Monday, July 09, 2012
So, this weekend, I went on a poker ride. For the uninitiate, a poker ride is a horse trail ride event where every so many miles, there is a station where you pick up a sealed envelope with a playing card in it. You collect 5 over the ride and then turn them in - you 'play' your hand and get prizes based on what you got. (I got nothing; a pair of 9s, and a pair didn't win anything.)
We arrived at camp on Friday evening - I took a new young horse who did very well all night tied to the trailer. We slept in the back of the truck which I always love. I like to go to sleep with my glasses on so I can see the stars! We had wine and snacks and a little more wine, and a great camp night.
In the morning, the horses were a little antsy from standing tied all night, so we walked them with us to register. I was commenting to my friend - you have such cute riding clothes! I'm wearing trail shoes and look like I am going to work out! but who cares. (English majors: note foreshadowing.)
We tied our horses at a hitching post at registration and started getting our forms filled out, when we heard quite a commotion...it was our horses. Mine had pulled back on the hitch post and it apparently was rotted - it broke off. She was not loose as the other post held, but all manner of mayhem took place, including her nearly diving into a table and a segment of the hitching rack flying up and landing on her back. By the time I got to her - which was not long but you know how fast these accidents happen - she was terrified but let me unclip her lead to get her loose.
She had scratches on her back and her head, but looked OK if very shaken. Poor thing, what an intro to horse events! There was a pen available so I took her there to recover before saddling her up.
In an hour I got her out and went to saddle her...but her back was very sore. You could see where she had been raked by something from the post and when I touched her back she flinched. There was no saddling her - besides being cruel to her, I have no doubt in my mind that she would have bucked me right off if I'd had the nerve to sit up there on that sore back.
It so happens that this event was put on by my trainer, so I asked her - I obviously cannot ride this horse, but can I take her on foot? She said no problem for the horse...but was I OK doing 8 miles on foot, with hills???
I WAS!! Thank you SparkPeople - I was totally fine with that! The horse did great, maybe even better being walked for her first multi-horse event, and there was a LONG LONG uphill that although I thought it would kill me - half a mile up at least, with switchbacks - I made it! On the hill, a woman riding behind me for 15 min or so made at least three comments about how good my legs looked! There were not many people there who could have done the ride on foot.
I credit you my friends! Legitimately, because a) I forgot my asthma inhaler and b) I wasn't sure if the horse's back was hurting, we cut about 1.5 miles off on our way back by not doing loops off the road home. But still, I walk/jogged about 6.5 miles with the horse. I wish I'd done it all but it was OK.
It felt so good to be able to do this! Most of the people at the ride would not have even considered it.
Thank you all for your support!!!