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December 26, 2013: Routine Maintenance

It’s easy to become a creature of habit. Then, all one has to focus on is routine maintenance. I became very aware of this today. This morning, I suggested to Pete that instead of me riding Tinni and taking the dogs along, that we instead go cross-country skiing and take the dogs along. Pete, of course was up for our doing this.

I’d only skied once last year, and once the year before. I decided some time ago that I’d like to ski a lot more this year. Since our return home on October 1, I’d been exercising the dogs by taking them hiking and running, and having them accompany me when horseback riding. So I, in a manner of speaking, had built time into my day for cross-country skiing.

Pete hadn’t skied since the end of last winter, and I hadn’t skied since the beginning of last winter, so we had no set routine in terms of preparing to head

out. We first had to find our ski clothes, boots, gaiters, – and then we had to locate Rainbow’s skijoring harness, Jenna’s dog booties, and Ryder’s pack. We also had to talk at length as to whether or not we needed the booties and pack. After deciding yes, I had to find stuff to put in Ryder’s pack. We were going on a short outing, so we didn’t need much of anything. I determined that we needed fire starters (made with wax, egg cartons, and lint) and a lighter. You just never know when you’ll need to start a fire. Before heading out the door, I put Ryder’s harness on, and put her on a leash. And Pete grabbed the camera and stuffed it in the front portion of his windbreaker. Pete had, moments before, waxed the skis, so we were then ready to go.

We walked to the trailhead and carried our skis and poles. Starting out was a bit slow. I had to figure out how my ski pole straps worked, unhook Ryder, and stash her leash in her pack. I also had to (ahem) reacquaint myself with my ski bindings. Off we went – right away, Jenna lost two of her booties. We skied back and forth, and found one of them. The second one is still missing. We skied Pete’s ski trail – he cleared the brush a few years back – because there was so little snow, it was a bit on the bushwacky side. However, the trail was passable. The dogs had a wonderful time – Rainbow pulled Pete who was out front, and Jenna followed behind me. Ryder, who was all over the place, repeatedly bounded off the trail and into what for her was chest-deep snow.

We returned to the trailhead after skiing for about an hour. I hooked Ryder up because we were again close to the road. I then discovered that I cannot ski and walk a dog on a leash at the same time.

Once at home, we ate lunch and then prepared for the afternoon’s activity – horseback riding. As we got ready, I compared the morning with the afternoon’s preparations. We do not yet have our cross-country ski act together. But we do have our horseback riding act together. For example, today, as has become routine, I put the bridles, halters, and girths in one bucket, the previously prepared horse supplements in another, and hot water in a third.
Pete and I then got the horses out of the pen – they had hay and their supplements waiting at their four stations – and tacked them up. As always, the walk to the trailhead was uneventful. We had as good a ride as we did ski, but with fewer interruptions. After, we returned home, and reversed the above-mentioned process.

I really felt as though my brain was creating new pathways today. Gotta start to vary the day’s activities a bit more.

Next: 286: 12/27/13: Other People’s Messes