A friend came to visit last month, and brought nine of his friends and their horses to ride up here. We were supposed to spend a lot of time riding with them, but things didn't work out that way, so Bill rode with them one day and I opted to stay at the lodge. Neither of my horses were up to the length of ride over the rocky terrain; both had too short of hooves due to a lack of biotin in their current hay. Learned this only two weeks prior to their arrival; not enough time to get longer feet.
One of the riders couldn't make the first week, so she came the following week but didn't have a group to ride with. She did a couple days of longer rides with the wrangler that had come along, but was hoping for some more laid-back type riding, so I told her I would go out in the Forest with her one day, knowing I would have to borrow a horse. Now this friend, Ham as you know him, has always been more than gracious with sharing his horses with me. Saying the same about his horses is difficult to do; I have come off of a good many of them and not always fared so well. A little background: we are getting ready to go on a trip - a horse camping trip - and I was being EXTRA careful not to do anything to jeopardize this trip. Last year's trip didn't happen due to my broken elbow - from a friend's horse. Then I think about some of the things that have happened with this friend's horses. Hmmmm.
One bright spot though. One of the horses he had brought was an old friend of mine: a mare named Chula. Chula and I have a long history together, albeit a long time ago. When Jesse was just a little smidgeon I rode Chula a whole summer, having a great time with her. That has been ten years ago now, but Chula gave me a big hug when they arrived and I knew she would take care of me. So off I went with one of the riders and we had a spectacular time checking trails and watching the first of the turning aspen leaves. Now I feel like I have a new friend - the rider - and good memories with an old friend - Chula!