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May 17, 2019: Too Much to Write About

Some days I can barely eek out a dispatch – other days I have so much to write about that I don’t know where to begin or what to include. Today is an instance of the latter. So much to reflect and write about. Indeed, Pete and I did ride 15 or so miles with Felipe, who was on the better trained of the two wild, wild mustangs that arrived at Chelsea Pet Resort yesterday afternoon. Tonight I am quite happy. I lived to tell the tale, as did Pete and our highly educated ponies.

There were 14 or so of us riding. It was a posse, for sure. The group consisted of Pete and me, and Deb and Terri, four of Felipe’s BC friends on their rented horses, and four more who rented the other four horses.

Alys along pipleline

I’ve decided that there are two schools of horse in regards to horse training. You can educate them, like I continue to do. Or you can just go by the trial by fire method. I have erred on the side of education. Felipe and his followers seemed to err on the side of trial by fire. Of course, all horse people, to varying degrees, rely on both. I think that trial by fire is a dangerous proposition.

Early this a.m., our very good friends Fran and Sarah Bundtzen, long time Fairbanks residents, came to see us off. I was so glad to see them. They exude calm, which was most welcome because soon enough it was a scene of general mayhem. Lots of horses and lots of people milling about.

Pete and I were camping – all the others were either moteling it or staying in motorhomes. We had put our still wet laundry on the fence line, and after breakfast, we  had to break down camp. In addition, we had to dismantle the horse corral. Time caught up with us and seized us by the neck and shook. Felipe came over and told me point blank that the photo op was taking place at 12:30 a.m. Oh Oh. We just were not ready.

Soon enough, we had the horses tacked up – and were in the midst of a sea of large horses and riders. There were repeated attempts to video the posse and get photos. Then I saw it, in the sky, a drone, coming in our direction. I got off Hrimmi, and, right then, one of the wild, wild mustangs took it upon himself to kick Tyra. The masses then started moving, me still unmounted. I ran along behind Pete who was ponying Tyra. Her boot nearly came off – the good thing about this was that I was then able to get back on Hrimmi.

We caught up with the posse – and soon found ourselves riding on an ATV trail that paralleled Chena Hot Springs Road. There was, for the remainder of the ride, considerable construction traffic. This was good for me, I decided, because I will never, ever, again be apprehensive about riding in a large group or fearful about the consequences of dealing with heavy construction equipment.

The high point of the day for me was riding along the Alaska Pipeline. This was a major event in my life – I can now say yes, I’ve ridden one of my Icelandic horses under it. Not many people can say this.

Next: 136. 5/18/19: The Good Bits

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