Yesterday I met my riding buddy, C, at Lake Oroville for a ride. We parked at the far end of the trails down in town, at a large parking area down a few miles of dirt road. I think I've mentioned the parking area on this blog before as a rather sketchy spot that I don't like to go to alone. If I hadn't mentioned it before, now I have. Its just far enough down in oaky-town nowhere (and by that I mean just far enough that the cops don't feel like patrolling that far) that it doesn't get much attention as far as security measures go. Anyhow I figured with two rigs we would be a little safer and we wanted to do a long ride from one end of the trails to the other so that's where we headed. 16 miles and 5 hours later (more on that long ride time later) we came back to our trucks, hot and ready to head home and relax, only to find each of our truck's broken into. We both had a smaller window on the far side smashed in and the rocks used to do it were still lying in the cabs of our trucks. C's truck is an older model with a small, simple cab and a bench seat, no hidey holes and clearly nothing worth stealing inside. So they busted in and stole about .60 cents out of her change drawer. They wiped out my change, ransacked my truck which had a lot of crap in it, and stole my Coach purse that I had gotten in Maine with my husband, J, when we flew there to get married. C and I both carry our wallets in our pommel bags which was a great thing, but when they got my purse they got my checkbook etc, so once again I got to go to my bank--this time with the horse still in the trailer and me filthy, sweaty, and pissed off--and close my accounts and get new ones. That makes three times in the last year that my banking information has been compromised, twice by Chase security failures and once by crackheads stealing my purse. I told the slightly-nervous bank guy that was setting up my new account that I was about ready to take my money home and bury it in the back yard since nothing and no one seemed capable of keeping it safe anymore, which got me a nervous giggle from bank-guy. He asked if anyone else had helped me at the bank that day and I said "Nope, I just walked in here, stood in the middle of the room with steam pouring out my ears and waited for someone to notice." Someone being he, bank-guy, who had scuttled up to me right away offering his assistance. I did my best to be pleasant to good ole bank-guy but I was hot, tired, hungry, starting a headache, and pissed off. If you ask any of my close friends and family all those factors add up to a redhead rapidly approaching extreme boiling point.
Anyhow, I made a report to CHP (once the sheriff's office, State Parks, and CHP had bandied back and forth and decided who it was that was actually responsible for that parking lot....!). They offered to send an officer out right away but I told them we were all hot and exhausted and would rather just head home having alerted the police to the situation, to which CHP brightly replied, "Oh yes, you should definitely take care of your horses!" I don't know why but that was not what I was expecting to hear from a CHP officer. It was actually kind of nice. I'm sure he was just relieved he didn't have to round up one of his guys to drive out to bumf** and deal with it but I was relieved too coz I needed to get out of there and sitting around for another half hour waiting for the police sure wasn't happening. The bank is taken care of, I still have my wallet w/ driver license etc, and Josh is getting the window fixed today. Before you know it it will be as if nothing ever happened, and the tweakers will merrily go on about their lives thinking what a great thing it is to break into people's trucks and not suffer any consequences. Can you tell I'm bitter?
As for the reason it took us just over 5 hours to do almost 17 miles, I made a poor decision and put the new Equipedic pad under my saddle for the ride, with the thought of giving Blaze a much comfier ride...well Blaze dragged and lagged on the ride and despite checking for wear spots etc (even sweat marks, looked good) I wasn't 100% sure what was going on with him. It was definitely a hot day and it was his first real exertion since the week in cool coastal weather, where his winter coat seems to have been triggered as he is getting hairier ever day..as it continues to get hotter here. So I wasn't sure if he was just not feeling it that day or the saddle pad was an issue, but as we neared the trailer I became convinced the saddle pad was the issue and got off and walked him in. When I pulled the saddle his back was sore to the touch on the left side and a small knot, like a little knot of muscle, which had started with my previous saddle, was really raised on his back. So yeah, the pad did a real number on his back and further irritated the issue caused by the last saddle. I felt terrible. Blaze was gamely trotting down the trail with his back in serious discomfort. Caused by me. And yet he just did what was asked, where he could have turned real nasty about it. C was telling me her friend's mare will go nuts and buck and rear if her tack isn't fitted right. That would almost be a better reaction as you would get right away something was up rather than the perseverance of Blaze that allowed me to dither and his back to get more irritated. Sooo...I am on the fence about going to Patriot's Day in Greenville next weekend, C and I were planning to go essentially together, especially since her gelding need's Blaze's quiet influence on the trail and for his first endurance ride. But I have to make the decision based on what is best for Blaze and I'm not confident his back is going to be feeling great in only a week. I will be keeping a close eye on it and kicking myself, in the meantime. And fuming about my purse.