Sunday, June 22, 2008

Do I have to pick a winner for the caption contest? I really liked all the replies, and since there's not prize... ooh, I have it! You're all winners!

Normally I would offer a rope halter as a prize, but I fear my halter making days are shortened a bit. My hands don't like to do it, and they usually hurt for a day or so after making one. So I'll probably make a couple more for my horses over time, but that's about it. On a whiny health note, I am finally going back to the doctor to find out what to do about this degenerative joint disease and get a diagnosis on the rheumatoid arthritis I'm pretty sure I have. Hopefully they have some meds to slow down whatever it is that's going on, or I'm going to be old and crippled at 35.

I didn't ride Tonka for two whole days! He just stood around eating and pooping. It killed me. But it was softball tournament time, and there was a party yesterday, and presents to get on Friday, and I have barely stopped moving the last few days.

Today was my horsey day though. John and I went on a poker ride, up Tekoa mountain, all the way around it, and back. I think it was 10 miles or more. I thought maybe Mack was going to die, he's so out of shape but was in such a hurry up the mountain. He was breathing like a locomotive and soaked with sweat. We stopped and rested but he was still huffing and puffing, so John got off and walked a little. He slowed down a bit halfway through the ride.

Tonka, well... I came off of him again today, near the beginning of the ride. Same exact movement he did to me out at Dusty twice last year. Spooked at -get this- a plant. Apparently maybe it was a horse-eating plant. I should have known trouble was coming, he was scared for the whole ride up until then. We had ridden through the town, up the hill and were on a long hill covered in the prettiest wildflowers, but the wind was blowing and Tonka just didn't believe those wide leafed plants were safe, blowing in the wind like they were. I was halfway off his back before I knew anything had happened, I hung on as long as I could, worrying as I usually do about whether my foot would get caught in the stirrup. I let go, my foot was fine, the landing was soft. It scraped up my back some, I landed in a bunch of stickery plants. He ran back down the hill with the saddle on his side (I've been trying to cinch it less tightly for his comfort, thank goodness for breastcollars) and stopped just past Mack. I love the herd instinct. Sometimes... Anyway, I got him re-adjusted, showed him the plants, and had a mostly enjoyable rest of the ride through the trees, thick brush, critter skulls and bones, etc.

I actually won some money on my poker hand! I was in 7th place, but still got a little prize. Kinda fun.

Then it was time for the trail and ranch horse competition. I wanted to enter the trail and cattle part, but not the rail part. Don't care about high-point right now, just want to try my hand at sorting off a calf and of course I like the trail stuff. But I didn't realize that when they said it started at 2:00, they meant be ready to ride at 2:00, no later. Most of these things you get there and sign up and then wait around for a while until it's your turn, but not this one I guess. It was 1:50, I had just gotten back from the trail ride, my back was killing me, I was tired, hungry, and needed a break. (Another health complaint, I think I have blood sugar issues. Once it gets low I'm done for.) Not to mention that Tonka needed a drink and a break too. I decided to forget the competition. I knew in that state of mind I wouldn't be up to any challenges we'd run into, and the positive experience I wanted for my horse would be down the toilet. So the boys ate some hay, we ate some sandwiches, and then we came home.


ARL said...

I didn't know you made rope halters, that's clever. I bought a 'Be Nice' halter. It seems to do the trick. It's more compact than a big nylon one.
Sorry to hear you got spooked off. When I was a teenager I had a spooky mount. Sometimes I'd go over the side twice in the same ride. He was great in heavy traffic and crowds, but going at a canter or a gallop in the countryside he was looking for anything to shy from. It didn't take much to make him spin around and send me flying.

About your blood sugar; I suffered from very low blood sugar episodes (about down to 45 or lower)for about 20 years. What helped me was not eating any cereal, breads, muffins, raisins, jams and such for the first part of the day. I just eat raw almonds for breakfast. Now I can eat a banana as well and I'm ok.

As for the joint stuff..ugh! I'm not sure I could even get on a horse again I hurt so bad.
At least you got back on and had a nice ride.
If you and Tonka ever want a cow to chase I know a fat one here who needs the exercise. (Stop looking at me! I meant my pet cow).

Linda Reznicek said...

The poker rides are always a little scary for horses--there's so much going on and what not. At least he did well afterward. The best thing you can do is what you did--get back on and finish the ride. :)