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May 21, 2013: Priorities

Trip preparation: Most importantly, the horses need to be in good condition before we leave. Keeping them all in good shape is difficult when preparing for a trip because preparing for a trip can take precedence over everything else.

It has to be done though. This year we’ll again be starting out on semi-strenuous terrain and at a high altitude. It just would not be fair to ask them to do what they have to do without first putting in some legwork. A comparison can easily be made – it would be like asking someone who’s never before run any

distance to suddenly run a distance, day in and day out, up and down hills, with little respite. So with this in mind, I’m thinking that we’ll start out quite slowly.

Pete and I did get Siggi, Signy, and Raudi out tonight. We turned it into a grand adventure, and went over to Keith’s place, where we checked out the dehydrator. It was a total distance of about five mines. I started out on Raudi, Pete rode Siggi and ponied Signy. And on the way back, I rode Signy and Pete ponied Raudi.

Raudi came to life when we came to the Murphy Road turnoff. She went right to the front of the group, and in a very officious way, strode forward. And she trotted nicely, head up, when asked. She was the way she used to be.

Ours was mostly a road ride, but we did take the cut off trail from Buffalo Mine Road to Spike Fork Road, a short trek of about 3/4th of a mile. It is semi windy and cuts through a grove of birch trees.

It was very wet and spongy underfoot – in places we had to wind around the trees. Raudi was so excited about being off road that she could barely contain herself. In fact, she was shaking. This was a very good sign. Could be that a part of her lack of forwardness had to do with her being bored. For the past few months we’ve been doing the same old same old.

I held Signy and Raudi while Pete went inside to check on the dehydrator. Raudi marched along, mowing down the glass, or sprigs of grass, Signy following behind. Some don’t feel it right to allow horses to eat with bits on. I don’t discourage it because it’s something that they have to do while out on long treks. They can’t go for an entire day without eating. The same goes for drinking water.

The trip home was far quieter for me than the trip to Keith’s place. Signy doesn’t have shoes right now, so she was mincing a bit. Raudi, who was attached to Pete, chose to dance around, leading me to speculate that she and Signy were playing bad cop/good cop.

This ride made the upcoming trip seem this much more real. I could envision us out for days at a stretch, thinking of course, of specific places we were on our last trip. What comes to mind now is our passing through Ohio City. After a long day of riding on dirt roads, we found an excellent camping spot, complete with ample pasturage for the horses.

I guess this trip is really going to happen. Tonight I’m going to talk with the owner of Mountain Icelandics in Colorado about his place being our starting point.

In the meantime, trip preparations on the home front continue. We’re now about 3/4th of the way done dehydrating our provisions. In the next few days, we’ll vacuum pack what we have dried, and then determine if we need to do any more. I think not, but you never know. I’m next going to get going on sorting out trip gear. That’ll be more fun. The best part will be putting what we have in the new trailer.

Giddy up.

Next: 142: 5/22/13: Comings and Goings