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[RC] B and C, Together Again Part II - victoria a thompson

Quick correction.  Braveheart set me straight on where she and RB went
for his second ride.  They went to Descanso, not Cuyama.  Personally,
since they are both Southern California rides, and C and D are next to
each other in the alphabet, I thought I did a pretty good job on the
name.  Besides that I always lay claim to literary license in all of my

On with the show.

We met at the barn and saddled up.  RB took off in his usual fashion -
marched right out the door with youthful exuberance.  Caddie plugged
along behind.  She still needs about 20 minutes of warm up before she
kicks into high gear.  Absolutely nothing on the way to the riverbed
showed any interest to the horses.  We stopped a couple of times along
the way for snacks.  The mulberry trees are too tempting to pass up.  The
horses stripped the leaves from the branches as if they were digging
through a box of Sees Candies.  Our justification for letting our horses
denude peoples trees was very civic minded.  The branches were hanging
below Norco's city code allowance, so we were just pruning to get them
into compliance.  Is that being neighborly, or what?

About the time we got to the riverbed the Caddie was well warmed up.  We
hit the top of the trail down into the river and she followed right
behind the RB without the slightest bit of hesitation.  I could feel her
hind leg dragging just a bit, but not a pinch of soreness in her front. 
She had a good stride, never tried to zigzag, and even trotted a little
when RB began trotting.  Once down in the bottom her walk was right there
with RB.  No lagging behind today.  It was really thrilling.  RB was
incredible.  He's all business now.  He was responding to Braveheart's
commands without the slightest hesitation or protest.  This was going to
be a good ride.  HA!

We decided to do the opposite of our usual path.  Instead of taking the
main trail to the freeway and returning via the arundo/tree twisties (a
portion of leg 2 of the Norco Riverdance Ride), we started in the
twisties and planned to return via the main drag.  Well, there was a huge
fire in there back in January (or was it February), and things aren't the
same.  Some organized trail ride went through there a month or so ago and
we had followed their trail ribbons when we had ridden there a long time
ago.  Much to our surprise most of the ribbons were gone, and there have
been so many people riding in there that trails go off in all sorts of
directions.  We decided to stick to the trails that looked to be the most
heavily used.  Smart move, but even brains can get you into trouble.

We came to intersection after intersection and we always stopped to look
for a ribbon or hoof prints.  We ended up traversing some pretty nasty
old burn sections.  Cut arundo leaves behind punji sticks that can cause
nasty cuts, and their roots can poke up just high enough to trip over. 
It was pretty ugly.  RB was in front doing an excellent job of leading us
through.  If he didn't like the footing he would stop and sniff and move
to the side of the offending spot before continuing on.  He never refused
to keep going forward, and he never tried to turn back.  He didn't rush
anything and he showed no timidity.  He did a wonderful job.  All our
good intentions came to naught as we encountered dead end after dead end
and had to keep retracing our steps.  We eventually found ourselves at
the rivers edge, and decided to rest a few minutes.  Neither of us wanted
to go back the way we had come because the punji sticks and roots were
horrific.  We knew exactly where we were and where we had to go.  We just
couldn't figure out how to get there.  Virtually every trail we tried
ended up in a dead end.  We actually ended up traveling in circles and
exploring trails we had already tried.  It was getting just a little

The Caddie was getting antsy.  She hates repeating trail.  We were now at
the same spot by the river for the third time when Braveheart decided to
get off RB and check out the possibility of crossing the river.  RB
wanted to scratch his head and in the struggle to get him to stop
Braveheart got smacked in the face by RB's head.  That had to have hurt. 
She said it did.  RB got walloped for it too.  Caddie just wanted to
leave and was getting harder to keep still.  We decided against crossing
the river because we couldn't see any kind of opening on the other side. 
We decided that following the river would be our best bet, but we didn't
want to take the horses on anymore dead end trips.  Braveheart was going
to go on foot to see if she could find a trail and I was going to stay
put and hold the horses.

Caddie wanted to leave and RB wanted to eat the poop Caddie had deposited
in the sand bar.  Trying to keep my mare still and prevent RB from
getting to the poop was quite a chore.  They eventually settled down and
stood quietly for a few minutes until Braveheart got back.  Going forward
was no good. Apparently just a little ways up there were bogs everywhere.
The only choice we had was to go back on a different trail.  

Instead of getting up on RB Braveheart stayed on the ground and walked. 
RB didn't like that one bit.  She couldn't walk through the footing we
had as fast as he could and she was also taking up space where he wanted
to be.  She was having a heck of a time leading him, but he wasn't going
nutso, he just needed to be slowed down alot.  Then Caddie refused to
follow them any farther.  They were going down a trail that she knew was
a dead end we had been on before and refused to go any farther.  She
turned her head to the right and looked off through the burned arundo.  I
said, "Caddie says that's not the right way."  Braveheart said, "Caddie's
been known to be wrong."  I won't continue with the conversation we had,
but Braveheart came back and turned to the right.  If I had allowed
Caddie to lead us , she would have left them in the dust, so I was
insistent that Braveheart lead to keep her under 90 mph.  Braveheart
would ask which way and Caddie would turn her head in the direction she
needed to turn.  Everything seemed to be going okay (except for the fact
that Braveheart was nearing exhaustion) when RB had enough.  The burned
arundo we were walking through was slapping him in his stomach and
wrapping around his legs - I even saw a stalk smack him in the face.  He
lost it.  Big time.  He was running in circles around Braveheart bucking
and tossing his head.  Braveheart was getting entangled in the arundo. 
How she managed to stay upright is a mystery.  RB stopped his tantrum for
a second, but when we resumed walking all it took was one more entangled
foot and he went ballistic.  Caddie stood like a rock the whole time. 
God bless her.  I have know idea what would have happened if she had come
unglued too, but I can guarantee you it wouldn't have been pretty.  RB
finally stopped.  Braveheart was exhausted and could barely stand, but
the only way out was to keep walking.

We finally made it to reasonably recognizable trail and better footing. 
Braveheart climbed aboard RB (miraculously his legs were injury free). 
This time Caddie led the way.  She took off too.  Braveheart said it was
ok to trot, so I let her take off.  I never gave her a single direction
except to ask her, nay demand her, to slow down.  She turned and zigged
and zigged and turned.  Next thing you knew we were back on the main
trail.  Did the horses slow down.  NO!  They wanted out.  Caddie felt
like the 6 year old I fell in love with.  The only thing on her mind was
go, go, go.  Even when we came up out of the riverbed she didn't want to
slow down.  RB, on the other hand, was pooped.  More mentally than
physically, but his body was pretty whipped too.  Braveheart even
commented on Caddie's ability to imitate lippizzans when she collected
herself all nice a pretty and jumped around chomping at the bit
(hackamore) to go faster.  RB just quietly walked along.  

Home was a very nice place to be.  Braveheart was pooped.  RB rolled to
his hearts content, and Caddie got rinsed off whether she liked it or
not.  I had to go pick up hubby from the train station, so when I left RB
was out back grazing grass, Braveheart was sitting on the hay shed floor
looking pretty ragged, Caddie was eating dinner, and all was right with
the world.

I've got my 6 year old back!  Life is good.

If you don't believe my story is true go ask that blind man he saw it


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