So, I got home from an extremely rewarding day of watching Kaleigh win the First Annual Mescher Winona Team Roping. She was SMOKIN’!! It was an invite only roping….17 headers and 17 heelers. Each roper had to rope with everyone. She was one of two ropers under the age of 18 and one of only 3 girl ropers for the day. I burst into tears when they announced her name as the winner. She’s really worked hard to get good at this and her work’s paid off.
I was so excited about horses and roping and the like that I raced right home and saddled my colt for a ride. He had a hump in his back that caused a twelve inch gap between the back of the saddle and his back. This isn’t unusual for young horses that are still getting used to that heavy chunk of leather on their backs so I figured I’d just walk for a ways until he got used to the idea of packing it.
Pee Wee, Ruger (Tyler’s dog) and I headed East on Erle Road. We stopped and visited with some people fishing on the bridge then stopped on the other side and I mounted up. We continued on up Erle and I tried to stay as relaxed as I could so Pee Wee could gain a bit of confidence from me. Every once in a while, things were just too scary and we’d have to take our time to work through them. The first “big scary thing” was the bridge at Boardman’s house. Pee Wee was sure that the concrete braces were going to close up and smash him as soon as he stepped foot on the bridge. We finally managed to get across and wander a bit further up the road where we could head North on Foley’s property where my brother grows rice.
Pee Wee did great along the road and Ruger bounced back and forth across the road investigating every new smell. We made it nearly to the landing where several pieces of equipment are parked when Pee Wee spotted an evil ditch pump. We didn’t have another hundred feet before we could turn East again but he just couldn’t find the courage to approach the darned thing. It was a good half hour of two steps forward and one step back. We finally got to the turn with Pee Wee keeping all eyes and ears on the vicious ditch pump. Just as soon as we got to a spot where it looked like we were going to make the corner without a huge incident, Ruger popped out of the weeds at the bottom of the ditch pump. TAH DAH!!! OOOOGAH! BOOOOGAH!! The only thing scarier that a vicious, horse eating ditch pump is a vicious, horse eating ditch pump with a terrier exploding out of the bottom of it. Pee Wee shot around the corner and took off with his tail stuck so far up between his legs, I swore I saw it in front of his nose. All the while I’m doing my darndest to gather my reins and stay relaaaaaaxed (which was quite the task considering I had a pucker factor of ten). I pulled my right rein back to my hip and bent his neck in attempt to keep him from just leaving the planet and all I managed to do was turn him into a big, dapple grey tornado. Fortunately, Ruger was at a safe distance and wasn’t sucked in by the vortex. Knowing that I’m getting old enough to splat rather than bounce like I used to, I bailed off to quiet the storm. As soon as my feet touched the ground, Pee Wee stopped, all four feet splayed out, muscles shaking, and looking at me all wide eyed and bewildered trying to figure out where the hell I came from. I wish horses could talk cause I’m sure he’d have said “Oh God! Thank heavens you showed up Ronda!! That ditch pump almost ate me!!”. I waited for the big feller to get his wits about him, hollered at Ruger and climbed back up.
We went another couple of miles with no incidents. Pee Wee was starting to settle in and fell like a real saddle horse underneath me. The shadows were starting to get long, so rather than go back the way I came, I chose to head West through the bull pasture. I got off, opened the gates, led Pee Wee through, closed the gates and remounted. I reined Pee Wee around and headed out. Not four steps into the bull pasture, we came across the scariest thing we’d seen all day. It was a giant cow pie. That’s right. It was just laying there in the grass, waiting. Pee Wee caught it out of the corner of his left eye and went straight up. At the apex of the leap, he pulled some magic horse levitation stunt and went another ten feet to the right. I was suspended in mid air. I remember everything going into super slo mo and saying calmly…”Oh damn”. I knew I was out. There was no horse around to catch me. I did some sort of fat girl gymnastic roll in the air and landed (reins still in hand) on my back. I sat up immediately then realized it would probably be best to lie back down considering someone had stolen all the oxygen in a one mile radius of my body. I closed my eyes and made an effort to breath but could only find the top one inch of my lungs. When I finally opened my eyes all I could see was two big grey nostrils. Pee Wee had his nose perched dead center of mine. Again, I wish horses could talk. I could hear him saying “How is it you just show up every time I get scared? Did you see that cow pie?! And why are you resting? We gotta go!” I finally pulled it together enough to get back on but realized I did something to my ribs. By the time I got home, it was nearly impossible to breathe at all.
I’m a bit better today but…..tell me why I like these young horses again? Anybody?