Hi All, I just had to share this in good fun - now that I can type again!
I should know better than to ride on the first sunny
day in March! Every year something unexpected happens and last Friday
was true to form. After 6 weeks of almost constant rain, we had 2
sunny days in a row and who could resist!!!
Patty and I set out for Ft. Ord, our local flattish
training area. We decided to go in the entrance I always use because
it goes to a lot of lovely single track trails. Patty goes in another
entrance that leads directly to the big 2 lane loop road. Now, Ft.
Ord is reknowned for it's "bogs" - the soil is sandy since it is nothing
but ancient sand dunes and water often runs under the surface without showing
on top. I had no intention of getting anywhere near the boggy trails
but I also wanted to avoid a particularly muddy, slippery hill, so we set
off in the opposite direction on a trail that has always been reliable.
Well... the trail IS reliable, but the ground off to the side isn't!
Blaze didn't like walking in the water running down the trail so he swerved
off to the side and ended up in...yup! Patty says his whole hind
leg went in. All of a sudden we were leaping and bouncing and heading
for a very large (and very juicy) poison oak bush and visions of total
disaster were flashing before my eyes. Landing in a poison oak bush
really seemed as bad as sinking into a bog. At the last moment though,
Blaze managed to get all 4 legs on solid ground, and avoid the PO bush
I decided that trail was not such a good idea and
that the muddy hill had to be better so we turned around and went the other
way. The muddy section of the hill isn't really terribly long or
terribly steep but the mud is the really mucky, clingy kind that's guaranteed
to pull shoes off. The left side of the trail is obviously muddy
and I've never known a horse to choose to go there. The right side
looks ok until you get onto it. Then you realize that it is undercut
by run-off into a series of parallel crevices about 3 feet deep by 6-9inches
wide. In between them is solid footing about 18 inches wide.
The horses started up one of these solid strips but Patty and I both realized
that the crevices were really dangerous. Just as Patty said, "let's
get off and lead them," her horse got his hind foot into a crevice which
only caused him to scoot forward and over to the muddy area on the left.
Blaze was following right behind and, in trying to keep up, stepped right
where Zen had - and got his left front foot into the crevice. As
Patty described it, I was on the ground before I left the saddle because
all of a sudden, his front sank 3 feet! Blaze may not always put
his feet in the best places but he sure is good at getting them out!
Somehow, he lunged up and forward and got himself out also avoiding me
- except for one hind foot which landed squarely on my hand!
I always wear my helmet and from now on I'm always
wearing my gloves!!! If I hadn't had good strong leather gloves on,
I wouldn't be writing this 2 days later! There is a perfect hoofprint
on my glove but xrays Sat. morning showed that nothing was broken and the
swelling has already started to go down - I'm typing with both hands!
So, my thanks to my gloves, to the local fire station where they were able
to cut my ring off and to Blaze for redeeming his blunder as well as he
did. Oh, and thank you sun for finally shining!