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February 13, 2021: Going the Extra Mile

I think that this is the best title that I have ever come up with for a dispatch, because it is the most apt. Yesterday I wrote about the difference between gloating and raving and decided that raving was a more preferable term when talking about my animals. I then wrote at length about how amazing they all are. The horses, specifically today. I have always taken it for granted, when on long trips or rides, they never seemed to tire. They never slowed down or stopped. They just kept on going. The same was true in riding Raudi and Tinni in the Competitive Trail Ride.

I figured out today, coincidently when I was out on the trail, that there is a reason for this. The reason is that I go

Alys and Raudi in the 2018 CTR

the extra mile for them. They may or may not be aware of this. I am obsessive about their care, making sure that what goes in is the best. As for what comes out, it seldom has a chance in the winter to get very hard. My ponies have never, ever stood around in their own poop.

Pete makes sure that they always have access to water.

And they all get out every day. These days, not most every day, but every day. Today is a good example – I had to sort books midday. Before going to the recycling center, I got Tinni out, took him for a walk on the trails with Shadow. This was before I ate breakfast. In the afternoon, after my return, Pete and I went for a short ride on our trails, him riding Raudi and me riding Tyra. Then, after we got back, I took Hrimmi out for a walk. I took the route I took with Tinni. By then I was really tired, but the sight of the setting sun, the spruce and birch silhouetted against the orange sky, this, I thought, was worth the effort. Did Hrimmi think so? Most likely not.

After, I cleaned the pen, gave them their evening ration of hay, and hauled the manure up behind the hoop house. I will later go out and check on them all and give them their hay nightcap.

All I do for them keeps them in good condition, so that they are physically able to go the extra mile. As for mentally being able to go the extra mile – I’d like to think that they are appreciative of my efforts, and for this reason, when asked, dig down deep and work that much harder. I’d like to think this. I really don’t know if this is so. I’d like to think it is. But if I suddenly determined that it was not, I would remain attentive to their needs.

Being attentive to their needs, admittedly, does bring me great joy. All this work, I do hope that sometime, I am able to do another long trip in their company. If not in the Lower 48, at least here in Alaska. If wishes were horses . . .

45. 2/14/21: First Intimations of Spring

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