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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wild West Addendum

After re-reading my ride report I realized I forgot a couple of important "happenings".

Pavement Fall
Farley fell on the pavement. This wasn't a diasaster, but it easily could have turned into one. There is a stretch of very very slick pavement that everyone was required to dismount and walk. There is a narrow shoulder, however, there are sections of paved driveways that you have to cross over. I had the bright idea to cross over the road and walk on the other shoulder so I didn't have to walk across the driveways. Once I was over there, I found that the footing was not as good, Farley didn't want to stay on the shoulder, and I was on the wrong side of some blind curves. So we tempted fate AGAIN and crossed back over to the other side. We were almost across when, in slow motion, her hindquarters slipped our from underneath her and she slid to rest on her left side. She tried to get up once, slipped, and went down again. She layed there, and thought about it. There was no panic, no scrambling. She tried to get up one more time, very carefully, made it, and went over to the shoulder and stayed there. Whenever we had to cross a paved driveway, I noticed she was extremely cautious. We had gotten away with only a little skin rubbed off of the outside of her left hock.

I was very pleased to see that when she got into a bind, Farley didn't panic. She was able to think about the situation and extract herself. I think this is a very good sign. I want a horse that can think for herself in a hairy situation and isn't going to get us in MORE trouble by completely losing it. I took this kind of sensibility for granted in my Standardbred and I'm pleasantly suprised to find it in my Arab.

We were Stalked
Yep - we were stalked by something on a ridge. Farley felt the need to go and let her decide speed and distance. There were several bear and cub sightings this weekend, and it was in the same location that I saw a bear and two cubs last year. There's also mountain lions in the area. I didn't feel the need to stick around to see was evaluating our availability for dinner. There was a ride and tie event held on Sunday during the ride. I heard that one of the ride and tie horses spooked and broke his reins. The ride manager suspects that a bear came by and spooked the horse. I can just imagine what was going through the bear's head "Sardine on a string!".

I had a Crew!
I failed to mention my wonderful Mother who came and crewed for me on Saturday and Sunday. She is NOT a horse person and went to great lengths to avoid having to hold my horse for longer than about five seconds (as a result I got to sit there and hold the horse, while she did all sorts of useful tasks for me!). It was so nice to have someone at my one hour holds. I think having someone to meet me at the one hour holds at Tevis (IF I do it) is going to be really important. I didn't take any pictures on the trail (I wanted to be able to focus on my ride) but she took a bunch of photos that I'll probably post later. Saturday evening we played fiddle and banjo underneath my fly. I promised my neighbors that we would quit when the generators went off (9pm) and they wouldn't have to listen to us all night! It was nice playing at a non-musical event - the music was unexpected and I had several people tell me the next day how much they enjoyed having the music in camp.

I think that's it for my Wild West stories!


  1. Glad to hear that Farley wasn't hurt in her fall. Riding on pavement is a scary endeavor, I think. My horseshoer used to put borium spots on the shoes. One at the toe and two back at each side of the heel. Worked like a dream, you just need to be aware that now you have super traction and be careful.
    New reader here, found my way here by way of Manely Montana's site.

  2. Welcome and thanks for stopping by! Yes, Borium works well, I've had experience with it doing other disciplines.

    I don't think it's really suitable for endurance riding because of the increased traction - the horse's foot is absolutely not oging to slide and I think that's a necessary part of how my horse moves - but I'm sure that someone out there will argue they've had good experience with it at rides! LOL. To each their own. I totally agree with the quote about how the more you learn the more uncertain you are of what you've learned...

  3. Wheew! It sounds like your horse has a good head and used it to get themself out of the situation without injury.

    Outside of parades, I try to avoid riding on pavement although sometimes it's unavoidable. Just be sure to avoid riding over any manhole covers- those can be a real hazard.

  4. wow... a good "sit down and ride" adventure.. way 2 go.. also thanx for e-lyte info... news we can use

    happy trails
    gp and gazi

  5. yay! I'm so glad you weren't eaten... :P

  6. Hi Mel,

    I didn't get a chance to stop by and congradulate you earlier, its been a wierd week! So Congrats!!! Sounds like for the most part everything went well and as you had hoped! I am very happy for you!
    Maybe if we ride together before Tevis, and you can't find anyone to crew for you, I will make the trip up to crew for you. Just being at Tevis would be so exciting!!


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