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June 28, 2019: Dog is in the Details

I keep a journal so that I remember. This is what Joan Didion once said. I am following in her footsteps by doing the same in writing dispatches. I want to remember as much as I can about this trip. I also want others to live vicariously through my experiences, as much as possible.

It’s difficult, getting it all down. If I could, I’d have endless pages of writing at the end of each day. So I focus at the day’s end on writing down what I see as being the good bits. Memory distorts, so I write 500 words, at least, at the day’s end. The only time I have to write is in the evening because in the mornings we get ready to

176. 6/28/19: Dog is in the Details
Alys cleaning up after the horses in the corrals

ride. And during the day we ride. It’s equally challenging, doing this in the evening because, of course, there are evening chores.

Logistics sometimes enters into this. It’s easier to get writing done if the horses are close by. Sometimes, like tonight, they’re at the distance, maybe a hundred yards away. We are camped here at Corral Creek. The BCHA put up a few panel enclosures – this was a draw for us because we’d rather corral than highline. This way the horses get to move around. Here, the horses are on the edge of the campground because this is a BLM non-stock camping area. So I am hauling water and hay to them, and walking over to where they are in order to clean up after them.

Today there was this climb and that climb and this pile of rocks and that pile of rocks. And there was this creek and that creek. Oh, that one creek – I want to remember it – It was at the base of a canyon. There was a grassy drop off, and at the base, there was a mud bog. And there was another mud bog on the far side. This caused Hrimmi some consternation. We came to it. She stood behind it, feet planted. Raudi moved a few steps forward. The rope tightened and Pete pulled, causing Hrimmi to resist even more. Pete, I noticed, was literally and figuratively at the end of his rope. Raudi saved the day – she swished her tail and gave Hrimmi the stink eye. Hrimmi then moved forward. Raudi jumped down the embankment and Hrimmi followed. The two clambered up the far bank, and then began grazing.

Tyra and I moved forward and stood where Hrimmi had just been. Tyra assessed the situation, indicating to me with a toss of her head that it was a no go. I knew that the more I fought with her, the more resistant she’d become. I am very familiar with Natural Horsemanship Guru Ray Hunt’s adages, make the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy – and keep the feet moving. It was too late for that. If I attempted to do what he suggested, there would be a fight. I’d eventually win but there would be a price – the next creek would be harder to cross.

So I leapt off Tyra’s back, slid down the embankment, and waded through the mud, into the clearer creek water. Tyra, seemingly grinning, took several steps backwards then launched herself off the bank, over the mud patch, into the water. There she then spent considerable time quenching her thirst. After, she did another leap over the second bog, scrambled up the embankment, and joined Raudi and Hrimmi, who all the while had paid her no attention.

I climbed back on Tyra, and we continued on our way. I made a mental note to write about this later, in my journal, which I did.

Next: 177. June 29, 2019: It’s all Relative

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