Never one to turn down such an offer whenever possible, I headed for Utah.
My first task after arrival was to see what I needed to do to prepare the young horse, Remington, for the up coming trip to St. George. After some round pen evaluation and riding I felt Remi and I were ready to try a trail ride. I thought I had put all my tack inside a friend's trailer. When I and two other gals got to our destination west of Elberta, Utah, I found to my horror that my saddle had been left in the trunk of my car. Some people might say I had a "senior moment" but it really was being in too much of a hurry.
For a brief moment I did consider riding Remi bareback. The thought quickly vanished as I looked at the terrain and the fact that I didn't know if he had even been ridden bareback. This was not the time to answer that question. I looked at the two saddles Diana had left in her tack room and picked the one I thought might work for both myself and Remi. It turned out to be a pretty good fit. I will be forever in debited to Diana for the use of her saddle !! I mounted Remi and felt ready to see how he was going to do.
My steady riders were Saundra on her mare, Symphony and Marilynn on her gelding, General. These two horses were experienced and quiet which helped a lot as we got started going cross country to reach one of the canyons we were gong to ride up and then over a ridge and come back down another canyon. Remi did better than I had expected. He was pretty confident about leading some of the time and was careful where he placed his feet. I didn't know (other than sand) what to expect when we rode at St. George, so this was helping me to feel whether Remi would be ready. What goes up must come down and he was also pretty good about the coming back down the second canyon. His walk was getting faster and he was able to keep up with the other two horses and seemed to enjoy investigating his surroundings.
On the next trail ride, I rode Remi with Marilyn on General and Remi's owner, Aubrey, on Diana's gelding, Levi. We decided to go northwest from where we parked the trailer. The one time Aubrey had ridden there she had gone thru an old train tunnel and we decided to try and find it. It was Saturday, Valentine's Day, so there were plenty of 4-wheelers out enjoying the day. I wanted to stay as far as possible from the main traffic areas and both Aubrey and Marilyn thought the old train track was a good idea so up the hills we went trying to find it and maybe run across the train tunnel. We climbed and finally found the old train path. To our surprise we ran into the tunnel just north of where we joined the train track. Both Marilyn and I decided to get off our horses and walk through the tunnel. I lead the way with Aubrey behind me on Levi. The tunnel wasn't too long and I could see a bit of the other end when I started to hear the engine of a 4-wheeler. Because we were in the dark heading for the light, I wasn't sure if the person on the 4-wheeler could see me or Remi very well so I was telling Aubrey to come forward with Levi. In my mind, since Levi is a white horse, I thought the driver would see him better than either Remi or myself. Thankfully the driver was going slow and nothing happen.
On the way home, we were laughing in the pickup about how willing Aubrey had been about sacrificing herself and Levi for the rest of us. I told her I really didn't want to kill her by putting her in front, but I did hope Levi, being white, would be a good visual for the 4-wheeler. I think Aubrey believes me, I certainly would believe me !! Remi was not as good on this second ride going back to the trailer. I found out that he liked Levi and thought he should keep up with him. I had to work harder on getting Remi's mind to stay with me. His thought kept jumping ahead to Levi. However overall it was another successful trail ride. I just had several more days to work on this issue of Remi wanting to be close to a friend, then I was headed for St. George with the "Gait-n- Gals".
Stay tuned for the Rest of the Saga.........................