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Trip Dispatch #15, Thursday, June 2. Off Ranch to Summit Road ranch: A Full Day

We’d dropped a bucket of Rainbow’s food outside of Del Norte when we scouted out the area. Today we detoured and retrieved it. We tied the horses to a chain link fence. Pete carefully examined an area map after lunch, and then he told me that we’d have to cross the Rio Grande via the Route 12 Bridge going into Del Norte. I was okay with this, until I noticed in approaching that the road was heavily trafficked.

Pete agreed to ride Raudi and pony Signy, and I agreed to walk Siggi, who we figured would be calmer if lead. We figured wrong.

As we were making our way across the bridge, Siggi, hearing an approaching semi-truck, bolted, tearing the lead out of my hand. (I had Rainbow’s lead in my other hand.) He raced down the road, with an Allied moving van at his heels. The van screeched to a stop.

Once across the bridge, a small park was to our right. I’m not sure who grabbed whom, but we all tumbled ragtag, downhill, out of harm’s way. After regrouping, we all walked along a side road through town, checking out the sights. In the background was the sound of the Route 12 traffic, a reminder that the world isn’t a horse friendly place.

The day progressed, and once again, we were reminded of the adage it’s who

Adam shoeing Siggi
Adam shoeing Siggi

Adam shoeing Raudi
Adam shoeing Raudi

you know. We’d mentioned to Billy Jo Dilly that Raudi and Siggi were in need of a trim and new shoes. He gave us Adam Skadberg’s name, and recommended that we contact him when we neared Del Norte. Pete called the farrier from the roadside, on one of our two Trac phones. As Pete was talking, Siggi stepped on his little toe. I later told him this wasn’t Siggi’s fault. Rather, he should have tied him up before making the call. We aren’t big cell phone users, the main reason being that using them often detracts from the job at hand.

It was a seemingly long ways to our destination, with high winds, and heavy afternoon traffic. Pete rode and I walked Raudi. He suspected that his toe was broken.

Adam had said he’d be glad to do the farrier work and added that he had a corral in which we could board the horses. He arrived at the ranch shortly after we did, and after providing us with some very good hay for the horses, set to work.

Adam, 30-ish, broad shouldered, married, father of a five and a seven-year old, raises grass fed certified organic beef and works as an outfitter. His father was a farrier, and the family came to Colorado from North Dakota in a covered wagon when Adam was a child.

I admired his anvil, which he’d picked up from a friend. He was a slow, methodical worker. The horses behaved well for him.

Tomorrow will be a rest day, a good thing, because we all, especially Rainbow, need a break from the wind and heat. Her paws are cracked and she’s lacking energy. We’ve been putting booties on her feet—my theory is that they prevent her feet from sweating, which makes her dehydrated.

Next: Dispatch #16: Taking Care of Business