializing here as I am using writing to learn. Pete is going to ride Hrimmi, most likely they will do the one-day novice division. Far better to say afterwards that she did well in the novice and could have done the Competitive Pleasure division than say we should not have had her in the CP, it was too much for her.

I might ride Raudi in the two-day CP, that is if I can find someone to ride with on the first day. Then on the second, I will ride CP and accompany Pete and Hrimmi who will be doing the novice division.

Then again, I might just accompany Tinni in the novice division. I do not know. Too many choices. I have to keep reminding myself that too many choices is a very good thing.

Next: 175. 6/28/17: The Routine

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