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January 8, 2017: The Horse Life: The Bridge to Everywhere

A beautiful day for a ride – temperature about 10 degrees, sunny, hardly any wind. I spent a good portion of my morning on the phone, first talking to Eleanor (sister) then to Carol (deceased father’s wife) and then to Susan Harris (Centered Riding clinician and mentor). I talked with Susan the longest, for about two hours.

Didn’t get outside until 2 p.m. Didn’t (after cleaning up poop and giving the horses fresh hay and water) have a lot of daylight/riding time left. But after, I saddled up Raudi, leashed up Ryder, and off we went to what I now call the bridge to nowhere trail. I had not been out there since Pete and I put in the bridge and we went for ride. I waited a long time for this bridge to be built – amazing, we did this so quickly.

Alys and Raudi on Raudi's bridge

Today was the supreme test – would Raudi, aka The Princess, go over the bridge without any other horses accompanying her? The answer is no problem. She stepped over the log close to the bridge, turned left, and marched right onto it. I stayed on her. She moved so quickly that I would not have been able to get off anyways. She stopped in the middle. I used my soft eyes and I breathed slowly. I thought she might walk backwards. Not a good thing, she could fall off the bridge and take me with her. Muy peligroso.

Raudi opted to move forward and we continued a short ways up the hill. The spruce and birch were backlit by the bright orange light of the low lying sun. I felt fortunate to be out and riding Raudi. Yesterday, I took out the young horses and let them individually (in two walks) run loose in the woods. When I got back, after taking Hrimmi out, Raudi came up to the gate. She was telling me that she wanted to go out next. Problem was, it was 5:15 p.m. and nearly dark. I promised her I’d get her out today, and I did.

We came to a turnaround point, as determined by the fact it was 4:15 p.m. getting dark and the temperature was dropping. Raudi picked up the pace going downhill. I used my seat and voice to keep her from going so fast that I could not keep up with her. We also did serpentines on the way downhill. She went over the bridge on the way back just fine. I got off her and walked her across because I felt like she should have a bit of training, walking behind me. When finally, we got back to Pat and Ray’s trail, the one that goes up to Oceanview, I asked her to canter. Nice, moving at a fast clip up trail.

I dismounted at Oceanview Road and walked Raudi the half mile back to our place. This walk, as all our walks are, was the best part of the ride. Here, any disagreements we may have had are forgotten and our successes are celebrated. Raudi is then the greatest horse in the whole world and I am the greatest owner.

After, I went to put the halter on Tinni and took him around the loop. Tyra made it known that she really wanted to go out, and wanted to go out more than any horse in the entire world. Please, please, please, she said. I relented, and instead took her for a romp in the woods. What a beautiful sight – in the light of the setting sun her copper coat glowed red/orange. And she was so light on her feet at both the trot and the canter that it took my breath away.

All in all, a short but good horse afternoon.

Next: 9. 1/9/17: The Horse Life: Spring and Summer Plans

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