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July 27, 2018: Ride Camp

And so here I am, at ride camp. Raudi and Hrimmi are enclosed in three-sided panels that face a fourth wall, which is the horse trailer. Across from us, facing the opposite direction is a similar set-up. Isme the mule is in the adjacent pen. I am concerned because her bray sounds like a rusty water pump. However, I have been assured that she will settle down – she’s just saying hello to the other horses. Nevertheless, I have brought earplugs along.

Our horses are eating out of nylon rope bags. They are stuffed with hay. The rope pattern makes me think of pineapples.

Ride Camp
Ride Camp

It’s quiet here. Everyone is bedded down: horse, human, and dog. Ryder is with us because yesterday we noticed that she had an abscess under her jaw. She’s on antibiotics and we have orders to put a hot compress on the affected area three times a day. A tall order for Pete who is the CTR ride manager – as if he does not have enough to do.

This afternoon the horses were evaluated by the horsemanship and veterinary judges. Raudi and Hrimmi both did very well – we left no room for error – we came here and actually practiced our trot outs beforehand.

I am now envisioning Raudi as an older horse who knows the ropes. I think she’s participated in eight CTRs thus far so what we are doing must seem routine to her. Not so Hrimmi, who has never before done anything like this. Most importantly, both are very content in one another’s company.

I also dressed up for the evaluation – I wore my helmet and half chaps. I also wore my running shoes because the sand is deep and difficult to run in. I made my circles really big, so that the veterinary judge could more readily see if Raudi was lame – she was not.

Judy also had Isme evaluated. Isme who does not like being handled by strangers did just fine. I saw the vet judge grab the skin of Isme’s neck and pinch it. This is an oh oh – it means the horse or in this case mule are not behaving – endorphins are stimulated and this quiets them. It also means of course that points are deducted from the initial evaluative score.

I am enjoying being a part of a group this year. I remember being in this very place two years ago – I was an ad hoc member of a twosome – it did not go well at all, to a large part because Raudi could not adjust her stride to that of the other horses. This year, my strategy is going to be to put her in front of the other horses.

I have been working very hard at remaining positive and not allowing myself to think that Raudi and I won’t do well. She and I have come a long ways together and this is going to make itself apparent to both the horsemanship and the veterinary judges.

My friend Heather is a veterinary scribe, taking notes for Kay Gunckel. I asked her and was told that Rio has back problems. Dr. Wilson, the holistic veterinarian told her this. Too bad, but she is going to learn a great deal as scribe.

I now really have to catch some zzz’s. It’s midnight. Morning will come far too soon.

Next: 209. 7/28/18: Saturday Ride

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