Tuesday, June 22, 2010
ACTHA Ride for the Rescues
Okay, so I spent a couple of weeks doing obstacles in the backyard. Calico did great. On Thursday, before the ride, my sister and I loaded her into the trailer and drove an hour away to Sandy Valley where the ride would take place on Sunday. Jenny borrowed a horse and we had a terrific trail ride. Some of the ranch dogs came along with us and chased jackrabbits and even scared up a coyote. Cali was on her best behavior. I marveled at how far we've come since last year.
Sunday morning I got up very early, and made preparations to leave. This was the first time I had pulled the trailer alone, and I was a little nervous, but felt pretty good since Jenny and I had done it during rush hour on Thursday. It was a piece of cake. I went to the check-in desk after I unloaded her and got my number and map. I saw the familiar faces of the volunteers from Shiloh Horse Rescue. It was great to see everyone. I got her tacked up and then went to the pre-ride meeting before warming up a little. I noticed a couple of women with arabians, so I had to go asked if the ever rode endurance. They said they mostly had done the XP rides! I was so excited to meet them. The riders went out in groups, though,initially, I started out on my own because my group was lagging behind. Calico started to get nervous, so I waited for anyone to catch up as I tried turning her and backing her to help her focus. It was the endurance riders, so I just went along with them for a bit; Cali relaxed. We came to a long, I mean 25 foot, metal pipe and Cali got nervous to cross it. She tried to go around but I wouldn't let her. After a few seconds, she rushed over it but now we were a little ways behind our new friends. She rushed to catch up when an old gate on the ground startled her. She bucked a little and sure enough, I came off. I jumped up and went to get her. I hopped right back up and went on. This is the first time I've come off since last September. By now the Shiloh crowd had caught up to us, so I rode with them. Cali was fine when we were just moving along, but every time we had to do an obstacle she blew it. This was stuff we had been practicing, but in a group and a strange place it was like she'd never seen any of it before, 'poles, cones, what?' We weren't racking up any points. I didn't care. I liked the challenge and I was having fun. The third obstacle was a hoola hoop on the ground. I was supposed to show a turn on the forehand by having her step her front hooves into the hoop and yield her hindquarters 180 degrees. We should be able to do this! She stepped in alright, then stepped ON the hoop which then popped up around her legs and that was it. She bolted and I tried to bring her down, but in a moment she bucked hard! I did a full somersault in the air before landing on my back, mostly my sacrum. I was hurt this time, and I knew it. I couldn't breathe for a moment, then I struggled to get up. I made myself get back on my horse. I rode another quarter-mile or so to the next obstacle. We were with our friend Eric, but both horses were acting anxious because we got separated from the rest of our group. At the next obstacle I told the judges, that had fallen and I would pass this one. I walked a few steps then decided I couldn't ride any more. They called for a truck to take me back to base camp, and someone ponied my horse back. I needed help getting into the truck. I couldn't take a step forward or lift my leg in or out. I was grateful the ride had been in Sandy Valley and not rocky valley. My husband had to come pick me up. By that evening I couldn't move at all. We went to Quick Care the next day and nothing was broken, but I think I tore or strained the ligament in my right hip. It's been more than a week now and it's still fairly painful to walk. I went out and bought a hoola-hoop and did some ground work with her today. I can't wait to work on the holes in our communication. I see I still have much to do. I'm grateful I wasn't hurt worse, but I'm frustrated that I'm still limping around. It's hard for me to sit still. The good news is...I've seen every game in the World Cup and I'm getting a lot of knitting done.