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August 19, 2012: Trail Ride and Barbecue

It’s now usually overcast here in the summer. We now have small windows of time in which to get out and enjoy the sunshine. This morning was cloudless, the sky was bright blue. But the clouds, as they often do, rolled in. It was threatening to rain by noon.

I invited my friend Victoria to come over to ride. She came with the posse, which are seven other horses. Fran, Pete, and I were eating lunch when they arrived. The posse trailer arrived with two other trailers following behind. The posse group – they had saddled their horses beforehand—were ready to go.

Pete and Fran looking at the "True Cost of Coal Poster," created by the Beehive Design Collective.

I began getting our horse act together. Pete and I had wisely decided that this ride should consist of two shifts. He and Siggi were to go out with the larger group. And I was to go out with the smaller group. The second group was to consist of me riding Raudi, Vickie riding Hunar, Mike (Vickie’s husband) riding Tinni, and Fran riding Signy. Hrimmi and Jenna were to pull up the rear. We agreed that this way, Hrimmi would be in the company of horses that she’s familiar with. At three and a half months, she’s not ready for prime time trail riding.

The best laid plans often go awry, but this was not the case. It all went like clockwork. Pete and his group took off first. Then our group took off. They did the bench loop and Grizzly Camp rides – we did the bench loop ride. Ours was a good ride – the horses were all agreeable, and the conversation good. It was also fun seeing our trails through Fran’s eyes. She’s a botanist, and knows the names of the various plants in our area. Plus, the rain held off.

Admittedly, I was most comfortable riding with horses I know. Four of the five were ours, and Hunar is one of the gang. In time, I might someday be up for the challenge of riding with horses I don’t know, but not yet.

We got back before the first group and untacked our horses. We now have what a teacher of mine once called a happy problem. In the past, Pete has happily stayed behind and got the barbecue going. Now he rides. And does he ever ride. He had Siggi saddled and ready to go in record time. There was no holding the pair back. So there’s now lag time in between riding and eating. If we are to again host another trail ride, we’ll need to find a non-rider to take on the barbecue duties.

We did have a barbecue, but just a handful of people – Pete, myself, Fran, Mike, and Vickie, stuck around for it. As it turned out, it was Vicki’s birthday. Someone had left a cake here before leaving, so it became birthday fare.

After, Vickie rode Hunar back to her place, and I accompanied her on Tinni. This was a reminder that he’s still my steady eddy riding horse. It was by now raining, and so the trails were slippery. Tinni carefully picked his way along the trail and got me to our destination safely. There was one really nasty mud slide area. Vickie and Hunar went down it, and Tinni and I hung back. After some deliberation we elected to go down the more brushy slope. This was yet another instance in which we worked well together.

I very much miss having Tinni here. Emily returned home yesterday, leaving her buddy behind. She passed on a very nice thank you note, and said how much she appreciated having him for the summer. She also passed on his competitive trail ride scores. Very impressive – if his pulse and respiration had been lower, he would have gotten the high point awards.

Mike is going to ride Tinni until mid-September, when he and Vickie go on vacation. In the meantime, Pete and I have yet another building project ahead of us. We are going to build Tinni a shelter – this way all five horses will be out of the elements in the fall and winter.

We concluded the day by watching a video, Cowboys and Aliens. I didn’t like it. I Don’t like seeing horses ridden hard and killed

Fran and Skip continued their road trip this morning. I was sad to see them go. Fran is observant, watchful, and always prepared, in a very unobtrusive way, to give a hand with whatever needs doing. We sent her home with worms from my worm farm and a jar of honey. I look forward to seeing her again.

Next: 255. 08/20/12: Compost Continues to Happen