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August 4, 2017: Three Riding Horses

I was going to start this dispatch with the title “Four Riding Horses,” but then realized that we have three. The plan was to retire Tinni when Hrimmi and Tyra were of riding age. It seemed like a good plan at the time – now I am feeling both happy and sad about it.

Tinni’s finish in the CTR forced me to realize that at 28, he is not the riding horse he used to be. He did it, he finished strong, he gave the ride his all. But he struggled some and was intermittently lame. There was no harm done – there would be harm done if we were in denial and kept riding him the way we have been riding him.

So I decided a few days ago that he is officially retired. No, not semi-retired, but really retired. So I have come up with a new routine for him. Every day now, I am taking him for a walk or ponying him off Raudi. These are leisurely walks, walks that follow grooming and body work. And he will continue to get his supplements at the hitching post so the mares don’t steal his portion.

I already feel a bit of a loss. Deb Moore and her posse are going to be in our area tomorrow – now normally I would saddle up steady eddy Tinni and join them, well knowing that he would maintain a good pace, and if need be, cross Moose Creek. But no, I won’t take Tinni. Instead I will take Raudi. This is a good thing – I need to ride her more in the company of others.

Now when I get to feeling despondent about Tinni’s retirement, I am going to have to think positive. And positive is this: Hrimmi and Tyra both are now coming into their own. Last night I rode Hrimmi, and she was a delight. She’s strong, has long strides, a good head on her shoulders. And today I rode Tyra, who was equally delightful. I rode her alone for the first time on the trails – I decided to ride her to the bench, which has a 1 ½ mile climb. Beforehand, I came up with a plan. I figured that if she was resistant or tired that I would get off and walk her. Turns out, I didn’t need to do this. She was nicely forward and very enthused about being out on an adventure.

She did more than her share of grass grubbing, but who could blame her? It was chest high in places. She is, I decided, like Raudi without the attitude, which makes her easy to work with.

So there you have it – the plan that we had in mind is materializing. Tinni is winding down and the young ones are winding up. I have come up with a riding/training schedule. I am going to ride two of the mares each day, and give the third one a break. So this way, they will get work and also get rest.

It’s a win win situation. I just have to make spending time with Tinni a priority, which will not be difficult.

Next: 213. 7/5/17: Bittersweet

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