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May 9, 2021: Bushwhacking 101

I’ve been riding most days since the onset of spring. I am determined to see spring happen this year. In previous years I’ve been oblivious to the changes.

This morning I caught sight of my first robin. I think it was a female. It was very lean. I hope it figures out that we have a lot of worms both in the manure bed behind the high tunnel and in the compost pile. I can see it, one robin saying to another, “Gladys, we lucked out again this year.”

The grass has now appeared, there are patches of green here and there.

The first buds of the season are on the trees, making for what Pete calls “a green

Alys and Raudi in the woods

haze.” I could see the difference between taking two horses out, in an hour-and-a-half’s time.

It was overcast – no warming sun today. I think this was best for the horses who still have some semblance of their winter coats.

Our trails have thawed out, and I really ought not be riding on them because the divots will harden and make for an uneven surface. Today I rode Siggi’s Trail, Peaches’ Loop, and the Tin Can Trail. Pete had said that there was a lot of snow still on Tin Can – I didn’t find this to be so. In fact, snow is preferable to soft, sodden ground.

I also rode in Pat and Ray’s fields, so as to cut down on the amount of time I spend on our trails. I say fields because I don’t have any other words for the area. It consists of deadfall, brush from past years, and birch and spruce trees. The terrain is gently sloping. There are no trails per say, so I am bushwhacking. Bushwhacking is what you do when there are no clearly defined trails.

I am not at all a big fan of bushwhacking. I’m a bridle trail kind of gal. Bushwhacking makes me nervous, particularly locally. There are so many unseen hazards when one is off trail, downed tree limbs, bogs, and holes included.

I would not ride in such terrain at all, but first, all of the horses do need to get out. And secondly, I am fortunate in that what my horses lack in speed, they make up for in caution. They seldom go fast, and the worse the going, the slower they go.

No, Raudi is not going to trip over a series of tree stumps, Hrimmi is not going to cross a questionable wet section, and Tyra is not going to step in a hole.

I often wish I lived in the Lower 48, in a place where the trails are on firm ground and go for hundreds of miles. My number one choice of places is Northern New Mexico. I fell in love with the area when I did my Continental Divide bicycle trek.

My perspective was that of a bicyclist. But I suspect that it is excellent riding country.

In the meantime, I am here, trying to make the best of an okay situation.

Next: 129. 5/10/21: Lost Dog(s)

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