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July 29, 2017: Off Center/On Center

It’s hard to break old habits. It’s sort of like chipping away at a concrete block with a plastic spoon. But I persist, and at least am now well aware of what my bad habits are.

We are in Fairbanks, staying at the Chena Road Community Center. We are amongst 20 other riders, all of whom have trailered here. The rules dictate that the horses that are competing be tied to the trailer when in race camp. I remember the first time I did this ride – I tied Raudi to our old white two horse straight load trailer, and slept in the back of the pickup. I didn’t get any sleep that night because she was bouncing around – and the bouncing around bounced the trailer. I was by myself. Now I’m with Pete – we are staying in our tent, which is adjacent to the trailer. Last night Raudi lay down and went to sleep.

I have been on edge since arriving here. This happens when I get stressed. And I am stressed because I really want to do well. And by do well I mean win first place in the competitive pleasure division. This is the division with the most riders – nearly 20 so the odds of my doing well are close to non-existent.

I’m riding with Pete who will be riding Tinni. This was a good decision. Hrimmi wasn’t ready to do this – plus it’s humid and hot here, and because she’s bulky, this slows her down some. But this is her decision.

I’ve had a few moments when my edginess has materialized and I have been off center in dealing with others. I am striving for a day, tomorrow, when I am on center all day.

I’ve cleaned up both horses and braided their manes. I have groomed them, and my trailer area is in order. This is what I’m now envisioning. I want to ride with Pete, and be at the rear of the pack. This way, we can treat this event like it’s a trail ride in the hood. I picture us going to Grizzly Camp. Raudi and I will be one. I will be in balance. She will also, as she has been doing, respond to the movement of my seat. We’ll get to the pulse and respiration stops and she will stand quietly and in fact take a snooze, as will her buddy Tinni.

My good friend Fran will be taking photos at various points of the ride – and Raudi will pause for the photo op. I won’t be nervous then, or later.

Raudi will excel when we come to obstacles and are judged accordingly. After, I will say, well, she and I did well because we were both calm, cool, and collected.

And the end of the day evaluation – the judges are going to be awed by my horse who will have finished the day’s ride with flying colors.

It’s going to be a great day all around. I can feel it in my bones. It will be breezy, and end up being a memorable day that I will never forget. Yes, this is what I am striving for.

Next: 207. 7/30/17: Keep Going, Keep Going

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