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July 24, 2017: Traveling Shoes

Mine are made of leather, hers are made of steel. As far as I’m concerned, we don’t put our shoes to use often enough. Unused, they gather dust. Today I blew the dust off Raudi’s two shoes and my four shoes, and went for a lengthy trail ride. This was in preparation for our upcoming trip to Fairbanks.

We went and rode the bench trail, the Grizzly Camp trail, and our trails – Peaches Loop, Tin can Loop, and Raudi’s Racetrack. We are now even naming key places and prominent turns. For instance, Tyra’s trail is a short cutoff trail that comes off Peaches Loop. And yesterday, Pete named one of the inclines Witches Hill.

I am not sure that the names will memorialize the close trails that we ride nearly every day. It would be nice if, say, other riders moved into the area and in riding these trails, referred to our names for them. We only see people out there during hunting season since the ATV traffic is non-existent – the trails are too winding and narrow for them (Hurrah).

It was a tough trek for Raudi – she had to work hard. She seemed okay with it all until we got to our trails, and in particular, where two trails diverged. One went home, and the other went to Peaches Loop. She tried repeatedly to turn back – here and in a few other places. Had I allowed it, she would have bolted in the direction of home. I did try using the clicker and praising her (for instance) for having gone a few steps in the right direction. But afterwards she again did her infamous 360s.

I had a lapse in confidence when she did this the third time. Here I thought that I had a steady eddy, dependable pony – she in asserting her will put this thought to rest. I am not anticipating that she will be this way in Fairbanks because she is not familiar with the trails there. After all, familiarity breeds contempt. What an odd statement, familiarity breeding contempt. Most certainly Raudi doesn’t ever exhibit contempt. Rather, her actions instead indicate that she wants to go home and she wants to go home now.

It has come commonplace now for some to eschew shoeing and instead have their horses go barefoot. And those who are refraining from shoeing their horses are convinced that this is the way to go. It’s very expensive, but we have our horses shod because the terrain here is so varied as is the composition of the terrain. The horses have to deal with mud, gravel, and in the winter, ice. I don’t think I would feel as safe if they were shoeless. They get new shoes every eight weeks or so. We have considered purchasing boots, but they don’t seem to stay on very long. Plus you have to take them on and off.

Paradoxically, I get new shoes every eight years or so. I can’t afford to buy new shoes more often because keeping the horses in shoes costs so much money. They carry me, so this is not an inconvenience.

Travelling shoes take one places so they are well worth it.

Next: 202. 7/25/17: Trip Preparations

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