accompany me meant that she’d ride across the meadows with me. In all fairness to Vickie, she offered to trailer Tinni home, but I finally said no, that horses are for riding.
So, we set out at 11:30 a.m. with Vickie riding Hunar and me riding Tinni. It was, in the beginning, a beautiful and challenging ride. Beautiful – we could see the snow on the distant Talkeetna Range and as well, low lying clouds, looking like tufts of cotton. Challenging – the trails were, because of recent rain, really slick. Also, the terrain was varied, consisting of some steep up and down sections. At one point we went down a log strewn gully. Always, Tinni remained calm, making his way carefully around questionable areas.
We again took the Yarrow Trail – we did this mid-summer, when I then rode Tinni back to our place. It’s tricky because the trail is winding and the aspen are close. If your horse rushes, or you don’t pay attention, you get wacked in the knee.
We stopped about 500 yards distant from the first of the two meadows. Vickie, glancing at her watch, said that she had to get back home. I was taken aback because I figured that she’d cross the two swamps with me. However, I chided myself for being such a wuss, and headed for the first swamp. My initial fears were confirmed when I arrived at its edge. The trail going directly across looked extremely boggy.
I considered going back to Vickie’s and taking her up on her trailer ride offer, but soon realized that I’d have a hard time finding her place. This was because we’d taken a rather roundabout route to where Tinni and I were standing. I also didn’t want to look like a dweeb in the eyes of this more fearless rider. I finally decided to go right, and in this way circumnavigate the swamp. This turned out to be wishful thinking, for the footing beneath Tinni’s feet was very spongy. It also led to a pond, one that had formed in recent rain.
I had one option, and that was to go directly across the meadow, where Tinni and I would then be on higher ground. I got off my horse and began walking. The ground underneath my feet continued to sink –I was soon thigh deep in cold, mucky water.
I knew that I had to keep us both moving, otherwise Tinni would sink in muck up to his neck. After what seemed like hours, but was only ten minutes, we made it to the far side of the meadow, and higher ground. There was no trail per say, but I didn’t care. Bushwacking was easy.
We kept going, the terrain becoming increasingly more brushy. I finally spotted a house, and barreled through brush, in that general direction. My reasoning was that houses are connected to roads. At this point in time, the only thing we had to worry about was the barking dog. It was a big husky, and mean. However, I was meaner. I yelled at the dog, and surprised, he took off. All I now wanted was to get to the damn road, and no dog was going to stop me.
I knew right away that this, an unfamiliar road, lead to a familiar road. I was right. To my great jog and delight, I discovered that by going right on the far trail, that I’d skirted around the second meadow. This was fortuitous, because the footing would have been worse than that of the first meadow.
The rest of the trip home was uneventful. Tinni and I cruised along on now familiar trails and roads. He moved along at a relaxed, but fast walk. On the final stretch, he picked up the pace, for he knew that he was nearly home.
Tinni was glad to see the other horses, and vice-versa.
As I gave my old horse his late afternoon hay, I again realized that Tinni is a really amazing horse, as was evidenced by how well he handled this entire ride. He kept his wits about him on both my ride with Vickie and our solo ride. The question that then came to mind was would Raudi have exhibited as much common sense as Tinni? I have to say probably not. I will have more confidence in her abilities in such situations in a year or two. Right now, Tinni’s an older, more seasoned trail horse with more miles under his girth.
Tinni was a good teacher this summer for Emily – but he’s now again my much-loved steady eddy horse.
Next: 273. 09/8/12: Hrimfara, Update