Monday, May 4, 2009

The Missouri Trail Ride

The place where Huston regularly rides, Lead Mine Nature Conservancy, is about 10 minutes from his home. It was a great ride, ten miles long and lots of streams and climbs and descents, a real trial by fire for trail green me Huston invited over some good friends of his (I will certainly add their names later after I talk to Huston because I'm a duffus who never remembers last names-sorry) to ride with us and they brought a friend of theirs. So we had a great group as we headed out to Lead Mine . As I said, the advice that Huston gave me on Friday, "Sande, you'll never get hurt as long as you stay in the saddle," certainly served me well on Saturday's trail ride.
 One of the horses that Huston's friends brought to ride was a bit excitable. They said that this wasn't typical behavior for him so maybe something was bothering him because he started bucking in the parking lot and kept it up all along the trail. I was riding Django, who wasn't as trail experienced as the other horses and of course, I'm a novice myself. Django kept wanting to "head for the hills" with me every time the other horse would act up. He was basically a very good boy though because he was easy to get under control and calm. About half way through the ten mile ride, the excited horse blew up again and started bucking. The difference this time was that he was right in front of us instead of behind us. Django, I'm sure, thought that something was ready to eat us all if we didn't get out of there. He started hopping sideways with me and I wasn't expecting it. I lost my right stirrup and went flying sideways out of the saddle. I was using English stirrups but thank goodness, I had them on a Western saddle. I reached down with one hand and grabbed the saddle horn and literally jerked myself back into the saddle seat and with my other hand, I turned Django around a bit to stop his jumping. Huston was beside me on Mouse and he simply asked, "Do you want to switch horses?" I told him no, I was fine and we rode on. After we'd ridden for a while, I rode up beside Huston and asked him, "Why did you want to change horses with me? Did you think I was coming out of the saddle back there?" Huston grinned and replied, "I thought you just might!" I laughed and told him, "No, I thought I was coming out,too but I just remembered what you said to me yesterday, you can never get hurt as long as you stay in the saddle. So I was determined that I was staying in that saddle." 
The trail ride was the reason that Steve decided he wanted to buy Rowdy, or Blaze as he was known on Huston's farm. I put Steve's saddle on for him and tightened the girth. The girth we had was too long for the saddle but I really thought I'd made it work...honestly:). I promise there was no thought of life insurance policy pay outs when I forgot to recheck the girth before Steve mounted the horse. We had ridden a short while and just passed through a stream when Steve asked everyone to stop so that he could shorten his stirrups a bit. The saddle had English leathers so instead of dismounting, Steve decided to adjust them while in the saddle. He leaned over and the saddle leaned, too! Before he knew what was happening, he and the saddle were nearly on the ground. Horses and hooves all around him, rocks below and his horse not only didn't move, he froze like a statue. He didn't even twitch a muscle while Steve untangled himself and dismounted and fixed the saddle. What a great trail horse!! When we'd finished our ride and were back in the parking lot untacking our horses, Steve walks up to me and whispers, "What do you think about us taking him home with us." I thought he was talking about Django and I said that I thought that was half the purpose of our trip to take Django home with us. He then totally surprised me (and any of you who really know Steve will be surprised by this as well) by saying, "Not Django, my horse!" I think he'd made this decision while he was hanging perpendicular to the ground. 

1 comment:

  1. What a great story about your trail ride!! I never had anyone tell me that about staying in the saddle and not getting hurt... definitely something to remember! I also laughed out loud when you said that you think Steve decided to buy Rowdy when he was perpendicular to the ground... :)


If I Could Fly

If I Could Fly
The wind of heaven is that which flows between a horse's ears.