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June 13, 2018: Government Peak Ride

I had a few differing titles go through my mind today for today’s dispatch. I have forgotten all but the most obvious one. A real shame because titles pretty much tell readers what they are going to read about and dictate what the writer is to write about.

We went on a trail ride today with Kathy and her friend Jane. They are two incredibly competent, calm, and astute horsewomen. Maybe it was a coincidence, but Kathy, who we rode with last Friday, took Pete and me on yet another bushwacking adventure.

I thought that we were going to mosey along the Carle Wagon Road Trail, and that this trail was well worn, and a few miles in length. Pete and I did it a number of years ago with Dick Stoffel (he who is the most inveterate bushwacker we know), and it was a straight up and down the hill deal. Actually, he led a handful of riders on a winter ride up and down it, and they realized they were lucky to have lived to tell the tail. I also thought it was going to be a bug free ride.

I thought wrong. The first intimation, which it was going to be a challenging ride, came as we left the Government Peak Parking Lot. We had to go down an embankment, across a small field of big rocks, and then across a well-travelled road. This wasn’t a big deal, again, just what I didn’t expect.

Alys and Raudi in Government Peak area

Backyard Scene

In minutes, we were on the trail that led to the Carle Wagon Road trail. There were steep up and downs (no problem) and between hills, mud bogs. This was problematic for Hrimmi who from the onset was clearly out of her comfort level. She let this be known by stopping and refusing to move forward. She did finally move, after considerable coercing.

This happened repeatedly on the ride to the Wagon Road Trail. Once, Pete found a detour, and this really was to her liking. But there were places where she simply had to go forward.

Raudi had no problem with the bogs. She blasted through each and every one of them. She had a problem with me, who feared she might go in up to her chest. And she had a problem with the bugs (I had put bug dope on her) and she had a problem with the scarcity of grass. There were blades in between the ferns – not enough for a huge mouthful. She showed her displeasure by circling around, repeatedly.

I had some problems with the logistics. I am not a big bushwacker. I’m also not a big one for trail maintenance and trail marking. When I get out there, I like to go. And when you have large numbers of stop, like today, they stop in level areas but do not realize that the one who is last is either 1. Standing in the bog, 2. Standing ass down on a hill. 2. Standing directly behind the hind feet of the horse ahead of them.

The above sounds like I didn’t have a good time. I had a great time. And most importantly, my level of confidence in riding in strange terrain and with others is growing exponentially. I am also really grateful to Kathy and Jane for letting Pete and I tag along, and being so understanding about Hrimmi whose excuse (for now) is that she is young horse.

The high point of the trip came at the end when Hrimmi would not cross the creek. I sent Pete on ahead with Raudi and Ryder and within minutes, I had her walking back in the direction of the trailers. She made me look good, and this endeared me to her for life.

We are going to do a ride here on Sunday. I am for the first time ever, looking forward to riding with other people. Giddy Up.

Next: 165. 6/14//18: Dear Eleanor

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