If I seemed less prepared than last year for this ride and tie event, perhaps the following timeline will give you a clue why.
Saturday Oct 5: Whoo hoo! this is going to be fun.
Sunday Oct 6: Uh Oh. Stashi is super lame on right hind. Very likely a shoeing issue (just shod), stepped on a rock?
Monday Oct 7- Wednesday Oct 9: Lame, not lame? Slightly off? No idea. Probably not going.
Thursday evening Oct 10: Not going. Biathlon on Farley?
Friday morning Oct 11: No biathlon on Farley. Too soon after possible soft tissue injury. Not going to event period. (this is the tears portion of the blood-sweat-tears components of this story).
Friday late morning Oct 11: Shoer volunteers to fix Stashi? Maybe going?
Friday afternoon Oct 11: Pack and go to Michele’s. Haul to Cool. Have hind shoes pulled, feet evaluated, hind shoes replaced with pads.
Trotted out sound. WHOO HOO!!!!!!!! We are doing this!!!!!!!
So yes, after much drama and stops and starts, Friday night finally saw me, Michele, and Stashi tucked in for the night at the Cool staging area, ready to do the 14 mile short course (actual course was actually only 12 miles) on Saturday morning.
At least, we were tucked in until around midnight when we realized Stashi was no longer with us.
My Dear Reader might remember last year when Stashi pulled a similar stunt. Stashi loves ride and ties. Especially the eating part. According to Stashi, there is a contract. He gives us a GREAT ride, and we provide him with food.
Last year, it was decided because of Stashi’s errr......”excessive girth” that perhaps he didn’t need a full hay bag overnight. Stashi broke his lead rope and proceeded to “take what was his” out of the bale bag.
This year, standing over the bale bag post bottle of wine (thanks Nikki!), Michele started to say “Stashi doesn’t need.....” and I said “OH NO!!!! We are NOT making that mistake again!!!!!” and so we laughed and handed Stashi a mostly-full bag of hay and stumbled to bed.
A couple hours later I heard a pissed off Stashi banging his empty hay bag against the trailer, which I was sleeping in.
Courtesy of the wine, it was very easy for me to roll back over and go to sleep - Stashi would just have to deal. :).
Well, Stashi decided he did NOT have to deal. He had previously scoped out ride camp during the vet in and knew exactly how to rectify the situation.
He silently untied himself and tip toed away from the trailer. Ninja style, even with steel shoes on gravel, he didn’t make a sound.
Michelle got me out of bed around midnight to help look for him.
Wasn’t anywhere obvious. Not at the water troughs, not hanging around anywhere close.
Michelle headed out towards the road where she remembered there was a patch of irrigated green grass. I started sweeping the perimeter of ride camp with my head lamp.
I walked towards the vet check and got a flash from eyes situated at horse head level.
Stashi tried to hide himself behind the picnic table.......as he munched on the sole bale of hay that was brought by ride management for the event the next day.
I would guess he ate fully a third of it.
As he was led back to the trailer in disgrace Michele and I debated the merits of filling his bale bag. Are we “rewarding” him for bad behavior? Considering he had sufficiently rewarded himself post-escape we decided it didn’t matter and put some more hay in his bag.
Neither me nor Michele slept another wink the entire night as we listened to the disgruntled Stashi bang his mostly empty hay bag around.
Saturday morning we woke up for an event that we hadn’t thought we were going do, after a night of no sleep.
I demonstrated my readiness to DO THIS THING but putting my number on upside down.
At least we got to the start on time this year.
Ready set GO!
I have to go spay a cat now - stay tuned for part 2
Two days of heavy rains, flash flood warnings
14 hours ago