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

The day began with our finishing packing and tending to our herd, in preparation for our move to the Blair Wallace Recreation area. Yes, we severed the umbilical cord. This was like cutting a rope with a butter knife – ridiculously difficult to do.

Pete and I dilly dallied for some time. I think he even took the time to wash out our ice chest and coolers. And he found the time to do some fence repair with Dave. Meanwhile, I spent considerable time talking horse with CJ. We all ended up in the same place, Dave’s shop – they have a tack shop – CJ gave Pete a Designated Driver Hoodie –its of a drunk guy on his horse – his dog who has the reins in his mouth is the driver. She also gave me a

Camped at the Happy Jack Corrals
Camped at the Happy Jack Corrals

hoodie with the symbols for horse, peace, and love on it. This is perfect for me because this is how I as of late have been signing my letters.

We arrived at Blair Wallace midmorning. The horse corrals (all six of them) were thankfully empty – this meant that our horses would not immediately have to interact with other horses. After we were settled in, CJ and Joy appeared, the plan was for us all to go for a trail ride. This was yet another big challenge for Tyra – she now had to keep pace with two strange horses, and in open, rolling terrain.

Tyra’s saddle seemed to me to be too far forward – this may have been why she repeatedly tossed her head. I maintained a very light hand on her, and as well, a soft seat. Doing this did seem to help.

Three quarters of the way through the ride and we were faced with yet another big challenge. We came over a rise – Pete was the first to see 50-75 Angus cattle, moving in our direction, in a near straight line. I heard, then saw them. They were flanked by two border collies, one on each side. Closer and closer they came. Ryder (surprisingly) didn’t pay them much mind. Our horses grew wide eyed. CJ and Joy’s horses (who see such things all the time) paid them little attention.

We got past the line, and then from a distant rise, watched them move forward. Those riding the horses, they were all business. I don’t think they even noticed us.

Upon our return, I gave CJ and Joy a positive reinforcement demonstration, using Tyra and a bucket lid, so as to show them how I target trained her. I took a gamble and did this outside the pen. Fortunately, Tyra remained attentive to me and did not run off. The area is so vast, I don’t think we’d ever have gotten her back.

After CJ and Joy left, Pete went to town and I continued to write up dispatches. Fun to bring details of our trip, thus far, back to mind. And we have two months left.

After dinner we hobbled all three horses and put them out in an open area to graze. Hobbling, this was new to Tyra and Hrimmi. It was painful to watch at first because they stumbled a bit. But they very quickly became as adept as Raudi at moving around. And, always agile Tyra quickly figured out that she could run at top speed with the dang things on her legs.

Horse restraint – always dangerous – it really was never meant to be.

Next: 159. 6/10/19: Getting Wiser

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