Trouble on the Trail

Trouble
on the Trails
Finally by 9 a.m. we are ready to go. It’s a textbook camp break – right on time.

For the first hour Bedavi is lame, but
Mike assures me it’s just from being hobble-sore.

The ride to our campsite follows our old
trail for some miles, and no problems occur. For some reason the steep drop doesn’t bother us much coming back, probably because we learned a new approach.

A common mistake when riding on such steep
slopes is to subconsciously lean away from the drop and into the mountain.

However, on horseback, leaning towards
one side will move the horse into the opposing direction. Away from the mountain and closer to the drop!

It takes some getting used to to correct
this habit. Applying weight into the stirrup and saddle on the downhill side feels like stepping into the drop. The results are worth the effort though.

After lunch, we have to cross another steep and deep slope and my ride turns into a new disaster.

I accidentally drop my right rein, and
Bedavi steps on it with his very next step. And – the reign breaks off!

I stop Bedavi to reattach the reign, but
with the other horses moving away, my boy acts like a complete idiot. And almost runs me over.

I discipline this behavior at once and
he quits moving forward. But reestablishing my dominance on such a steep and dangerous slope is not my idea of fun.

Regardless, Bedavi is not standing still.
He is no longer moving forwards into me, but he rears his head up and stomps all four feet.

Not an easy situation, considering I am
standing next to him on his right, off the trail in this hazardous slope. If he is testing me, he is doing a thorough job.

Unexpectedly, he turns around uphill on
the narrow trail and faces a surprised pack-string. I can’t believe this and my heart nearly misses a beat. What do I do now? If the pack-string turns around, I am doomed.

Packstring

Like a whirlwind, I climb up the steep incline behind Bedavi, grab his one reign, and spin him back the same way he just came. If anything goes wrong, he will now take a step back and tumble at least 200 feet into the river.

The choice and problem are his. He has done it once to get himself into trouble, he better do it now to get out of trouble..

He takes aim, pushes up his forefeet, and
ands uphill without ever stepping an inch back.

I pull him around and we soon stand back on our trail.

I take a deep breath and lead him out of
here by one reign. We have both won, and I can’t shake off that feeling that Bedavi is testing me. After making it through this ordeal, a new theory takes shape.

He is a very intelligent and spirited horse. And while he might act like an idiot right now, he would never do anything to actually endanger himself. It would be completely counter-instinctive. I know we will come back this way, so I will have a chance test
my new theory soon.

Close to our campsite 3U4, Bedavi starts
prancing and trotting oh-so-slowly again and won’t stop. I look back and around us, but everything is fine. Oh well.

After nine adventurous miles, we arrive
at the campsite, unsaddle, unpack, and set-up camp. When feeding the horses, I check Bedavi again and notice the reason for his prancing.

The poor boy must have caught the lead
rope under his tail, because he is pretty darn rope-burned. I treat it with Furazone and let him enjoy his sparkling mountain meadows again.

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