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February 3, 2017: The Horse Life: The A and B Teams

Right now we have four horses. Three of them, Tinni, Raudi, and Hrimmi, are of riding age. Tyra, the fourth, is 3.6 years, so she is not quite of riding age. Riding age for an Icelandic horse is 4 years. Pretty soon we’ll again have four riding horses.

There was a point in time when we previously had four riding horses: Tinni, Raudi, Signy, and Siggi. Signy and Siggi both died, Signy of colic and Siggy in a trail accident. Both Signy and Siggi were Pete’s riding horses. After their deaths, we were left with two riding horses, Tinni and Raudi.

Pete and Hrimmi

We acquired Tyra last May, and then had two riding horses and two non-riding horses since Hrimmi was not yet up for being ridden. She was then four, but we decided to wait on riding her for a while because she wasn’t very sure of herself. We also suspected that the treeless saddle might have been causing her discomfort in the lumbar area of her spine. Now Hrimmi is being ridden, and she’s Pete’s mount.

There are just two of us here, Pete and me. So in a few months’ time we’ll each have two riding horses. Raudi and Tyra will be my riding horses and Tinni and Hrimmi will be Pete’s riding horses.

We’ll either have to have to ride and pony two horses each, or go out for two rides.

Today we went out twice, first with what I called the A-Team and then with what I called the B-Team. The A and B Team designations are not fixed entities; rather, they are the pairings that work best for whatever it is we are doing.

Today the A Team consisted of Raudi and Tyra. And the B Team consisted of Tinni and Hrimmi. Pete first rode Raudi and ponied Tyra. I walked beside the two horses and offered Pete unappreciated advice.

Yesterday, Pete rode Tinni and ponied Tyra. He later told me she stopped a lot. So today we took her out on the road where the terrain is a bit more forgiving. Tyra did pretty well – Raudi, at time ears pinned, did a good job of keeping Tyra in her place when she was bargy or inattentive. She did well on the ride down Murphy, but at the tail end of the return trip she was inattentive.

On the way down Murphy we took a short side trail. We soon came upon an odd shaped, dark, ominous object, one that undoubtedly would consume horses. I got out in front and held out the target stick. Both horses saw it, and sidled past the sled. They touched the target stick with their noses and were subsequently rewarded. On the return trip snowmobiles raced by and did not slow down. This startled Tyra and to a lesser extent, Raudi.

After a bit, Tyra resumed stopping, so I took the lead line from Pete and walked her. Her noodling reminded me that she is still very young in the head.

Once at home I got up on the mounting box and climbed up on Tyra’s back. I kept clicking and Pete kept reinforcing her good behavior. My sense is that she’s going to do quite well when under saddle.

B-Team – Tinni and Hrimmi –we went for a trail ride, starting at the Murphy Road trail head and continuing up and over Siggi’s Trail. The snow was deep and somewhat punchy. This was because we got most of our snowfall at one time. And so we are now getting the horses out on almost a daily basis and packing down the trail.

Hrimmi did wonderfully, stopping just a few times. She really likes being ridden. It was a wise idea, waiting on letting this little horse do what big horses do. And now she’s a big horse. Today she was on the B-Team. Could be that tomorrow she’ll be on the A-Team.

Next: 35. 2/4/17: poem for alys

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