Monday, February 8, 2010
Sooooo. I had optimistic hopes for getting back on Santana last Friday, which ws three days after my "unplanned planned dismount." I still ached a bunch, but figured I could ride.
Then I remembered that i destroyed my helmet, and that I needed to replace it first. So, i had to drive almost an hour each way to go do that. Well worth the trip, but with work and all, it meant I would n't ride until today.
Vickey and Dakota were waiting at "the bus stop" at 9:30 and Santana and I picked them up and headed to the mountain. Once there, we ran into a couple friends who, had started out, but saw us pull in and came back for us. One gal was riding a very green and slightly nervous horse.
I was a little nervous getting back on Santana after my wreck. I mean, did he remember all the bucking and that I came off, and would he decide that if he didn't want to do something I asked of him, he could just buck and get me off??? I was still WAY too sore to hit the ground again. All these little things were running through my mind. The little green horses running up behind us, which bothered Santana, was really bothering me. I wasn't breathing right, ect. I finally asked them to head away, which they were going to do anyway. Another day, ANY other day, and I would have been fine with them and he green horse, just not TODAY.
Vickey and I continued on a very short loop, and I quickly settled down. Santana was his usual super calm self again, and I felt better about the overall situation, and most of my confidence had been restored. Vickey says she seriously doubts that he even remembers bucking, or anything that happened that day he got attacked by cholla, it al happened SO fast.
I got that ride out of the way, which I needed mentally, to assure myself that this hadn't turned my calm, wonderful boy into some kind of crazed man-killing horse maniac. I am ready to go again, or will be when all the pain in my hip and elbow are gone. Both are still quite swollen. That won't keep me off the trails though.....
Last Tuesday the Three Horsequeteers set off to trailblaze the other end of the San Tan park. There were some proposed trails on that side that we hadn't checked out yet, and, it had been years since any of us had ridden that side, and we were curious as to if the county had improved what had been a VERY hard trail going up and over Goldfield Mountain.
Which would have been fine, if we had actually taken that trail. But, we didn't. We set off in a different direction, still following what appeared to be a trail, of some sort....It was beautiful back there. Enough rain had fallen to where things are starting to get green. We followed a trail along a ridge until it just, well, stopped. Vickey went off on foot to scout it out, but reported bak that there wasn't any continuation. So, we walked to ponies down a very steep hillside to join up with another trail that went, well, who knew where. We followed this single track through some pretty rough terrain. There were several VERY steep climbs along ledges that really worked the horses hard. There was one section that Suzie and Vickey walked their horses horses down and up. I knew Santana could do this, mountain goat that he is. The pictures above show me making Vickey come BACK to me to get my camera so this would be documented. Of course, it is VERY steep in real life; the camera just doesn't capture the depth of the terrain. We got buzzed by a helicopter that was obviously flying ilegally, way too low. None of the horses reacted at all though, such good ponies! Somewhere on one of the climbs, Vickey lost a pair of sunglasses. I lost a lip balm. If only those were the only casualties of the day....
We started to find arrows scratched into the ground, (see pic above) so we figured these were put there by the park people to mark to proposed trail additions. So, we started to follow them. No we were on a flat of sorts, not on ridges with steep hills. Out of nowhere, Santana, my mild mannered, quiet, calm little guy who never even spooks, lost his marbles. He went from zero to three hundred in a nano-second. He was violently attacked by a huge amount of cholla in his hind right leg. The little horse went to bucking and flying around, trying to escape the excruciating pain he was in. I couldn't control him, and with a cliff coming up, I decided to bail. My choice to land in was rocks and cholla, or rock and cholla. I opted for the rocks and cholla. I dropped my stirrups trying to "plan" my dismount, but, with all the bucking, I just got launched rather indignantly. But it was ok, because I used my head as a brake, as my helmet skidded about three feet in the rocks, after my body landed in a cholla. I landed on my right hip and elbow. Turns out, my helmet had deep etched scratches and a crack. That would have been my skull. To all you who think helmet are for sissies, I really wish you would reconsider....I couldn't move for about ten minutes. The girls were able to catch Santana (who didn't go anywhere really, once I came off, he came looking for me. I thought he was going to run me over...) and worked at getting the cholla out of him. Vickey said it was quiet deep in him , and his entire leg was covered in it on the backside, from his hock down to the ground. He must have had it in his tail, and he swatted himself hard with it, and that was that. Poor guy, was scared to death. He settled down fast though. After about ten minutes, I was able to stand. I held on to Tommy, but was feeling light-headed, and Suzie said I looked pale. I opted to sit down and wait a few more minutes. My hip hurt really, really bad. Thanks god I had my helmet on, or it would have been a helicopter ride out of there for me. I "watered the bushes" to check for internal bleeding, and there wasn't any blood in my urine. I startind to work at getting the cholla out of my hands arm and right thigh. The one funny picture above is of my right hand, cholla-style, the day after...) I put duck tape over my thigh, as it was in my jeans too, so, it just kept poking me. The duck tape worked. After about 30 minutes, Idecided I was able to walk out, but didn't think I could get on a horse. My hip hurt too much. To go back the way we came would have been hell. The terrain was really rough, and hills were very painfiul. I looked at my GPS, and it told me if we kept going the direction we had been going, ther ewas very, very little terrain change, AND, a service road of some sort was close by. I knew that that raod would get us back around to the San Tan trail, and to another service road, and back to the main parking lot. Vickey had called Jon and he was bringing their truck and trailer to meet us there so we could "horse Taxi" back to our trailerson the other side. Suzie mounted up on Tommy the Girraffe, as she could scout out that road my GPS said was up ahead, to keep me from doing any unnessecary and painful backtracking and extra walking. Vickey walked Dakota with me and Santana, and she had to help me up the only two litt;e hills there were till we hit that service road. We walked that road a while, and then saw a brown and white park sign (big sigh of relief) that labled the San Tan trail. I knew EXACTLY where we were then, which was a nice feeling. We hiked about three miles back to the main trail head. Jon played taxi , and we all got home safe and sound. Vickey saved my bacon that day and night, dringin me to get xrays (nothing broken) and to work that night. She's a keeper, alright.
It may sound like a bad day, but really it was a TON of fun.... until I hit the ground....but I can't wait till I am al healed and able to go out and try that AGAIN!!!! (the trail, not the bailing off part!)