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June 27, 2018: Ride Like You Stole it

This dispatch is for my friend Fran who lives in Fairbanks. She has been an astute observer of my horse life since the near very beginning, when I got Raudi.

Dear Fran,

I have not heard from you for some time – I hope you are okay and just really busy with the summer gardening season, which is usually the case. I imagine that you already have garden produce. We are woefully behind, as always because we are not able to grow many starts indoors. Plus, this year it has been cold and overcast a lot of the time.

Pete is still the gardener and has not gotten much help from me. No, it is not that I don’t like to garden – it is that I am continuing to put energy and time into taking care of the ponies.

Sierra and horses near the bench
Sierra and horses near the bench

I work with them daily, so I seldom see any progress. This must be like raising children, except children one day leave the nest. Off they go, like the barn swallows in the box nest outside our bedroom window, or like the robins in the nest they’ve built in the upper part of the hay shed. Horses don’t go anywhere unless you sell them, something that isn’t going to happen here because we are tending to them the way some tend to their children. This is to make up for the wanton slaughter that occurred during the Crimean War.

You knew me back in the days when I first backed Raudi and was so fearful. And you have watched us both learn from one another. Indeed, it has been a special relationship.

We have in the past month turned yet another corner. Some of this is because of my body awareness work. I’m a far more confident, agile, and flexible rider than I was previously. And I have transmitted this degree of confidence to Raudi.

Today was a case in point. I recently had a woman with an Icelandic contact me and ask if she and her friend might come over and go for a trail ride. I guess we met at the BCHA gathering over at Saddle Up, a few weeks ago. I said sure.

In the past I’ve gotten very nervous, riding with others. Today, I actually looked forward to this. Granted the ride was to take place on our trails, which always reduces some of my tension.

Kimmer, owns a red dun Icelandic gelding, and Sierra, owns a paint mare quarter horse. We got out on the trails, first our trails, and then headed to Grizzly Camp. Raudi who was out front was moving slow, so Kimmer suggested that she get out front. Whoosh – that little horse moved out, with Raudi and Hrimmi in close pursuit. Rather than pull up behind Hrimmi, my default, I just let Raudi go. We followed Kimmer all the way up Grizzly Camp trail, at a canter/gallop. There was a point where Raudi was going so fast that I knew I could not stop her.

The downhill ride went smoothly, as did the ride up to the Bench. And I lead the way down from the bench, a steep trail that I used to walk.

It was a wonderful ride. After, I did agility with Hrimmi who did absolutely amazing. She is able to intuit what I want her to do.

Tomorrow, I will ride with my friend Heather who owns a very fast and unpredictable horse. And, amazingly, I am not at all anxious about this.

Just thought you’d like to know what’s up.

Giddy up


Next: 179. June 28, 2018: A Conversation with Raudhetta and Rio

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