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July 1, 2019: The Importance of Stories

We tell stories after the fact. Nothing is ever as we remember it because we leave out what we think are extraneous details. Otherwise, we’d be mired in detail in the retelling. What’s important? What’s not? This is what I, the writer must again decide. Out stories are consequently shaped by what I call subjective memory, which are those that I’m including in today’s dispatch being a good example of my self-definition.

Raudi trained me to be a confident and savvy trail rider. And now I’m passing on what she taught me to Tyra and Hrimmi. I never before thought of myself as a horse trainer, but yes, I am. And I’m going to great lengths to do this. I mean, how many riders would travel a thousand plus miles and ride different trails in order to make their horses more trail savvy?

We spent last night at Susan and Todd’s place, staying up late and socializing. This morning, we got up and resumed talking about a subject that is dear to our hearts, especially Susan and Todd’s, which is the use of private and public lands. The subject is dear to us all because we are all trail riders. Additionally, Susan and Todd work for the Bureau of Land Management.

Susan and Todd are coffee drinkers who breakfast late. On the other hand, Pete and I are tea drinkers who breakfast right away. I finally figured this out, and so I went down driveway and visited a bit with Corky and his partner Sally.

stocking up on water before heading to the next basecamp
Stocking up on water before heading to the next basecamp

Sally's fence
Sally's fence

They live on a ranch owned by Corky’s brother. Corky is the caretaker. Nevertheless, they’ve made the place their own. They live in a rebuilt shed that once housed horses, and have made good use of several outbuildings. One such building, which is filled with tack, was declared to be off limits to Corky by his brother. The rear of their place is home to horses, mules, chickens, geese, pigs, and sheep. Two older dogs careen around the front area.

Sally and Corky moved in together a few years before. Previous to this time, it was a man cave. Not so now. They now have a garden, and she has taken innumerable objects, and turned them into found art. For instance, she took Corky’s old boots, put flowers in them, and nailed them to the wooden fence adjacent to their place. These items, in contrast to the aging farm equipment, a grader, a wood planer, and old tractors included.

We returned to Susan and Todd’s place, ate breakfast, and then went for a trail ride on the nearby Brush Creek Trail System. It was a short ride, replete with several bogs. Pete rode Raudi and ponied Tyra, and I rode Hrimmi.

For the most part, it was a joy riding Hrimmi, who clearly enjoyed riding, this as opposed to packing. However, she’s not bomber yet. A pattern of behavior on the part of all the horses began shortly after we set off. Like yesterday, we encountered several bogs. At each, Raudi would walk through it. Tyra would stop upon coming to it. Hrimmi would stop behind Tyra and put her head down and start to graze. Hrimmi was wearing a bitless bridle, which made getting her head up once she put it down. What to do? I came up with a solution after my frustration peaked. I put some distance between Hrimmi and her herd mates before we came to the bog. This way, they were across before Hrimmi and I got there. Then at the bog proper, I squeezed with my legs and squeeze released my hands, all the while envisioning myself having heavy elbows. The overall effect was synergistic. I relaxed, Hrimmi relaxed, I relaxed, Hrimmi relaxed.

After the ride, Susan and Todd returned home, and Pete and I began preparing for our next camping adventure. We, who are ever so resourceful, cleaned our gear (and this included muddy boots) off at the water spigot. We then loaded up the horses and headed to our next basecamp.

Next: 180. 7/2/19: Raudi and Wicked Hill

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