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February 8, 2017: Complaint

Yesterday I took Ryder out for a run in the woods and Tinni out for a ride. I got out at 3:30 p.m. The sun was low in the sky, casting long shadows. I was in an excellent mood. In the distance I could see the Talkeetnas, the blue-gray sky contrasted with the white snow on the mountains. And I thought, how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful area.

Tinni and I were walking down Murphy Road, in the direction of the trail head, when we first heard – it whrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, whrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, and then saw it, a snowmobiler heading up road in our direction. Tinni raised his head high, and put his ears forward. Ryder, wanting

to check this fast moving vehicle out, pulled on her harness. I had them both stop and I gave them treats.

The snowmachiner saw us, rode off road, up onto a berm, turned around and headed back down-road, leaving the smell of exhaust in his wake.

Tinni, Ryder, and I climbed over the trailhead berm and onto the trail. Five minutes into it and the snowmobiler was back. This kid, undoubtedly a homeschooler (home school is no school around these parts), began doing endless circles on his machine. Ryder, who by now was off leash, took off after him. His machine was so loud that calling her back or asking him to slow down would be an exercise in futility. Ryder quickly tired of running in the deep snow and returned, falling in behind Tinni the trail blazer.

I rode over to Peaches’ loop. All the while I could hear the endless droning of the infernal machine. I continued onto Siggi’s trail and tried to ignore the whrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzzzz whrrrrrrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzzzzzzz whrzzzzzz
And the thick smell of exhaust.

Tinni was a little on edge. He bolted once, did what we call a Tinsy shuffle. Ryder ran back and forth, great fun for her.

I finally made it to Jim’s trail, where I got off and walked. The snow was too punchy for me to continue riding. By this time I was fuming because this was a situation that I couldn’t do anything about. The land I ride on is state land and the beliers have legal access to it, as do the ATVers, Swamp Buggy Drivers, and pick-up truck drivers.

What to do? I came up with a solution, one that wasn’t the best but isn’t the worst. I determined that on the weekdays I’ll ride earlier in the day, before the late afternoon/early evening riders get out. I doubt that I’ll be able to ride on the trails on the weekends, but if I get out early in a.m. I might be able to ride on the roads.

So Pete and I took Hrimmi and Tyra out for a spin – we went for a road ride, to the creek and back. I rode Hrimmi and Pete walked Tyra. On the return trip Pete walked Hrimmi and I walked Tyra. I’d gotten off Hrimmi because she stopped a few times. I think that she’s still getting used to the fact that she’s a riding horse. She has incredible focus, more so than any other horse we’ve ever had, and so long rides tire her out. In contrast, Tyra has no focus, less so than any other horse we’ve ever had. So nothing tires her out. I did ground work with her, and in this way kept both of us amused.

Pete went to work shortly after we got home. After, I went for two more rides. I first rode Raudi and then Tinni on the trails. Neither horse liked the fact that the trails are rough, but this (as I repeatedly told both) is the only way in which we can get the snow packed down.

Getting all four horses out and later doing agility with Raudi and Hrimmi took considerable time. I didn’t get back into the house until late afternoon. But I’m pleased about having decided to flip my schedule around, now until the snow melts it’s going to be horse stuff early and writing stuff later in the day. This way, I won’t have to deal with morons who have no consideration for others. I can instead enjoy the peace of mind that accompanies quietude.

Had I remained inflexible I would still be grousing about yesterday afternoon’s unfortunate turn of events. Now I am looking forward to tomorrow and again being out in the woods.

Next: 40. 2/9/17: A Dilemma

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