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    [RC] Rubberband and Cadillac Ride Again - toriandsteve

    When last we saw our heroines Braveheart had taken mysteriously ill and
    could not muster the strength to battle the antics of her young charge,
    Rubberband (RB).  That left Cadillac and Chickenshit with nothing to do
    but wander aimlessly through the riverbed alone and lonely with no one to
    laugh at or kid, needle, nag or whine at.  It was Hell, but they muddled
    This Sunday brought a new dawn, and a renewed lust for torture on
    Braveheart's part.  Feeling better, but still under the influence of
    Drugs, she girded her loins and climbed aboard her mighty steed that
    hadn't left the barn for two weeks.  
    Just to interrupt, on a personal note ... summer school sucks.  I have
    just spent the ENTIRE day doing homework for a lousy 2 unit class.  I'm
    not in the best of moods and may carry said nastiness over into todays
    recounting of yesterdays ride.  My apologies to Lynne if my recollection
    of yesterdays events seem unusually ... um ... off.  Literary license
    aside, take this story with a grain of salt.
    To continue ... Her mighty steed was a wuss!  RB remained behind Caddie
    out the gate until the end of the driveway.  He took the lead walking out
    nicely until he got to the house next door, came screeching to a halt at
    the same spot he spooked at 2 weeks before and refused to go any further.
     Caddie, with a look of disgust on her face, walked by the little ditz
    without so much as a glance at the Monster Hideout.  RB fell in behind
    her and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the ride.  Kind of hard
    to laugh at his antics when you can't see them!  
    We continued down the street to the riverbed with the only diversion
    being a couple of baby potbellied pigs.  Caddie loves pigs.  She thinks
    they are the greatest animals on Earth (other horses being the exception
    of course).  She stopped along the fence in front of them and commenced
    to commune with the little porkers.  RB finally stepped up to the fence
    and decided he wanted a closer look, so he snaked that long neck of his
    over the chain link and tried to entice one of the little buggers to come
    over and say hi, but to no avail.  One of them seemed intrigued, but not
    quite brave enough to come over and touch noses.  The other was more
    interested in the weeds it was eating, but both their little tails were
    wagging like windshield wipers on high.  It was cute, but it was time to
    RB led the way down into the riverbed and right up to the river itself,
    but any further impetus to take the lead ended on the banks of the Santa
    Ana River.  Caddie hemmed and hawed for a few seconds, which is quite
    normal for her (she detests water, if she could learn how to drink from a
    straw to prevent her lips from getting wet she'd do it).  A wave of the
    reins with the threat to smack her provided the initiative to get her
    into the river.  We had gone about 3 or 4 paces when RB decided to join
    us.  Instead of the mighty leap he gave the last time he ventured into
    the water, however, this time he just walked in.  After he walked in,
    though, he decided he needed to catch up with Caddie and started
    trotting.  That was interesting.  First of all, I took a shower when I
    got up.  I didn't really need another one ... at least not at that point
    in time.  Second, he splashed Caddie.  You want to talk about one PO'd
    horse.  She whirled around just when he reached her flank and flattened
    those ears and bared those big teeth of hers.  You should have seen the
    whites of her eyes.  She was pissed.  Stopped him in his tracks too.  Had
    Braveheart and I in near hysterics.  I was drenched clear up to the back
    of my neck and Braveheart looked like a drowned rat - wet from head to
    toe.  RB stood there in the middle of the river totally stunned by
    Caddie's reaction, not really knowing if he should continue ahead or
    wait.  As it turned out he refused to leave the river because there was
    mud on the other side.  Go figure.  Only an Arab would refuse to leave
    the water to avoid some mud.  Caddie led the way again, with Braveheart
    cursing RB for plowing her into the bushes to keep his feet from getting
    muddy.  If Braveheart could have seen the smile on my face at that moment
    she would have put a hex on me.
    We came to the second river crossing and this time both horses just
    walked right in, but RB was kicking up more water then any horse his size
    has a right to.  I almost wanted to tell Braveheart to back off a little
    just so all my sunscreen wouldn't get washed off!  We wandered through
    the trees for a little while, neither horse particularly interested in
    picking up the pace from the nice walk we were doing.  We knew we were
    going to be out longer than any time before, so we wanted to encourage
    the horses to conserve their energy.  We especially want RB to learn that
    entering the twisties (our name for the fun trails in the riverbed) isn't
    an invitation to run Hell bent for leather.  
    Now came the new part of the trail that RB had never been down before. 
    We came to the third river crossing (part of leg 4 of the Norco
    Riverdance Ride).  I'm hoping this part will be added to this years race
    because  where we went from there is really cool.  Instead of leaving the
    riverbed when we crossed we stayed in a narrow channel the river has
    carved for itself and walked about 200 yards or so up this 'creek'.  Firm
    bottom, not deep, nice clear water, maybe 6-8 feet wide, but thick
    vegetation growing along the sides reduces the size of the channel to 4-6
    feet.  I think this would be very cooling on tired legs during the race,
    but at this point we don't know if the trail will go this route.  Neither
    horse was antsy at all about being in the water that long, and when we
    finally got to the point where we had to get out of the water neither
    horse wanted to get out!  So, there we were, standing in the water
    staring at the dry ground, both horse refusing to get out of the creek. 
    Braveheart's legs are sopping and her shoes are filled with water (she
    would still be soaking wet until she got home later that afternoon), and
    I could feel the leather of my boots getting squishy, my half chaps are
    clean as a whistle.  We finally encouraged the horses to leave the river
    and enter some deep sand.  Instead of staying in the sand next to the
    river we headed inland to firmer trails.  Caddie is in the lead, RB still
    content to remain behind.  
    We enter the trees and start twisting our way along.  Watch that log
    Caddie, don't trip.  Watch that log RB, don't ... TRIP.  I could hear the
    whole thing.  The front leg smacks the log, the hind leg smacks the log,
    the scuffle of feet trying to regain control, Braveheart calling her
    darling boy dirty names.  It was quite humorous.  I wish I had seen it. 
    Braveheart tells us to turn right, so we did, and ran smack dab into a
    dead end (so much for this woman knowing where the Hell her ride goes). 
    We turned around and that placed RB in the lead.  Well, guess what,
    without Caddie's beautiful buckskin butt to zero in on His Highness
    decided it was time to let loose.  They took off like they'd been shot
    out of a cannon.  They disappeared so fast Caddie didn't know what to do.
     She started grunting and leaping trying to catch up, but I wasn't really
    all that sure which trail they had taken.  I just knew they took the
    wrong trail and were headed back towards the river.  We would catch a
    glimpse of them now and then, but didn't really catch up until we got to
    the place where we came out of the creek.  Braveheart and I just sort of
    sat there staring at each other, not quite knowing what to say.  I
    finally said, "I know where you messed up."  So, once again, with Caddie
    in the lead we went back through the twisties.  Watch the log Caddie,
    don't trip.  Watch the log RB, don't trip.  I listened real hard, but
    didn't hear anything.  Basically, from this point forward all I could
    really hear was Braveheart saying nasty words to RB.  Since Ridecamp is a
    family show I'll use G rated words like Quit, Stop, Whoa, Knock it off,
    Do you mind, Get back, Don't crowd, NO, Walk, Trot, NO, Don't do that,
    NO, and finally NO.  There were a lot more, but those are all the G rated
    ones I can think of.  
    RB wanted to GO, and he was beginning to affect Caddie.  She was showing
    signs of wanting to stretch out a little herself, but every time I'd
    think it was OK to let her trot a little we'd meet a group of other
    riders going in the opposite direction and have to slow down.  We ran
    into Olympia and her mom (whose name totally escapes me, I feel awful
    about that, sorry).  This was the first time they had seen RB under
    saddle, so we stopped and chatted for a few minutes.  Too many minutes as
    far as Caddie was concerned.  The GO bug had been firmly planted, and
    once she gets going she doesn't like to stop.  She fidgeted her way down
    the trail even while the conversation continued.  We just raised our
    voices as we got farther apart (RB sticking to Caddie like glue).  When
    we finally said goodbye Caddie took off.  One more quick stop for a 4
    pack of mules and that was the end.  She started charging her way through
    the trees with RB hot on her heels.  If there had been room he could have
    easily passed us by, Caddie is not what you could call fleet of foot, but
    she tries awful hard.  Because RB was hemmed in by that big gold butt he
    started throwing temper tantrums.  I never saw them, but I sure could
    hear them.  I didn't know if I should slow down or not.  Speeding up was
    not an option as far as I was concerned, but sometimes Caddie doesn't
    give a hoot what concerns me, and she sped up.  We came around a corner
    that widened out into a big sand bar and if it weren't for all the people
    coming toward us we probably would have raced to the river.  We slowed
    down to a walk and entered the river for the last time.  We stopped and
    let the horses get a nice long drink.  Braveheart said, "I'm surprised
    I'm here."  During one of RB's temper tantrums while we were running he
    fell on his face and reared back up before she even lost a stirrup.  She
    was up on his neck, but never really lost her seat.  Good thing too, I
    hate cleaning up after dead people.  
    The horses really wanted to head for home now, at least Caddie did.  I
    don't think RB had home anywhere in his thoughts.  His body was saying,
    "Rest!  I don't need no stinking rest!"  But his mind was saying, "Help
    me!  Help me!"  Caddie was saying, "I haven't finished my breakfast, it's
    getting hot, I don't like it down here, and you've been gaining weight
    again haven't you?"  Instead of going home through the main Nature
    Preserve trail, we stayed in the trees to keep in as much shade as we
    could.  RB was not to be denied his romp.  He took the lead  again and
    was gone.  Caddie was able to keep up until we hit the trees.  She's just
    too big to turn fast enough without wiping me out on some tree, that and
    the fact that her hocks are in horrible condition and fast turns hurt. 
    She wanted to keep up, but I insisted she slow down, which meant I had to
    pull on the hackamore until I cut her wind off.  The last I saw of
    Braveheart and RB was when he stepped in a soft spot going full bore,
    tripped, and reared himself up and out of trouble.  Then they were gone. 
    I could hear them though.  You know .. Stop, Whoa, Slow down, NO, Quit,
    Trot, NO Watch out, Whoa, NO Quit ... the list is endless.  When they hit
    the main trail they stopped to wait for us.  I don't know how long they
    were there, but when we got there my hands were numb and Caddie's
    breathing sounded more like a snore, but by golly, she wasn't running!
    We came up out of the riverbed and onto the streets of Norco for a rather
    uninteresting ride the rest of the way home.  Caddie regained the lead
    and at one point RB tried to pass us.  She turned her head and gave a
    wicked glare and he backed off.   RB is so transparent it's unreal.  He
    never really tried to pass her again, but he would slow way down and lag
    behind and then trot to catch up, then slow way down again.  When he
    would get too close Caddie would bend an ear at him and he'd back off,
    only to come trotting up again to start the whole thing over.  Braveheart
    was exhausted.  Her upper body felt like jello.  I was just hot.  Then,
    somehow, RB was in front.  Caddie decided this was not proper and decided
    to take her rightful place back.  Next thing I know RB swings his butt
    into her and tries to kick.  If I hadn't reacted as quickly as I did I
    think RB would be missing a big wad of hair on his rump, if not some
    skin.  I pulled Caddie's head to the side just as I saw her teeth flash
    towards  his butt.  Braveheart pulled RB around and said my breast collar
    was broken.  Sure enough, the snap that attaches to the girth under her
    belly broke off and the whole thing had been flapping against her legs. 
    Since Braveheart had been in back of us until just a few seconds earlier
    I have to assume the snap broke just before the ruckus, and it was
    probably the leather smacking RB in the legs that made him kick.  Caddie
    probably never would have bothered much with the dangling leather as long
    as she was on her way home, but if we had turned away from the barn she
    probably would have planted her feet and not moved until I found the
    problem.  Anyway, no harm, no foul.  I just removed the breast collar and
    we continued on home.  Caddie was first across the finish line back at
    the barn, and you'll never guess what greeted us ... the Jeep screaming
    her head off and giving a little buck!!
    The Jeep stopped hollering after us a week after we began our rides, and
    she never really showed much interest in our homecomings either, but this
    was a real treat.  She's beginning to feel better, far from recovered,
    but beginning to show signs of life.  Life is Good, and All is Well in
    the Land of Oz.
    If you don't believe my story is true, go ask that blind man, he saw it
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