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Derby Ditch ( long )

Every thing went well for me until I was out about six miles from Hazen. White out conditions hit hard. I could not open my eyes to see the trail due to intense winds ( 40 miles mph or better ) that blew gravel and snow into my eyes.. When I would try open them,  I could not see past my hands.  My horse Ziggy just kept on trotting along behind Heidi Segal's horse, and  Zip and Nancy Upham and and a very nice man named Bob that smoked a cigar. If I had not been with them I would have been in BIG trouble as I had never done this ride before and had not a clue as to where I was or where the trail went. One time we all took the wrong turn and Zip said that he felt that we were off trail. No one would have noticed as the ribbons were not very visible at this point and there were no tracks in front of us due to snow fall. I was covered in snow and ice by this point and had ice crusted all over my hair under my helmet. I was scared. If my horse started to slow down and they left me I would not know where the trail was. As it turns out he did slow down and they did leave and I was alone and could see nothing. I kept going straight until I saw a road and that turned out to be the vet check. I have NEVER been so relieved to see other horses and people. I took my horse over to a group of shivering horses and riders  
( there was hay and water ) I was shaking uncontrollably. My dear friend Sonja pushed me into her car where her heater was on full blast. I shook for over and hour. Later I was joined in the car by the man Bob I had been riding with on the trail. He had a good case of frost bite on his hand and was in agony as he rewarmed it. We were a pair that's for sure!!! I kept looking out at my horse  standing in a large band of mares, geldings and even a stallion. They were all huddled together behind the only wind break available. All looked miserable. Finally I got a ride back to base camp for my horse from Zip and Nancy (THANKYOU GUYS). I got Ziggy settled in and then went inside the camper and shook for at least another 30 minutes. Later I noticed that my horse looked off and had the vet over to look at him. She said that is looked like a flexor ligament injury. Boo Hoo. :-(  Any one have any suggestions as to how long I should lay him off?
Anyway we are alive and warm today. Very happy to be alive. I thank the group I was riding with and my dear horse Ziggy for getting me in safely.
M. Maynard

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