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July 10, 2019: My Bad Attitude

It was not a good day, and it was all my doing. Sad face emoticon, second sad face emoticon. But, there is fortunately tomorrow, and I have vowed it will be a great day. Happy face emoticon, second happy face emoticon.

It was quite hot by the time we left camp at 10 a.m. A mile out, at a nearby junction, Ryder, who was off leash, ran off and chased a car. She’s more of a header than a heeler – she likes to get out front and grab at tires. And this is what she did. I was in front of Pete. He yelled at me to go and get her. The problem is, Tyra isn’t yet adept at moving from a walk to a canter.

The car slowed down. Ryder caught up and lunged for the front wheel. The car sped up. Ryder fell behind the vehicle and then gave chase. In a few minutes time, she returned to where we were standing. I dismounted Tyra and hooked her to her lead.

My cortisol level went off the charts, which was why I yelled at Pete. An argument ensued, one in which he told me that I should have raced up to Ryder and put her on the lead, and me telling him why this was not possible. “She’s going to have to be on the leash any time we are near the road,” I finally said, putting an end to this discussion.

I didn’t think Pete heard me, and this was verified when minutes later, we came to a cattle gate. We both dismounted. I held Raudi, Hrimmi, and Tyra’s reins. Pete took Ryder, and had her sit by the roadside. When finally, his attention was focused on closing the gate, Ryder ran off. I retrieved her.

Lander cutoff sign
The road follows the Lander Cutoff here

Pete making a new set of reins

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

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