The high point of our ride was on a trail I call Bonnie and Dale’s turnoff, after the couple who used to own this chunk of land. The trail is in a forested area, and it winds around birch trees. The greenery in this area seems iridescent. I did this trail yesterday, and found the route leading to the Moose Meadows Cutoff. Today I somehow got off trail. However, Raudi knew exactly where to go. She took it upon herself to wind through the narrow trees, very carefully, and get us back on trail. All I could think is, what a horse.
And as we continued on, I thought some about how far we’ve come together.
I ended yesterday’s dispatch saying that I didn’t think originally that she’d end up being a trail horse. This is true. At the time, she was small, orange, and even then had a mind of her own. Walking her was difficult until about a year ago. She’s been really good this year.
I was the first to saddle and bridle her, the first to ride her, and the first to take her out on the trails. I was, early on, fearful about being on trails, and particularly about going down hills. I did come off a number of times, but less and less so.
Pete used to say that in time she’d be as good a riding horse as Tinni. I doubted this because when she was young she was a bit more reactive. I have to say that Raudi has now surpassed Tinni in terms of his abilities. She has his common sense; the one difference is that she’s more consistent with her gaits. He has always pretty much paced, while she trots, canters, tolts, and paces. She mainly paces when she’s tired. The pace is really hard to sit and isn’t an inefficient gait.
I have never asked her to do the flying pace. We would both benefit from having some training from an instructor who knows about Icelandic horse gait training. I don’t know if this will ever materialize. No matter, we are continuing to do what we are doing quite well.
On the ride home it started to rain. It is now early evening, and I think we are going to get a major downpour. I’m glad now that I got out early.
June 6, 2018: A much-needed Change in Routine