Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches > Daily Dispatch #205

July 1, 2012: Return of Number One Riding Horse

After the poker ride, I went with Vicki back to her place. She was going to go camping and had asked me if I’d watch Tinni for a few days. I gladly agreed to this. I also said that I’d ride him from her place to ours, which is a distance of about five or so miles. Vicki then agreed to accompany me to the Moose Meadows, which is roughly two miles from her place.

Tinni seemed glad to see me. He stood quietly when I groomed him and tacked him up – then off we went, on yet another adventure. We first rode the side trail that parallels Soapstone Road, and were soon passed by six or so ATVers. Some of the partiers were pretty loud – I suspected that they’d been drinking. The whole time, Tinni stood as still as a rock.

We next hopped onto the Yarrow Road Trail. It’s one of the few hiking only designated trails in our area. There was some beautiful signage. I learned that this trail had been constructed by local Eagle Scouts, under the supervision of the Alaska Division of Forestry and the Anchorage Ruff Grouse Society. (Yes, there really is such an organization.) The trail was both hilly and steep. We had to wind our way through aspen trees that were on both sides of the trail. Vicki, who was bareback on Hunar, had an easier time than me, who’d elected to use a saddle.

The entire way, Tinni sidled from side to side, with just a smidgeon of leg pressure. Still, I got thwacked in the knees several times. But the ride was worth it. We had a near 360 degree view of the Moose Range at the top of the ridge. And as well, we also had a view of both the Talkeetna and Chugach Ranges. An added bonus was that the sun was shining. These days, this has been a rare sight. Vicki and I parted company at the base of the Moose Meadows, with both us heading to our respective homes.

On the way home, Tinni and I stopped at a neighborhood party. As I talked, Tinni grazed, and introduced himself to the horses who lived on the far side of the fence. I just assumed that Tinni would stand quietly when the ATVers passed. And I assumed that he’d listen to my commands when on a rough trail. These, I reminded myself, are characteristics of a number one riding horse. Sure, Tinni’s past his prime. And he’s no longer as energetic as Raudi. And more often than not, his favorite gait is the pace. But nevertheless, he instills confidence in this rider. How wonderful then, to have him home for a few days.

Next: 206. 07/2/12: An Improbable Friendship