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June 8, 2019: Trial by Trail

We were to leave Dave and CJ’s place today and head on over to the Blair Wallace Recreation area, but we never got there. The weather was questionable come later afternoon – this was our excuse. The truth be known, we have enjoyed their company so much that cutting the visitation umbilical cord was near impossible. We went out for dinner at a Wyoming sports bar, one with a hitching post out front. However, Pete and I have assured one another that for sure, we will leave here tomorrow morning, after breakfast.

CJ’s friend and horse trainer Dennis was also here today and left late this afternoon. He was the first to get up this morning –

Dennis has Smoky check out a rope

he ran outside and made sure Smoky, CJ’s mustang, was okay. I was up next. I ran outside and made sure that Tyra, Raudi, and Hrimmi were okay. Dennis then joined me, and I told him all about my horses and how I educate them. We seem to be at opposite ends of the horse handling spectrum. His focus is on Natural Horsemanship techniques and mine is on Positive Reinforcement education. However, we appeared to have a lot in common, and because we both kept open minds, sought out commonalities.

Dennis has a good imagination, as do I, and both of us value play. So I was not surprised to see him do as I’d done when I first got Raudi, and get under a tarp and crawl around. He also put a rope on the ground and encouraged Smoky to step over it. Seeing this also brought back memories of Raudi’s early education.

A difference – Dennis uses the flag to desensitize, by having the horse move away from it. I use the flag to encourage inquisitiveness, by having the horse chase it and stomp on it.

CJ, Pete, CJ’s neighbor Joy, and I went for a ride after Dennis left; we webt across the road, in Curt Gowdy State Park. I rode Tyra, and Pete rode Raudi and ponied Hrimmi. We had to cross a busy highway in order to get to the park then walk alongside the road. I got off and walked because I wasn’t sure what Tyra would do. I remounted when we were in the park proper.

A mountain bike race was going on. We had one hairy moment when we were riding downhill, around a bend. A bicyclist, not seeing us, went whizzing past. We were about 10 feet from the trail, and as CJ later noted, he didn’t see us. I was nervous, that is until Tyra, who remained calm, reminded me that I had spent considerable time acquainting her with my, and other riders’ bicycles.

The terrain was hilly, with considerable ups and downs. Tyra did just fine. She was quite content to be behind Raudi and Hrimmi, who acted like they knew what was going on. I also had no problem with the saddle – it felt far better than when I used it on the home front.

It was good we stayed. I wish we lived next door to CJ and Dave.

Next: June 9, 2019: Medicine Bow National Forest -- Blair Wallace Recreation Area

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