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Today we had an exciting day out learning about the fruits summer brings to even wild places, the proper (and improper use) of hobbles, runaway team recovery and wagon construction.
After last night's wagon ride, the girls and our hosts were up for it again, combined with a little wild plum picking. So, after morning chores, a midday rest with the puppies to get out of the heat, and some horse gathering, wagon prep and harnessing, we were headed out - a two-horse team, a wagon, four adults, two children and three saddle horses.
As the golden sunlight of early evening lit our way to the creek, we hobbled our horses and climbed out of the wagon to head for the plums. Minutes later, we were back at the wagon, dumping our first pails into the big plastic bucket in the back of the wagon. The team apparently didn't like that sound. They took off with the wagon, the unhobbled horse gave chase and the hobbled pair tripped along behind. We all watched helplessly as the team disappeared over the hill, then listened as they thundered back in our direction, sped past, ran for the other end of the field, rounded again and finally stopped suddenly. The team had, apparently, had a parting of ways - one thought she'd go to the right of a post, the other to the left. The wagon tongue slammed into the post, leaving marks, twisting bits and pieces and breaking harness parts. The horses, fortunately, were unscathed.
We lost my horse's hobbles during the run, so the girls got some extra riding time while we tried to round them up. No dice as we road into the night, but we returned the next day for another search on horseback, another opportunity to ride (any excuse).
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