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Eric Hought

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The last ride on Tempest was a little challenging. November 1, 2001. It had rained 4 days earlier so it was slick. She was also 4 days fresh. She's Arab so she is not sure footed. You know what I mean. Plus, a friend of ours rode my 4 year old named Plenty. Each horse was looking for any kind of an excuse to get their backup, squeal and jump in any direction. So, it was a ride that in this time of the year where all you can do is make the circle and get back in one piece. We did it and everyone had a good time. The horses had more fun than the two of us. What did the horses learn? I think they showed us that they could be contained and it was ok because they were still fresh back at the barn after 4 miles of riding mostly at a walk.

I think a ride like this has great significance. I was a win, kind of a ride. Completing a ride such as this one is an example of how most rides should be. My opinion. True, I didn't train in any way, but maybe I did. Let's analyze it.

Tempest was pitched away most of the time. She responded to the containment those times when needed. She jumped, kicked or bucked and I was still able to contain her. She showed me what she wanted to do and yet I could contain her. Pretty good on her part.

The trails and roads are slicker now than they will be after a month of rain because all the stuff on top that is so slick now, will have been washed away.

One way that I use the slick slopes is to bridle the filly while going down hill. I have been introducing this on the flat. At this point she can do that and she knows left foot, left rein. Using those two skills I tippy toe her down hill not allowing her front feet to get a long stride thus preventing a front foot from slipping forward, potentially straining a tendon and both of us falling down.

Its about 2:30 P.M. on Saturday and I am waiting for Gail to return on Shaq. They are riding the Oroville 50. The sky is clear, no wind and the temperature is probably mid 70's. It's a gorgeous day. Two more rides between now and January. The Silver State point to point after Thanksgiving and the Death Valley Encounter 4 day multi day ride between Christmas and New Years.

You can tell that I wrote this in Nov. but it has taken some time to get it typed up and on the page.



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