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February 6, 2011

Stupor Bowl Sunday

Today was Stupor Bowl Sunday. It’s all about fat balding men with big asses sitting around and watching trim helmeted men with tiny asses bash into one another. I do not understand football and never will. And it’s no loss. My life is far better for having disassociated myself from this particular cultural phenomenon.

What I like most about SBS is that the outside world is a different place. It’s like the world would be if suddenly 75 percent of the population disappeared. I have made it a point to be outside on past Stupor Bowl Sundays, and have found the world to be a far quieter and infinitely more peaceful place. Maybe it’s because the motorheads have elected to stay inside.

Marj came over and we got Raudi, Siggi, and Tinni ready for a ride. I rode Raudi, Pete rode Siggi, and Marj rode Tinni. The horses all seemed to agree that this was a good pairing.

Marj is an interesting woman, particularly when she talks about planes and piloting them. She talked some today about taking a survival course in which students were taught how to get by with a plastic bag and matches in the wilderness. Marj is thinking of putting together such a class for people here in the Mat-Su Valley.

She recently purchased a half Icelandic named Delilah. Delilah, like Raudi, is chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail, but there the resemblance ends. Delilah has a blaze down her nose and is far more agreeable than Raudi will ever be. She’s quite content to go with the program. The two are going to have a lot of fun together.

We did the small loop, stopping to check out Jack’s buddy Havoc, a whippet thin white pup. We then continued on to Murphy Road, alternating walking and trotting. We met up with just one snowmobiler, who really liked Jenna and vice-versa. He stopped at the trailhead and waited for us to pass, and then he waited a bit longer before restarting his engine. Marj said that he told her our horses are beautiful. I said that on SBS, the most considerate people are the ones outside, taking advantage of the good weather.

There was some talk about the SBS chip and dip crowd, and I pictured it, the three horses in the living room, watching the game, and every so often sticking their noses in dip. For sure, Siggi would ask for chicken wings because he’s that kind of guy.

Pete suggested that we continue on to Moose Creek, and then a few minutes later, as we were nearing the intersection, a passing motorist slowed down and said that there was a moose up ahead. Pete suggested we keep going, and I considered turning back. But then I decided to go along with his proposal because what could happen? Raudi would dance around and chuff some.

The Moose was, by the time we got to Buffalo Mine Road, well off to the right hand side of the road. The Raud could smell it, and because of this she was a bit jittery. However, seeing as Tinni and Siggi paid it no mind, she stayed calm.

We turned around because Buffalo Mine Road was slippery, and on the way back home we made just one detour. We did the trail loop, with Raudi, who was intent on getting home, leading the way. She was the first to go over the berm; once she was on the far side, she was first followed by Siggi, and then by Tinni.

We got off the horses, loosened their girths, and walked the rest of the way home. As we meandered along, I was struck by the fact that days like this are rare—and this is what makes them so precious. The sun was shining brightly and exuding warmth; both are a harbinger to spring. And there was just enough human traffic to make this trip interesting for us and the horses.

Marj and Pete walked on ahead. I recalled that I’d purchased Raudi six years ago, and that the weather on that day was much the same. It then seemed to me that the future was full of promise. I presumed that I’d someday ride her, but I could not then see that far into the future. The future is now, and it’s looking better all the time. Raudi and I are becoming increasingly more adept at communicating with one another when she’s under saddle. I sink my weight into my heels, put my shoulders back, and go into neutral pelvis. I relax, she relaxes, I relax. The overall effect is synergistic.

We returned home, and after untacking the horses, put them away. I considered saying that I wished that there was a Stuporbowl every Sunday, but then decided against it. After all, there can only be one best riding day of the entire year.