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June 10, 2019: Getting Wiser

I have been thinking of this topic all day: it’s actually been fortuitous that we’ve done several day trips as opposed to embarking on a longer pack trip. This wasn’t the original plan; rather, the reason why it came about was weather-related. The first time we did a pack trip, which was in 2011, and then the second time, which was in 2013, we loaded up the horses and took off. We shopped for food and had our dehydrated food sent to us when passing near a handful of towns. Not this time.

Doing things differently, albeit in a more piecemeal fashion, has already has been better for us and for the horses. Today’s a good example. We did our second day trip in the Blair-Wallace Recreation area – and it was the best ride that I’ve yet had on

Alys and Tyra check out an old kiln
Alys and Tyra check out an old kiln in Happy Jack area

Tyra. In the morning we went up and down a steep, rock strewn switchback— this was good for Hrimmi because she didn’t have to additionally deal with deadweight, which she would have had we start right in on a pack trip. And it was good for Tyra who had to deal with live weight. Come afternoon we rode on the far side of the recreation area, here the terrain consisted of open, rolling hills. None of the horses attempted to bolt or take off – the open areas, of course, are where this is most likely to happen.

The horses are now all wearing boots. They were shod on our 2011 and 2013 trips. This was both costly and time-consuming. Today, Hrimmi did lose a boot in a mud bog – it took Pete nearly an hour to locate it. He stuck his arm way down in a submerged hole in the mud, and the boot came up with it. He’s getting less and less keen about the use of boots. I told him that though these boots are seeming like a pain in ass to deal with, otherwise, we’d be paying at least one farrier this summer big bucks to shoe them. And we would have to locate and deal with scheduling a farrier.

Late this afternoon we set up the new electric fence. We did not use an electric fence in 2011 or 2013. I’m now thinking that the electric fence may be the way to go. If we use this, we won’t have to pay to enclose the horses in a dirty pen in a rodeo grounds.

Raudi and Tyra are now sporting breast collars and cruppers. In 2011 I did our trip in a saddle that was far too big for us both. Like this year, in 2013 Pete and I have Synergist saddles. Now I have the custom saddle and appropriate gear. No problems with Tyra’s saddle in terms of fit today.

I’m feeling like a far more adept horseperson/outdoors person than previously. For example, I am now drinking more water. And I’m far more relaxed going downhill than previously. We’re also using hay nets so the horses aren’t eating off the ground or pulling the grass out of buckets and stomping on it.

Most importantly, the horses are getting in better shape. We’ve been doing shorter rides than we did on previous treks. They’re also getting longer rest breaks and more time to eat.

We are doing things in a fine fashion. I think that I’m going to call this the good bits tour.

Next: 160. 6/11/19: Meteorological Holding Patterns

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