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May 29, 2020: The Gift of a Good Ride

This dispatch title is on my list of books to write. I think about it often. I thought about it today. Some would say that a good ride is dependent upon having a good horse, and further, that if it isn’t a good ride, it’s the animal’s fault. The horse is too (choose from the following): Too lazy, too anxious, too dominant, too submissive, too food obsessed, too messed up in the head to deal with.

I say the gift of a good ride is dependent upon maintaining the physical and mental well-being of the horse. Today, I was given the gift of three good rides, and Pete was the recipient of the fourth ride. I first took Tinni out on all our trails. I next took Tyra out. We did our trails and the Jim’s Road trail. Then after, Pete rode Raudi and I rode Hrimmi on our trails. My only complaint was that none of these

Alys and Tyra in the Wyoming Range
Alys and Tyra in the Wyoming Range

rides were long enough. These horses are wonderful trail animals, always willing to do as asked and sometimes then some.

Why? Because we are doing everything humanly possible to make their lives such that they are able to give the gift that keeps on giving. Today is a case in point: Pete did the morning chores, feeding and poop pick up while I attended my morning on-line yoga class. I am taking this class so that I am more body aware when I ride. Seems to work.

I worked some, and at 1 p.m. I went outside. The horses looked bored, so I tossed them three gasoline containers with packer pellets. They enjoy playing vending machine. I told them what happens at Squalor Holler stays at Squalor Holler. I then fed and cleaned up.

Then, before each ride, I groomed the horses, cleaned their feet, did leg circles, and carrot stretches, adding a few new ones to the repertoire from Hilary Clayton’s book. I would have done agility, but we have completed the May courses and I wanted to give them a break.

I next tacked up the horses (one at a time of course) making sure to tighten the girth on both sides, a notch at a time.

I grabbed treats before leaving. I did as I always do and walked the horses the half mile to the trail head. I mounted up, using a tree stump for this purpose. I began all the rides slowly, at a walk, asking for more energy as the ride progressed.

Our final stop was at the creek, so the horses could get some cold running water

I arrived at trail head number two, dismounted, and walked the horses home.

I let all the horses graze on the lawn, separate and together.

This evening, after dinner, I gave all the horses their supplements. Pete gave Tinni his Cushing’s medication. I again cleaned up and did the final night feeding. I also cut down some birch branches for them all to chew on. Lastly, I noticed some mosquitoes hovering around, so I wiped all four horses down with organic fly spray. When the bugs are really bad, I use the heavy duty stuff.

This is what I remember. I did some other things, but I don’t recall what. The horses show me they are appreciative by giving me a good ride. This, I know for a fact.

Next: May 30, 2020: Unrest

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