Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Rented Ride and a Raffle

There are a few different local horsemanship organizations in my new neighborhood, and I've been pondering joining one for a while.  I'm always hesitant about joining horse clubs, because my past experience showed that the members of these clubs spend more time in meetings and putting on horse events for other people than they do riding their own horses.  I was most interested in a group that takes trail rides together, does gymkhanas and poker rides, cleans up the desert from debris that others dump there, and donates their time to children's charities.

I don't think any of my horses are ready to behave themselves in strange locations with different horses, but I've got to throw them into the mix at some point.  One club was having a membership drive this weekend, and they said I could bring my own horse or rent a horse from the stable.  I opted to rent since I was going into something totally unknown.  Plus club membership was free with a rental horse.

Of course, right after I confirmed that I would be there after being told that they had a waiting list for rental horses, I got sick and was ill for three days.  I was getting so stressed out over thinking that I might have to cancel and let someone on the waiting list have my reserved horse, that I got sicker.  The night before I took NyQuil to get a good night's sleep and dry myself out, and fortunately I woke up feeling well enough to ride.

I told P.S. I'd meet her at the stables at 7:15 AM.  I was right on schedule until my dashboard alerted me to the fact that I had a flat tire.  Dang.  I had to turn around, take the truck home, and borrow my husband's car.  There was no time to stop at a gas station and fill the tire with air.  While driving my husband's car, the dashboard alerted me to what I thought was another flat tire, but I couldn't feel it like I could on the truck, so I kept driving.  It turned out that the alert was just to let me know that the tire monitor was broken.  I ended up getting to the stable 15 minutes late.

P.S. was with me and we were given a choice of going out with Group 1 or Group 2.  We said it didn't matter.  They put us with Group 2.  We watched Group 1 ride out on all the horses in the corral, and I began to wonder how long we would have to wait for horses.  Much to my delight, as soon as Group 1 rode out, the wranglers began bringing in a bunch of Draft horses!  I got very excited as I always wanted to ride one of those.  They gave me a big, black and white Paint Draft mix named Elmer.  P.S. wondered why they would choose a name of a glue company for a horse.  I just kept thinking "Fudd".

P.S. got a red or chestnut Appaloosa named Snickers.  Snickers wasn't paying attention to where he was putting his feet and kept tripping, slipping and sliding.  Elmer was really good about picking his way through the rocks, but had a tendency to run up hills.  With him being so wide, I couldn't really wrap my thighs around him, so I flew up out of the saddle each time he trotted.  Fortunately, the saddle was as wide as a coffee table, so it wasn't too hard to land back down on top of it.


Some of the scenery...



The trails were lined with every type of cactus you can imagine.  I was glad to be on a tall horse, because only the bottoms of my boots grazed most of the cacti, but every once in a while we would have to squeeze past a saguaro, and I would have to remind my horse not to just leave enough room for his body, but for my leg too.



After the two-hour ride, we had brunch under the shade of tents.  The club was selling raffle tickets to win a three-horse slant load stock style trailer with a dressing room, so I bought a ton of tickets.  It's exactly the type of horse trailer I've been hoping to replace my old trailer with.  I have four horses now, but I don't think my truck can haul anything heavier.

It was a really nice ride.  The weather was perfect with a pleasant wind to keep us cool.  Short of a few cowboy hats blowing off riders' heads, and cactus spines getting stuck in a horse, it was a drama-free ride.  The stable marked the trail with Beanie Babies hanging from the trees.  My horse passed them all along the ride, and when we reached the very last one before entering the stable, he eyeballed it and scooted sideways.  It was so minor compared to the spooks I've dealt with on Bombay.  I'm looking forward to helping out with club activities in the future and seeing all that this group does for the community.

9 comments:

Rebecca said...

Sounded really fun!! Fingers crossed you win the trailer!! :o)

Mary said...

I love how clear a crisp your photos are! So I'm going to ask...what kind of camera do you use? I'm sure it's way out of my price range, but one can dream, right? Sounds like a nice group and good causes. I hope soon you will be able to bring your own mount, in your shiny new trailer!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Mary - If you are referring to the photos in this post, they were taken by an old Kodak digital camera that they don't make anymore. It was one of the first models when digital cameras came into the mainstream. I take it on trail rides because it is small and I can control it with one hand. It's really good about preventing blur while moving.

Most of the pictures in other posts are taken with a Canon PowerShot SX10IS.

Jess Schira said...

It looks like it was a great day for a trail ride. You got some amazing photos!

TeresaA said...

sounds like a fun time.

Dreaming said...

It looked like you had a gorgeous day. Looked like fun. Isn't it interesting how relaxed one can be on a 'rented' horse?!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Ugh. I feel like I was hit by a truck today. Must have been the combination of riding such a wide horse and going up and down rocky hills for two hours straight.

strivingforsavvy said...

Sounds like lots of fun!

achieve1dream said...

That sounds like so much fun (other than being sick and sore)!! I'm glad you found a nice club. I would love to join one, but there aren't any in my area. I can't wait to hear more about the club and the fun stuff you get to do. :)