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Though it has been since late January that I’ve been in the saddle, it’s been years that I’ve been on a trail ride.

I used to ride the trails around Nebraska regularly with a high school friend who had a trailer–we did everything from swim with the horses until only their heads bobbed above the water to climbing the highest buttes near Fort Robinson.

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When we first moved in, the neighbors asked, 1) “Are you the new owners” and 2) “Do you have horses?”  I think it was a blessing for both of us that number two was true.

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My sure-footed steed for the ride, Preacher.

Diane the neighbor took me and her two horses to the Vandalia trail, not ten minutes from our house.  She rode her spotted Rocky Mountain horse while I mounted Preacher, a sure-footed 18-year-old Tennessee Walking horse.  We set out with a friend of Diane’s and explored the trails.

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Some of the “fun” of young horses–you get to dismount regularly and show them how to do it.

Other than startling at a bicyclist and a hiccup at the creek crossing, the trip was uneventful but educational. It was my first time on the back of a gaited horse.  Their running walk is quite the ride.

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My 75-year-old neighbor still rides regularly.  I only hope I can say the same when I’m her age.

I’m hoping to take Stoney and eventually Dancer with the group now that I know the trails.  I’ve even daydreamed about a trail-riding date with Jack.  I just need to get serious riding my horses in between raising children and fixing up our home.

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Or have the girls do the training.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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