My friend Sarah, as planned, showed up at 1 p.m. By now it was both raining and snowing out. I said we had three options. We could hang out inside, we could go for a ride, or we could drive Hrimmi. She said we should do the latter. She was the motivator because it was (I thought) really nasty out.
We gathered together the necessary gear – the cart, the harness, the grooming implements, the boots, the driving whip, and Hrimmi’s bitless bridle. Had I really believed we were going to do this I would have gotten things together beforehand. This was why it took a while to locate things.
We finally got Hrimmi out and prepared her for ground driving. She was slow to move, so I used the supplement lid target. This motivated her some. Sarah drove, and I walked alongside Hrimmi, playing cheerleader/coach. Finally, we returned to feeding central, where Pete was waiting for our next venture, driving. We put the cart in place and hooked her up. I’d planned for Pete and I to walk alongside Hrimmi and for Sarah to drive. Pete wanted to bring Ryder, but I said no; what I didn’t add was that an additional hand might be needed if there was a mishap.
We set out; again Hrimmi would not leave the yard. I had Pete get Steady Eddy Tinni, the idea being that we’d use him as a rabbit. This, plus the use of the target, worked well. There is an adage in the horse training world that you have succeeded if what you are doing ends on a good note. Well, we were successful because on the home stretch Hrimmi hit her stride and trotted with considerable enthusiasm, in the direction of feed central.
I was very pleased that this went so well. I was also amazed that Sarah was both patient and accepting of my unorthodox training methods. So many would have scoffed and said I instead needed to show her who is boss. Instead, Sarah remained open to possibilities, for which I am grateful.
We put horse and gear away and then came inside and drank hot chocolate. The primary topic of conversation was how do we get people involved in the various service organizations that we are a part of, most notably, the Backcountry Horsemen of Alaska and Mat-Sar, the local search and rescue group. (The latter has a horse component.) It struck me as ironic that we, who are so incredibly busy and have no additional time to spare, have all committed ourselves to doing more volunteer outreach for both organizations. How many balls can we all juggle? I guess we’ll see. I’m just not going to let it all overwhelm me.
It was snowing when Sarah left. I took Tyra and Ryder for a woods walk and let both run loose. Tyra leapt and bucked and snorted and raced up and down the trail – her coat the color of the landscape, sepia. I felt great joy in the beauty of the landscape and having done right by her.
Lastly, I took Raudi for a walk around the loop. I felt bad, she wanted to move out, but I was wearing my rubber boots, so I could not run fast. Tomorrow, I told her, we’ll go for a more lengthy outing.
Next: 302. 10/29/18: Snow Day