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July 28, 2018: Saturday Ride

10:10 p.m. Things quieted down her a bit earlier than last night. I’m aware of the fact that the sun is now setting earlier. Pioneer Peak is now in front of me, I see the green rocky edifice, and I am reminded of the immensity of nature. It will persevere.

This weekend we are not thinking about nature. The rural world is our playground, just as for some time it has been the playground of ATV users. We thunder along on our horses, talking loudly, laughing, leaving our imprint in dirt, sand, gravel, grass, impervious as to how we are affecting nature.

I am now watching Isme the mule who is pawing and looking distraught. Isme, I am told, is doing what mules do, in contrast to our two Icelandic horses who are doing what Icelandic horses do, standing companionably side-by-side, eating out of their separate hay nets.

We are camping in a central area, in the front part of the stable area. Our gear is under the awning, most hung on panels. Tent, gym mat, horse gear, all is now in readiness for Day #3.

Day #2 was long – the ride length was supposed to be 21 miles. It turned out to be 24 miles. It was a lot of fun, first dealing with a judged obstacle, the Saddle Up arena owner Brit and Gregory’s bridge – first we had to walk over a few logs. Then we had to traverse their trails – these trails zig zag through the woods and have downed logs placed here and there (this is to keep the ATVers from using the trails.) I put Raudi out front right away – she was full of go – she even jumped a few of the logs.

I was not used to going first but had no choice. Isme and Hrimmi were quite content, hanging back a ways. Raudi did bolt once, in an attempt to catch up with some of her horsey friends who were directly ahead of her and within sight. But after a bit she calmed down and focused on the work at hand.

Alys on Raudi

Sarah on Hrimmi

Judy on Isme

We finally came to first pulse and respiration stop. A double whammy here – it was in the sun and in a grassy area. Raudi, already hot, did fuss some because she wanted to eat. But she calmed down (as expected) when I wet down her chest with water from my water bottle, and then fanned her with my China Town fan.

Her heart rate was high – I asked for a recount, and the second time around we got a lower number. Lunch followed. Pete who purchased the food was right – it was an excellent lunch; though I wonder how many riders took the time to eat their oranges. Perhaps we should have had Oreo Cookies instead.

We were, at lunch, surrounded by big horses. Our horses, unfazed, drank down their packer pellet electrolyte slurpys. This invigorated them, and, I think, made for a faster afternoon ride time.

Soon enough, we were back on Brit and Gregory’s trails and headed for camp – and Raudi knew it. We had to go through the gauntlet – past barking dogs on both sides of the road – this was unnerving. Raudi spooked and I nearly came off. It was a good thing that I did not. We made our ride time with three, just three, minutes to spare.

I rode in to camp happy, relaxed, confident, okay, gloating to have done so well on this particular ride. Yes, what I read and internalized in the sport psychology books worked. I stayed positive and did not let myself think that I’d do poorly. Tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep, I’ll again do the same. Feeling rested will make all the difference in the world.

Next: 210. 7/29/18: The New Normal

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