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June 3, 2012: Prior to Rain—a Diary Entry by Alys, age 12

It was threatening to rain all day. The sky broke open at about 6 p.m. It’s now 8 p.m. and a downpour ensues. I’m rain phobic. I wonder as if two summers ago, it will rain for days on end. That was quite unpleasant.

Prior to rain, it was overcast – you could smell it in the air, and see the low lying hills in the clouds I began the day by taking Hrimmi and Signy for a walk. I returned and then prepared to take Tinni a ways up Murphy Road. As I was doing this, our neighbor Andre showed up and swapped out one of his military trailers for another. They are very stout units – camo colored. We fill them with manure, and he takes them away. He’ll use the manure in his garden.

Rainbow yawning: note the four straight canines

I rode out to meet Vickie, who was going to ride Hunar over to our place. I ran into her on the road – she was driving her truck and Hunar was in his trailer with his head hanging out the back. I switched directions and headed home.

Pete made pancakes for all of us. Andre and Vicki both live over on adjacent Soapstone Road, so we talked neighborhood politics for a bit.

Then Pete, Vickie, and I saddled up our ponies and went for what turned out to be a long and strenuous ride, first up to the bench, then back down, and then up to Grizzly Camp and back down. I’ve finally come to a turning point with Raudi. I’ve decided to be firmer with her about some things. The list is too long for this diary entry, but I will list a few items. Must stand quietly next to strange horses with no food when being groomed and tacked up. Must stand rock still next to strange mounting blocks when I go to get on her back. Must not eat grass or pull to eat grass when out on the trail. Must walk nicely downhill behind other horses and stay a horse’s length away from them. Must not bolt and attempt to catch up with those other horses. Must stand quietly when riders stop to talk about mundane things such as past bear sightings. Must. . . must . . . must.

The standing still is the toughest must for dear old Raudi. I’ve come to the conclusion that good horse behavior doesn’t just happen—you have to work at it. And, furthermore, she will not hate me for being so demanding. (If you haven’t yet figured it out, I have a very fragile psyche.) She did a fairly good job of dealing with Day One of my Tough Love dictates. I figure that if Hunar, age 11, can do all these things, so can Raudi, age 9.

I couldn’t help but think (again) how fortunate I am to have Pete and Vickie to ride with. I used to go out solo all the time. It’s nice to have people to now ride and talk horses with. Vickie said she knows of people who hate birds. Don’t you think that’s a bit odd?

We got back home, and Rainbow and Vickie’s dog Indy got in a scrap. Rainbow lost this one – she had her canine tooth dislodged. Her muzzle is now swollen. I suspect that the tooth is going to have to be extracted. No more steaks or playing tug of war with her.

Vickie’s husband Mike and his daughter Emily showed up as Vickie was getting ready to leave. Emily is going to have Tinni at her place this summer. He’s going there tomorrow. As I talked with her a bit about his care and feeding, I realized that I’m very attached to him. Maybe I need to think about it this way – he will, this summer, bring joy to yet another person.

Vickie, Mike, and Emily left, and then Karen and Gene showed up with a flat of plant starts. I was moved when I saw Karen with the tray in hand. We came up short on starts this spring – we fell behind, school and foals n all. So we let people know this. Dori gave us some, and also passed the word on to Ellie, who came up with more. This makes me feel like we are a part of the gardening community. I am not the gardener around here per say, but yeah, I like the gardening hubba hubba. How I wish I had the gene . . . .

Well, Pete left for Andre’s to pick up railroad ties, which will serve as a foundation when we build the new hay barn. And I took off with Karen and Gene, again going up the bench, this time with Hrimmi and Signy. A light mist turned into a drizzle as we cruised along. Hrimmi dealt just fine with trail related challenges, going through creeks and around bogs. What a fine little trail horse she is going to be.

The outdoor part of our day concluded with Pete and I driving to Ellie’s place and picking up more plant starts.

Tomorrow is going to be a hectic day. Gotta get Tinni ready and take him to his summer digs. Gotta get a long awaited haircut. Gotta take Rainbow to the veterinarian. Gotta give Mariann a hand with Jokla. I’ll be glad when it’s Tuesday and I resume doing things on the home front.

Next: 178. June 04, 2012: Icelandic Horses Up and Down