Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

Re: [RC] Descanso Almost A Disaster - Lynelle Robertson

What an incredible story. It does make one pause how very quickly the tables can turn and how calmness and quick thinking can turn a diaster into a great save.

--- On Tue, 6/17/08, Don Huston <donhuston@xxxxxxx> wrote:
From: Don Huston <donhuston@xxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC] Descanso Almost A Disaster
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 9:20 PM

The ride started at 6am and everybody was moving along smoothly until 
just past the photographer at 7am. We were on a single track, windy, 
rocky, technical trail that crossed a creek several times. At the 
first creek crossing Doug and I came upon a horse tied to a tree, a 
woman sans helmet, soaking wet, covered in mud, appeared hurt, very 
upset, saying her horse was down, couldn't get up, very scarry stuff, 
disaster #1 has struck. I asked where was the horse and she pointed 
to a man standing in the bushes holding a rein that disappeared into 
a hole. I got closer and could see one hind hoof waving up in the 
air, not a good sign. The bushes were 6 feet high, very dense 
stickery things like a briar patch and I could not see anything of 
the horse. I started stomping bushes and moving forward. The guy with 
the rope said I was almost stepping on the horse's head but I saw 
nothing. I brushed my foot sideways crushing the small dense plants 
and there was the horse's nose, all cut and bloody sticking up even 
with my boot at the edge of a narrow deep gully. The horse made a 
feeble attempt to wiggle free then laid back breathing fast, didn't 
look good but I had seen worse and tried to assure the woman that we 
would get her horse out. I reached down and started removing tack, 
bit, hooked the rein to the halter, martingale, breastcollar, the 
horse didn't move and was breathing fast and quivering. The guy with 
the rein was at the rear and above the horse in a good place to keep 
the horse from kicking me by keeping the rein against the rear hoof 
so I got down in the gully next to the horse's shoulder. The saddle 
was mostly out of sight jammed down in the mud and water. The horse 
was sort of on his left side against a nearly vertical dirt bank, 
front lower than the rear, all 4 hooves in the air with his back and 
right side tight against a big 4-5ft dia smooth rock. I could see all 
of 3 legs and part of a 4th and they looked okay so I figured once 
the saddle was unhooked the horse would be able to thrash itself free 
assuming his back was not hurt from hitting that big rock. There was 
only one place for the horse to go and that was toward the rock and 
me so I released the offside billet and scrambled out of the gully. 
The horse didn't move. We poked him a little and slapped him with the 
rein and he made a feeble attempt then laid back. The lady was really 
scared now but I told her that her horse just didn't know that he was 
free yet just wait. Less than a minute later the horse made a move 
rolling toward the rock and really came alive, thrashing to get his 
hooves under him and struggled up the bank stopping next to us. We 
all cheered and the lady's tears changed from worry to joy. I asked 
the other fella to help me pull out the saddle and it took both of us 
pulling really hard to get it up out of the mud. It appears that the 
saddle was what was holding the horse in the gully. My GPS showed 
that I was there for 26 minutes but it seemed longer. During all this 
time my buddy Doug rode back a half mile to the highway to find help. 
He flagged down a crew vehicle going to vet#1 and they got word out 
and sent a rescue trailer back. We loaded the tack on the horse and 
the lady walked back to the highway, trailered to the vets and the 
horse was found to be only bruised and sore.

I'm sorry that I did not get any names (see photos below) but I did 
get some info on how this wreck came about. Lady #1, the one we 
helped, was riding with lady #2. Lady #2 was in the lead and her 
horse made a wild jump over the creek and up into the trees at which 
point lady #2 bailed off and her horse went crashing cross country 
with her chasing it on foot. Lady #1's horse got spooked at all the 
commotion and spun around in the narrow creek crossing, lost its 
footing, fell in the creek at which point lady #1 comes off getting 
wet and muddy. Her horse tries to run off but keeps falling into the 
narrow deep gully that is hidden with bushes, keeps thrashing around 
and finally drops out of sight with a squeal, her words, not a good 
sound that squeal. The guy with the rein was already helping when 
Doug and I got there 2-3 minutes after the wreck and you know the 
rest. Lady #2 returned to check on her friend just in time to see the 
horse get out of the gully.

Lady #2
Lady #1
Guy with rein
Doug rode for help
Me before disaster #2

Well you might remember my new motto "To Eat Is To Win" and I'm 
currently "Undefeated" for dinner but on this ride I came very close 
to missing my first dinner since 1996. After lunch I was tailing up 
Middle Peak Fire Road, a crooked, rocky, 2 mile long steady climb of 
1100ft which is a 10% average grade. My horse was feeling good and 
kept trying to trot but I was tired and kept pulling him back to a 
walk. I should have got on but oh no, I needed the exercise. Probably 
a half mile from the top during one of the many "horse yanks me into 
a trot, I pull his head with the rope and say whoa, we continue 
walking" he yanks me completely off my feet and my grip on his tail 
turns out to be stronger than my right shoulder joint and disaster #2 
has struck. After lots of yelling and ramming my shoulder into my 
horse's chest my shoulder joint went back in. That could have been a 
semi-happy ending because I was still able to trot some and we were 
making good enough time to still finish the ride but of course 
disaster #3 was coming....I had to pee. I had been riding for about 
an hour after the initial injury and had taken 2 Alleve and the 
shoulder was just a deep dull ache so I got off just fine using one 
arm. I'm right-handed and managed the zipper and other things and was 
feeling not too bad. I started to get back on, got some mane and 
reins in the left, reached up and grabbed the cantle with the right, 
pulled and all hell broke loose. My shoulder popped out in front and 
looked like it was coming out of my shirt pocket. I was yelling and 
ramming my shoulder into my horse again but it wasn't working. I 
don't know what made me try it but I arched my back, looked at the 
sky, pulled both elbows toward my back and the shoulder went back in 
the socket. Not only did the pain lessen a lot but all that yelling 
stopped and my ears quit ringing. Lucky for me my horse and riding 
buddy Doug did not spook and run off so I found a really big stump, 
Doug held my horse and I just stepped on. Trotting was not fun 
anymore and another rider, Ron, whose horse was just not right agreed 
to walk the last 4 miles into vet3 with me so Doug could continue on. 
We made the 3:45pm cutoff and of course my horse vetted thru perfect 
so we got a ROS, S for stupid or shoulder, whatever.

End results, no injured horses, no broken bones, no ambulance ride, 
I'm still undefeated for dinner even left handed and my Marquis 
Performance Glueon boots were perfect.

Don Huston
donhuston @ cox .net
SanDiego, Calif  


 Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
 Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
 Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

 Ride Long and Ride Safe!!


[RC] Descanso Almost A Disaster, Don Huston