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May 26, 2018: More Lessons Learned

The best thing about being alive is that the capacity to learn does not diminish with age. There may be a loss of physical and mental acuity, but we keep making new discoveries related to the inner and outer landscape, most likely until the day we die. We then die, and find out what’s on the other side. And in learning what’s on the other side, we no longer have to pay homage to fear. Fear of death; that seems to be what dictates what we do and how we do it.

Today, Heather first came over and then Dan joined us. Heather and I first rode around the loop, me riding Hrimmi and her riding Rio. We then worked on saddle fit issues. Dan arrived after lunch. Pete, Dan, Heather, and I then went for a lengthy ride; we did our trails then did the bench route, via the Grizzly Camp trail.

Alys, Dan, and Heather

That fear of death, that was what kept me from fully enjoying the experience. First of all, Raudi is in season. This time, more than any other time, I have given thought to the fact that when a mare cycles, her whole world turns upside down and inside out. What she has previously thought to be one way, is now quite another. She wants the males to do more than notice her when she’s in the pen and on the trail.

On the trail ride, Raudi was towards the back. Rio was dancing around, going every which way, behind her. This caused both Raudi and me to be less focused than we ought to have been. A few times my mare lifted her tail and peed, this was her way of saying “come on boys, here it is. And it’s the best.”

Hrimmi was out front, but she tends to stop and wait for other horses to catch up, then moves on. I saw that being behind her wasn’t going to work. So I got in front of her. In the front, finally, Raudi focused on dealing with a muddy, soft trail. All that was going on behind us then no longer mattered.

I rode her up the bench – the others walked their horses. She was in the best shape of the lot, so I felt okay about her getting a workout. And we made it downhill just fine.

I decided to take her around the loop – the others took a more direct route home. This was a big mistake. I walked her. She threw a fit, neighing and paying no attention to me. I finally turned and headed back in the direction of home because she was only getting worse.

We made it home safe, without her getting away from me. This was an accomplishment.

And so, what did I learn? The main thing was that today (with Raudi) things were as bad as they get. And still, I was able to figure out what to do about it. The answer in this instance was to put her out front, which then enabled her to do her job. I also discovered that I need to ride more with other riders. No surprise there. And so, at the end of a long day, the most I can say is, “well, cheated death once again.”

Next: 147. 5/27/18: What I most Fear

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