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[RC] Pucker point. Now isn't that special - Melissa Margetts

It's kinda funny, the parts of this ride that some of us like and some of us hate. I do not care for the heat and long climbs out of the canyons, but LOVE pucker point. Cabo hauls butt on that section and he is so sure footed and fast on narrow trails with that short Paso Fino gait. As long as you plant your butt straight in the saddle like you have super glue on your heinie, you can let him fly. This year we got to the narrow switch backs leading to Pucker Point with not a soul in front of us. There had been a couple of riders following close behind me for quite a while. I kissed to Cabo and he went flying down those switchbacks like a bat outta hell and I was loving the trail. I let out a hoot and yelled to the girl behind me "IS THIS COOL OR WHAT?!!" No sooner had I yelled that out while whipping around the fourth or fifth switchback, (loving to feel my horse do what he's best at and know he's loving it too) than I hear a "Waaaaaaahhh! MELISSA PLEEEEASE STOP!!!PLEEEEASE STOP!!" I turned to see the rider who was behind me with eyes full of tears and wide as eggs. Her Arab had taken a liking to Cabo and did NOT want to let him get too far ahead. The horse was pulling her arms out of her sockets and pushing into the bit as she careened around the switchbacks with her legs slipping, tripping and sliding off the trail with the sheer drop off down below. I saw the fear in the riders eyes and felt horrid. Her mare was willing to kill itself and her to try and stay with my guy. I wasn't about to keep going, though we were in our element and having a blast going at speed on that trail just then. She was shaking and told me that she had had nightmares leading up to Tevis and all of them were about falling off of Pucker Point. And Damn if she didn't end up behind one of the only riders who really LIKES that part, is hauling ass going mach five with their hair on fire and yelling "Is this cool or what?!!" I told her to just keep her eyes on Cabos butt and that we would just walk till she was ready, don't look down at all and just KEEP BREATHING. After a while she stopped crying and we resumed at a very slow trot through the rest of the switch backs and then along the point. She kept saying "thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou" through the whole thing and finally stopped shaking. When we were passed the whole thing and were back down to a safer part of the trail we clasped hands and then exchanged hugs before I took off down the trail. She found me the next day at the awards ceremony and we hugged again. She had completed the ride! She said that Pucker Point was the reason she had not wanted to attempt Tevis before this as she was sure she would die there. She had PLANNED on walking that area on foot while SLOWLY leading her horse. It was a change in plan from how WE had hoped to ride that area but it certainly made it very special to have helped someone else through it. Pam Stalley had done the same for me in 2007 as we rode together from Lower Quarry and she knew every low branch and twist in the trail in the "Black hole of Calcutta" and guided us through. Geeze, there are SOOO many things about this ride that are special. No wonder it is a ride that just CAN'T be touched anywhere in the world. I never got the name of that rider on Pucker Point though she knew me. Do any of you know her name if she related the story to you?

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