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Re: [RC] Cooley Ranch ride - patricia

If you read Sheila's story below, I was the "ride buddy who pulled".  And I
was shocked that she threw the saddle on in seconds and was yelling her good
byes over her shoulder as she hurried to the starting line.  Even though I
didn't ride, I will say that my husband and I still enjoyed the heck out of
the camping and the amazing care we all got from the ride management.  They
busted their @#*'s for all of us and I didn't see anyone who didn't
appreciate it, pull or not.   Un cooperative weather, but wonderful
experience all the same, and I will also be back next year.  Thanks to
Ruthie and Ron and let's not forget Merryben who made it to the ride in
spite of hardly being able to walk on an injured leg.  (But would you expect
anything else from Merryben???)


Life isn't measured by the number of breaths we take, but
by the moments that take our breath away!

From: Ridecamp Guest <guest-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 06:32:34 GMT
To: <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC]   Cooley Ranch ride

Please Reply to: sheila kumar paintmypony@xxxxxxxxx or ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Here is my story about the Cooley Ranch ride this past weekend.
I had been looking forward to this ride since I did it last year on my then
new gelding, Neymo.I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to see if we would do any
better after a year of working on the "slow down" cue! But alas it was not
meant to be for him. One of his pasture mates bit a nice chunk out of his skin
right under the saddle a week and a half ago. I had been dressing it and icing
it and hoping he would not be ouchy by Thursday before the ride. I saddled him
up on Thursay and took him out for half an hour and we came back with an ouchy
back. So back to icing and lay up.
  My lovely (QH)mare stepped up to the plate and agreed to do the 50 mile with
me. People always ask me if she is half Arab. I tell them only the mental half
is, all the rest is Registered American Paint horse! She is so happy to be out
there showing off her stuff and competing for that completion. In her mind the
sooner she gets back to camp, the sooner she can eat!
  Back to the Cooley ride. I had agreed to haul a Dick Carter's horse who was
going to be ridden by Barbara White. After 4 hours of stop and go traffic in
the rain, I got to ride camp. I handed over the horse I was hauling to Barbara
and heaved a sigh of relief because I am nervous taking someone else's horse
in my trailer with my supreme driving talent!  They were almost full up at
camp and Ron had to haul me up through the mud with his tractor to be able to
park in a decent spot. Some people had  to park on the access road. The rain
kept us wet on and off through the evening. I checked in and vetted my horse
and looked around for a porta potty only to be told that they were delayed in
arriving. By late evening there was no sign of any porta potties!! I
discovered new uses for cat litter!! Thank God for those portable miniscule
camp potties. After a wonderful dinner with some friends we headed off to the
ride meeting. Ruthie said the trails were not terrible and told us all to be
careful and have a good time.
  It rained all through the night. The mud turned into soup! I got up at
4:30AM and woke up my riding buddy. She was in two minds whether to ride or
not. We trudged through the soup to get to the lovely 'Coffee cart' that had
hot steaming coffee and got our coffee at 5AM. She then went over to Maryben
and told her she was pulling. A few people had pulled already. I was still in
two minds. She then asked Ron if he would help haul her out with the tractor
after the riders had left at 7AM. I had still not decided and went over to the
start to wave the brave souls on. I told Ruthie I may be pulling and she said
that was fine. Twenty minutes of watching the riders at the start, I could not
stand to just go home after what I had been through to get there. I started to
talk myself into riding. What was  endurance anyway if you could not stand a
little mud, a little rain, a little whatever..!
My horse and I were not made of powder, we would not melt. And watching poor
Ruthie standing in the rain taking numbers and trying to keep her clipboard
from soaking just gave me the push I needed to show (myself) that I could ride
this ride in the mud and rain and come out of it with no falls or injuries. So
I ran back to my trailer and grabbed my surprised horse and threw the saddle
on her back put her bridle on and hopped on. My friend who was trying to move
my corral panels to get her rig out was so shocked.
  I go back out to the start and poor Ruthie was still there with her
clipboard. I called out to her and told her I just had to go and ride in the
rain. She told me to be careful and waved me on. I was going out an almost an
hour after start time. We walked carfully through the mud and slush and even
passed a few people to my mare's utter happiness. She thought we were on the
wrong trails at the get go because there was nobody to snort and pass!  Then
we caught up to Peggy who I had ridden with before and we got to chatting and
we rode the whole wet, slushy ride together. It was one long trail ride. We
must have only trotted for about 10 minutes in all. I decided to downgrade to
the 25 because I was not too thrilled to be out there all that longer because
I was still on Antibiotics for my sinus infection!!
  Since my original riding buddy pulled, I had no crew bag at the vet check.
(Her husband had the crew bags in the truck).My horse was so unhappy that I
would not let her attack every bucket in sight.Peggy was so nice to share her
food with us and my mare was once again a happy camper. I shared my chocolate
covered raisins with Peggy and we were rejuvinated for the trudge back home on
the oh so soupy trails.
  We finished our rides without any harm to either of the horses. Her horse
tried to buck a few times because he was pretty fed up with this trail ride.
He was under the impression that this was an endurance ride and we were
supposed to move out!!
We did endure and had a whale of a time and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Thank you Ruthie for everything. We will be back next year.
PS. The porta potties did show up by the time we came back to camp.
Sheila and the ever hungry Gambling feather(aka Cassy)

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