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May 15, 2012: An Adventurous Life

Last night we got a call from Vickie Talbot, who was wondering if Pete and I were up for a ride. I immediately said yes. We agreed to get together this morning, at 9 a.m. I got up early, did chores, took Junior for a walk, and ate breakfast. Pete and I had our horses tacked up and were ready to go by the time Vickie and her horse Hunar pulled into the driveway.

I knew that it would be an adventurous ride—no moseying down the loop and going up the road -- for Vickie would not have it any other way.

I was right. We immediately headed for the trail that leads up into the foothills of the Talkeetna Range. We rode on what was the semblance of a trail, a moose path -- up to what I call the ditch – a place where the creek is bordered on both sides by steep drop-offs. Amazingly, it is just a two feet across.

I have not been able to get Raudi across it when I’ve been out solo. So she now thinks this is the turnaround point Today, I dispelled that notion. First Vickie and Hunar crossed, then Raudi and I, and finally Siggi and Pete. It wasn’t as simple as the previous sentence suggests. There was considerable pulling and butt slapping. Siggi was truly scared. Raudi was yanking my chain. Lovely bunch of animals. Eventually, we all found ourselves on the far side.

We continued uphill, to the bench, a flat area that bisects the foothill. Here and there were boggy areas. We went through some, and skirted around others. Vickie has taught Hunar to cross these patches slowly, a foot at a time. As she explained (and I agree) rushing them is what gets horses and riders in trouble.

Then we went downhill. Our horses didn’t do as well as Hunar, who has been taught by Vickie to slowly inch his way down sharp inclines. I decided to take a leaf out of Vickie’s book, and imitated her, by having Raudi do as Hunar was doing. This worked amazingly well.

Vickie wears a protective riding vest. I am going to get one. Rib protection is a very good thing. It will be especially nice to have when riding alone.

We returned to our place, untacked, and chatted a bit. I have offered Vickie the use of Tinni for the summer, with the provision that if it does not work out, that she bring him back here. Tinni will (we decided) be a good companion for Emily, age 13. And it will enable me to put my energies into working with the remaining four horses.

Of course, this will be really difficult for me to do. It’s amazing, just how attached I am to this horse. But, as I am now telling myself, he will continue to get good care and attention, maybe even more so where Vickie lives. And, her place is within riding distance from my place.

Beautiful spring day here. It’s what we’ve been waiting for since getting back from our trip last August.

Next: 160. 05/18/12: Hoss Manners