A mile out and we came to a fork in the road. To our left was a horse trailer and a camper. I held the horses as Pete studied the map. A middle aged couple, approached and Pete asked for trail information. He and the guy started talking, and the woman came over to me. I was at that point holding the three horses and the dog – and all had differing ideas about which directions they wanted to go. The horses wanted to graze, and Ryder wanted to head down road.
The woman, without asking, took Raudi’s reins. Raudi then lunged forward, in the direction of the grass. The woman then jerked hard on the reins and yelled at her. I lead the other two horses over to the side of the trail where they began grazing, and looped their reins over their neck. With Ryder still in hand, I had Raudi whoa and back, and then lead her over to the grass. Pete finished up. The woman and I did not say anything to one another.
I suspect that she was thinking that I had no business doing a pack trip with an ill-mannered pony. What I would have said, had we conversed, was that Raudi does not respond to punishment. Rather, she responds well to specific cues, which was why I asked to whoa and back. This caught her attention and gave another, safer option.
We continued on to the Snyder Guard Station. I walked Tyra and Hrimmi and Pete ponied Ryder. I remained upset about what had happened, and let Pete know this. I was still upset when, finally, we got to the guard station.
We walked into the tree lined side yard. Hrimmi bumped me with her pack and I lost my balance, losing my grip on both horses’ reins. Both then raced across the yard, in the direction of the guard station cattle guard. There was, fortunately, a fellow on an ATV, who’d just crossed the cattle guard, attached the chain that went across it. This prevented both horses from crossing, and getting their feet caught in it.
I ate lunch, which I think raised my blood sugar. In the melee, the snap on Tyra’s reins gave out. Pete made me a new set of reins, out of highline rope. They’re short and I have to wear gloves, otherwise I get rope burn. However, I did thank Pete for being so resourceful.
We spent the afternoon searching for the illusive Lander Cutoff Immigrant Trail. The trail that supposedly led to it became less and less distinct, and finally petered out. We finally gave up and went back in the direction of the Snyder Guard Station. It had a corral, a bunkhouse, and seemed downright hospitable. Pete suggested we camp in area before the station, to which I agreed. The place in which we conferred about this was an okay campsite. There were live trees, so we wouldn’t have to worry about deadfall falling on our tent. We also could highline the horses safely.
The day ended on a really good note, with Pete and me sitting and discussing the next day’s plans. And as I freely admitted to him, my being angry or irritated is an unproductive waste of time. I should rather focus on the fact that I am fortunate to be doing this trip.
Next: 189. 7/11/19: La Barge Meadow