Thursday, May 9, 2013

You Can Leave Your Hat on--and one sneaker and your iPod

If you ask Desire, the trails we ride are dark and full of terrors. Just look:

There are weird stumps, and a giant tower with circling fighting/flirting hawks, and there is water over there AND..

There may be grass here but there are also skitterings in the bushes and roaring water I'm staring at..
 Fine I won't complain on this one, that is a decent mouthful for the road
 Really, A road..a culvert..flowing rushing have to be kidding! Who makes this stuff up.
Pavement, pillars, construction, road crossing..
There isn't photo evidence of the zooming mountain biker coming down the backside of Sycamore Hill behind us..

view climbing Sycamore Hill
The biker was actually quite polite and I told him I'd put her off the trail and he could pass. I was already walking so I turned her to face the bike and parked her just off the admittedly narrow trail. He went by slowly and she danced in place and snorted like she was going to squirrel over top of me to get away, but didn't. So call it a win?

Then there's the Sprinkler. The sad thing is, the Sprinkler already caught us in the morning, on the way out from the trailer. It barely goosed Desire and she sort of surged forward but it didn't unseat me and I went on my merry spooky way. I'm still trying to convince myself that the first Sprinkler was at a lower house and by the time I came back theirs had gone off and a house higher up the path had turned one on. Because I honestly thought I was past The Sprinkler, or I never would have picked up a trot up the hill past the last of the houses on the way back. But I did it. I picked up a nice brisk uphill trot, smiled at the surge of power from Desire--and then felt that power melt away from beneath me as my body automatically scrambled for any way to stay on--legs, arms, whatever--but No, there was no sitting this. The Sprinkler arced out of nowhere, 10 feet in front of us, and Desire simply slammed on the brakes and popped it into reverse for a good 20 feet in one movement, backing down over the side of the drop off and stopping abruptly to graze nonchalantly. I must have curled to protect my right side--read ankle--because while my right sneaker popped off and went flying, I hit and skidded on my left forearm and well down my left hip and thigh. The red dirt and scrapes on my arm told the story, but I was mostly concerned with collecting my shoe, my fortunately unscathed iPod (listening to NPR in one earbud, like a gangster), and my smug horse. She tried to spook up on me as we walked past the Sprinkler but I snarled at her and remounted. As we trotted off the Sprinkler turned off, so either my swearing or my body hitting the ground attracted attention from someone, or maybe a timer did it. It's hard to see up in the little yards and shaded view-hugging houses, so I'll just pretend no one saw it go down.

I haven't come off of a horse since shattering my right ankle 3 1/2 years ago, so I think I had a bit of a euphoric adrenaline rush going to be back up in the saddle immediately, unbroken, laughing and swearing in equal parts. I checked her papers just now to be sure and Yep--Desire turns 17 years old this summer and still is one nervy little wackadoo sometimes. Just goes to show some horses are themselves for life! She has seen a lot of world and a lot of trail in various states, had some good endurance experience, and I honestly don't think you could school her out of her Spazzy inclinations. Fortunately she's also a fun mare, forward and Git R Done in the best ways, and a natural endurance horse in behaviors.

But really, why drink when you can eat..
 Chastised mare, done at the trough 
We cruised a nice 13 miles including the Hill in about 3 hours, and Desire was a stinky, foamy, sweaty, nasty mess afterward. She drank and ate well as usual, but never peed. I've actually remembered to pack my sponge lately and cleaned her up a little at the trailer but the flies were CRAZY and my dirty scratched arm was stinging so I loaded her up and got out of there. I stopped at the feed store on the way home and grabbed fly spray and a bag of Elk Grove pellets; I usually get it in barrels but need to get mine and refill them, so a 50 lb sack of Sunshine mix it was. At home Desire got a Quench and joint supplement dosed pellet mash, lots of fly spray, a fly mask, and a pile of hay. Such queenly treatment, so many extra groceries, it must be worth the constant near death experiences to her after all, or so we hope!

Moments like these make the spooky ones worth it! 


  1. Ouch. I hate evil sprinklers. We have a neighbor with the deer sprinklers, go in with movement, those are fun... But I did have to laugh...NPR, you rebel! (I listen all the time, just not on horseback). I love that Desire is a mare who knows who she is, no apologies. And that you're ok with that (even though scraped up). Heal quickly!

  2. Great post-sorry you went off-BLAH! what is with these silly brained horses?
    Glad you are ok!