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Eric Hought

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IN & OUT of the ZONE

Tempest is in the zone as long as the environment in which we are riding is the same as the last time we passed through that area. Two rides ago, Gail and I had completed a ride of about 9 miles. We just went the distance. About 3/4 of a mile from home, the horses heard something in the edge of the brush. When we got around to where we could see, it was a bull elk and about a dozen cows. We had been seeing tracks and droppings from time to time. It looks like this small group has split off from the large group and are taking permanent residence.

Hearing and then seeing the elk unsettled Shaq and took Tempest out of the zone. It got her motor revved a little, but by the time we got a little further along the trail she was back to normal, in the zone.

The young ones will stay in the zone as long as everything stays pretty much the same. Any change will unsettle them.

All of the time we spend just walking along is highly valuable. The goal is to build as large of a safe bubble as possible. I do that so when they become unsettled by something strange or by revving up the motor later, returning to the walk is a safe place to be and a place to relax. Her bubble of safety is growing and will be quite large and solid in a couple of years from now. It works.

 11/3/01 - MAKE THE CIRCLE

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