Wow...made it back from the Ed Wright barrel racing clinic in Moriarty, NM....
It was brutal!
Thank you all so much for you kind condolences about Turk. Believe me, that made leaving the next day a tough decision.
Thanks to my local friends for stepping in and helping take care of the rest of the crew. I didn't exactly find how Turk injured himself in the pasture, so I did not want horses out there. That meant keeping the remaining 4 head in individual big pens while we were gone. I was scrambling to move panels around, water tanks around and get everyone situated. Instead of having one person check on everyone once a day, I needed someone to stop and feed twice a day. Between everyone that volunteered, we got that covered.
The plan was to leave early Thursday morning and drive all the way to Moriarty in one day. Me hauling horses and the husband on his bike.
That didn't happen. I didn't get left until almost noon on Thursday. Too many things slipped my mind the day before. So when we got to Cortez, CO. at about 4pm, I decided to get to get a hold of a barrel racing buddy down there and have her tell me where the fairgrounds was. I knew Cortez had a nice facility that was safe to overnight at. They did have 10x10 pens set up in one of their barns, but I much prefer the horses to have lots of room to move around, so I put them down in the big bucking stock pens by the outdoor arena. Cortez isn't exactly the 1/2 way point, but I didn't know what kind of facilities we would find to overnight the horses farther down the road and I didn't want to risk having to stop and get settled somewhere after it got dark.
Once the horses were settled, the husband and I headed to the casino to get something to eat and unwind a little. I never used to gamble, but my husband has ruined me. ;-) I lost my cash on the tight-assed slot machines, but won all my money back on the roulette table.
Interestingly enough, MH and I had two of the most unusual gambling experiences ever at that little casino. I had won my money back and was getting ready to cash out my chips, but I still had one chip on the table and one in my hand. Not being one who likes odd numbers...I doubled up the chip that was still on the table. I had just hit on that number mind you...and double dog-dared the dealer to hit that number again.
He did! Back to back number roll.
Two dollars turned into $64.
Gotta love that.
I cashed out my chips and hunted up the husband to tell him I was ready to eat. Right when I walked up to the machine he was playing, he hit the bonus round. Thirty-five free spins!
Free spins are great, but only if they hit more credits. Ya know?
Well, that machine wasn't hitting much for credits on those free spins...but all of the sudden it hit the bonus round again. Thirty-five more free spins.
And then this is where it got weird...
The machine just kept hitting the bonus rounds and we thought the darned thing was stuck.
By the time it was all done and said...One Hundred and Ninety free spins.
To bad the machine didn't really hit anything super big. MH won a little over $800. He's won way more than that off of just a single bonus round, so the payout wasn't that spectacular (although that is nothing to sneeze at and it paid for our trip), The number of times the machine kept reseting and giving him free spins was definitely unusual.
The next morning, we waited until it warmed up a bit, so MH didn't freeze his butt off on the bike...loaded up horses and headed down the road again. It was a nice drive.
Initially, my thought had been to go over the mountains from Grand Junction to Durango and straight down to Albuquerque. I didn't realize the road that way was probably not the best option with my rig. Some friends enlightened me to the error of my ways so we went the much easier route of over to Moab, UT, down to Monticello, back to Cortez, CO and then straight south through Shiprock to Gallup, NM, jump on I-40 and straight through Albuquerque and on east to Moriarty. Five hundred, thirty-eight miles from door step to door step. Heck, that's a shorter trip than going back to South Dakota.
We found the arena easy enough and got horses unloaded. I hand-walked the boys while MH got the trailer situated. The horses looked and acted like they had handled the haul pretty well. I always hope that they will figure out how to roll in the arena while on a lead line, but so far none of my horses will do that. Since there were people saddling up horses to ride, I figured letting them loose probably wasn't an option at that moment, so I went a head and got them situated in their pens. Both horses drank good and wanted their hay.
When we had pulled in, one of the guys saddling horses had shouted 'Hi, How Are Ya?' and waved where they were saddling horses. I had waved back and returned the shout, 'Fine, Thanks.', but didn't go over to introduce myself until I had my horses taken care of. Come to find out, the friendly gentleman was Mr, Ed Wright himself...
We visited a few minutes and I asked if they minded if I saddled up and rode with them. Ed said that would be just fine. I saddled up Moon first. I wanted to know if he was going to start acting uncomfortable in his back. That has become a problem every since he jammed his back in July. The chiro says nothing is out. Moon is not sore in the stifle, hock or hind fetlocks. I had a blood work-up and urinalysis done on him and everything is right down the middle. It's frustrating to think that there is something not right with my horse and not be able to find what exactly is the problem. I have had a niggling little suspicion though and was hoping Moon would do his 'thing' while at Ed's clinic. I figured Ed would have some insight.
But no...Moon was right as rain that night. I saw Ed sizing him up and got the distinct feeling he didn't think much of my horse. I'm used to that by now. Moon certainly does not give the impression he has much talent for anything the way he plops around. I have grown to take delight in that. He's a sleeper. I wasn't planning on doing much but just ride around and let Moon stretch his muscles. Ed however had us do some circling exercises, stops, backs, etc. I think he was trying to get a feel for what Moon was. Moon was unimpressed with Ed hollering instructions to me and having to work. When we quit I got the distinct impression Moon knew Ed was calling the shots and he was mentally flipping him off.
On to Frosty...
Frosty was acting like it was his first trip from home. He was bouncing around, didn't want to stand to be saddled and had a huge hump in his back when I let him to the arena. So I did what I have been doing with him when he acts that way...lunge him a little bit and then work him back and forth a little bit to get his feet. Frosty settled down a little bit, but his eyes were still bugging and he still had a hump in his back. I walked over to shut the arena gate...just in case. The guys turned around to watch and I warned them that Frosty may just bog his head and go to bucking when I stepped on. I didn't want them to be caught unaware as they were riding young horses themselves.
Ed jumped off his horse and headed toward me hollering, 'Baby girl...NEVER step on a horse you think is going to blow up.'
He came striding toward Frosty and poor Frosty lost his mind and started running backwards. Ed grabbed his leadrope and went with him. Telling Frosty what a nimcompoop he was being. Frosty kept going, running backward and spinning in circles. Ed just kept going with him. Talking to him in a rough voice, but never pulling on his head. Pretty quick Frosty decided that was too much work to run away from Ed and stopped. He was shaking and his eyes were bugging out of his head, but he was faced up. Ed reached up and started flopping the fender. Frosty was jumping around, flinching and acting like this was the first time anyone had ever done such a thing to him. It was rather funny. Frosty dang sure needs to be handled by other people.
Ed banged around on both sides of the horse and started working his hips and then back and forth on the leadrope. He didn't stop until Frosty stopped acting like a fool and started paying attention to what Ed was asking him to do. When he finally calmed down, Ed asked me how long I had been tolerating such broncy behavior and I had to admit...generations. After all, Frosty's mom was broncy, her mother was broncy and the great-grandmother was pretty snorty and a witch as well. Good enough using horses....but snorty and humpy their whole lives. They work for me, but I sure wouldn't put a horse like that on the market. Frosty is the last of that line for a good reason.
Ed reached in under the cinch, along Frosty's elbow, dug around and poor Frosty went to jerking, spasming and jumping away from his hand. Ed turned around, grabbed my hand and pushed it to the spot he had had been digging in. He said, 'You feel that?'
I wasn't quite sure what he wanted to me to be feeling, so I dug around like he had been doing until my fingers pressed against a rope-like spot and as soon as I pressed on it, Frosty flinched and jumped away. Ed tells me that is a ligament that should NOT feel like that. It should feel smooth and supple under the finger and a horse sure as heck should not be flinching and jumping as soon as you apply pressure. Ed Wright looked me straight in the eye and told me I was a 'Bad horse mommy!'.
This wasn't starting off with quite the impression I had hoped for...
To Be Continued...