Wednesday, July 29, 2009

NO Dumping

Okay, I know I keep coming back to this, but apparently, construction workers and homeowners are not the only ones who can't read this sign, "NO DUMPING". Calico can't read it either. That's right, it happened. I got dumped in Cactus Town. You can view this place in an earlier post. We were having a lovely ride, trying out Cali's new boots, Easy Care gloves. I actually got a used pair and they seem to be fine. Anyway, we had gone about three miles, I dismounted, gave her some carrots, adjusted my tack and led her back over a busy street to a large desert lot, mounted and headed toward home. As we moved down into a wash, I noticed a pile of Spanish roof tiles on one side and a garden hose on the other. I wondered if stepping over the hose would concern her, but we moved up out of the wash with no problem, and then, a moment later, she was rushing sideways. I said, "whoa, whoa, whoa" and tried a one-rein stop, and looked back over my shoulder just long enough to see the problem. She had a long piece of wire caught on her foot, and it was dragging along behind us, about a ten-foot length. The end was a big tangle of wire with a platic bag caught in it! I may as well have tied a long string of tin cans to her tail. Good Grief! Now, in the time it took for me to assess the problem and attempt a one-rein stop, Calico was already taking evasive actions of her own. One big buck was all it took to get rid of the wire monster. Wait, slow-motion replay...rush to the side one, two, three steps, glance back and buck. 4.5 seconds. I cussed the ground as it rushed inches past my face. It's hard to know exactly how I landed, but I'm pretty sure I sommersaulted out of the saddle. I remember my feet coming over my head. My guardian angel protected me from serious harm. Even though I landed hard on the rocks (not catcus or broken glass, thanks be to God) I only sustained a bruise on my lower leg. I jumped up to see if Calico had taken off for home, but she was right there waiting for me. I ran over and attacked the wire (I rolled it up and tossed it into a shrub) and cussed those motherf***ers who dump garbage in my desert. When I picked up the wire, I startled my horse and she went trotting off. I thought, Oh great, my cell phone is in the saddle bag. She turned around about 75 yards out and came back when I called her. I checked her all over and she was unscathed. When I got back on her she nipped my leg. She was clearly bothered. Later I couldn't figure out how I had a bruise on the back AND the front of my leg, then I remembered, Oh yeah, she bit me. We rode all the way home, but she was looking at every shrub now with suspicion. We did encounter another rider, and Calico was very well-mannered as we visited for a few minutes. She didn't have any trouble leaving the other horse, since he's not part of our herd and she knew her breakfast was waiting for her at home. She did get very excited as we got a few blocks from the ranch, so I dismounted and led her home. She settled down, and we finished our outing at a leisurely pace. I really wish I could get to some nice trails without having to cross this junk. Well, this was my big fear as we started out to the desert, now I've faced it and survived. I just hope I haven't undermined Cali's confidence in me too much. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What happened to July?

Man, this month is half over and I haven't posted a thing. It's not because I haven't been doing anything; it's because I've been trying to do everything. My oldest son got married on the Fourth; that kept us quite busy for a while. I've had a young German midwifery student living with me for three weeks, sort of a job shadow thing, only she shadowed every aspect of my life. She was a delight. If you've never taken a complete stranger into your home, I would recommend you try it. It was a very enriching experience. I've spent an inordinate amount of time on Craigslist looking at horse trailers and trucks. I promised my husband I would wait and not do anything crazy. It's weird how reading classified ads is addictive. My husband and I have had two lovely dates at the Mt.Charleston Hotel which included a good three mile hike in the morning. Once we hiked to Mary Jane Falls and the next time to the top of Cathedral Rock. In all of this, I have seen my horse everyday, except when we were out of town for the wedding.

Calico is doing great. She had her annual vaccines last week, and I was surprised to see she recognized the vet immediately. She hadn't seen him in three years, since she lived out-of-state for a while. She also had her hooves trimmed and and will be fitted for hoof-boots tomorrow. This week I'm finally getting her Brand Inspection papers updated. I want everything to be ready for when I enter our first ride. We've been doing a lot of arena work and walks around the neighbor hood, but I haven't taken her on the really rocky stuff again since she was tentative about going out last time I tried. I want to wait until she gets her boots. We trotted on some trails yesterday. She seemed very willing and we had a great time. I had planned to enter a novice 30 mile ride in Fallon in October. Now I have two women due around that time, so I'll have to see if there is another ride that we could do before the end of the year that is not too far. IF I feel our conditioning is on track, and IF I can find or borrow a horse trailer, and IF no one needs me to attend a birth, we might make it to a ride. The main thing cutting into my conditioning schedule is heat. It's hot here by 7:30 am. I mean hot. Last night we had a big thunderstorm, and it cooled things off a little, but I don't know how long that will last. I sent my camera to Rome with my son and his bride. They'll be back at the end of the month and I'll be able to post photos again. Ride on, folks.