Anyway, the long and short of it--HAH--is that I have myself a seriously wonderful new horse. Rushcreek Tracer, "Scrappy," is smart, sweet, quiet, engaged, cute, forward, smooth, and loves to eat and drink. He also apparently finds buckskin Mustangs rather inspiring, and as such went for our short ride Friday afternoon with his flag flying High! Keep in mind I'd had him for a week and have never taken an essentially unknown horse to a ride right off the bat like that. I didn't know if he was going to mount something or WHAT was going to happen, but I did know that the scandalized ladies walking by whispering, "OMG, that horse had an erection!!!" had me almost as entertained as I was concerned. Despite the grand display Scrappy never escalated from there, he gave some throaty little stallion nickers but would then see a horse or something else and wander off to eat. We rode the LD Saturday with N and Willow with no parts dangling in the breeze, so go figure. We'll see if this is behavior only reserved for (very flirty) mares, but it was definitely ride camp entertainment of a different sort!
To backtrack, we left Friday morning, but barely. Thursday night my husband and I went out to feed together and found my 2 yr old, Sheza, dead lame with a super swollen left hind leg and mildly swollen right hind leg. We immediately set her up in a stall with fans (this was the end of a week straight of 105+ degrees), and hosed and iced her leg that night and the next morning. Sheza was cheery and eating but VERY lame, though this was also a dramatic 2 yr old's first ever lameness so it may have looked worse than it was. She took to the hosing and ice boots impressively well, thank goodness, as neither of us had the emotional or physical energy left to be battling her to help her in the nasty heat. The swelling decreased slightly after hosings Thursday night and the lameness improved by Friday morning. I was a hot mess trying to decide if I should go the ride on my virtually unknown horse and potentially die or stay home and stare at my lame filly tragically. My husband reminded me my vet was gone til Monday anyway and told me to take a deep breath and go to my ride already, promising to keep on icing and hosing Sheza's hind legs. Thank goodness I listened to him, grabbed Scrappy from the field, and went for it.
Hey guys, I just got here, am I leaving already?
Scrappy had never worn boots until I tried them on him the weekend I bought him, so this ride made it his 2nd and 3rd time ever going in boots. I stuck with front Renegades only because I've heard so many stories of people trying out hind boots at rides with varying degrees of failure, and didn't need to add yet another New Unknown to the equation. He had gone great in the Rennys through muck and water and speed and hills on our trial ride, so I felt good about his front boots.
We vetted in with a pulse of 42 and all As but a B for impulsion. Turns out Scrappy is very unimpressed by trotting out for vets, something I clearly need to practice. He unenthusiastically jogged after me for Melissa Ribley who promptly said on our return, "You know, I thought he was lame but he just moves funny!" Be still my heart, I think I lost another year off my life when I heard the word "lame" come out of her mouth, after my week of toting Desire to Loomis and back for lameness only to discover that her filly was dead lame right before leaving for the ride. Scrappy was not in fact lame, he just doesn't lift his feet very high and sort of paddles, so it does look a little funny, but is incredibly smooth to ride. Anyway we got our number chalked on up high above his big Rushcreek number and I started to breathe again.
Friday night J cooked us dinner--woohoo!--we went to the ride meeting at 8, and then it was bedtime. Well for us, not for all the camp, as there was some hootin' and hollerin' of both the horse and human kind for quite a while. I was pretty nervous that night, having no idea what I was in for at ride start in the morning, let alone throughout the 30 miles. He has a nice little record and is clearly a good, kind horse but I've been through and seen and heard enough drama in the last few years that I swear I was as nervous as if it were my first ride ever. At that point I was still wondering if he was going to go 30 miles with his junk out!!
As usual I slept like total shit, but I could hear a fleece blanketed Scrappy steadily chewing away most of the night and that was reassuring. The 50 started at 6 am, while the 30 mile LD started at 8 am and at least one of the Ride N Ties started in between, maybe both, not sure. Camp on ride morning was the usual mix of pockets of frantic activity and moments of peace around the rigs where horses had already left. Sedona wasn't happy to be taken away from Scrappy for tacking up but she settled in, and fortunately Scrappy was great. I tacked him at the trailer and he called and looked around if I walked away but if I was with him he was totally quiet and sweet and engaged with me. Really just a phenomenal heart and brain on this guy!
Scrappy is quiet but he LOVES to go, just ask his perky ears :)
When we headed out from the hold Scrappy took about a mile to be excited about going again.
The last loop was beautiful and green and forested, but you wouldn't have guessed it from this unpleasant toasty moment out on gravel just before it got pretty:
We stayed for a delicious ride dinner and I wasn't feeling my usual impulse to pack like the wind and get home, so I stayed the night again. Most of camp left Saturday night, including J and Sedona, but Scrappy once again impressed me by sending Sedona off with a few whinnies before turning back to his mash and quietly eating and sleeping alone for the rest of the night.
I couldn't be happier with this little grey horse! He is out in the field right now, still eating like a champ. I just knew we were going to have some funny ride moments together and sure enough there were some serious laughs on our very first outing. I am so looking forward to what's ahead for us!