Sunday, March 25, 2012

You can see for miles, and ,miles, and miles

So. Saturday Sherrie and Pharoh picked up Santana and me at 7:30 am. we were of to a place called Camp Creek. It is up about 3200 feet around Cave Creek.....
We got to the trailhead on a beautiful day. The parking area was empty. Sherrie backed the rig up, and we unloaded and tacked up the ponies.
This area is spectacular. The footing was awesome, not a single rock to be found. The trails were all single track, unless you went into the bigger washes which we avoided, as our good friends got run over by other horseback riders a couple of weeks before in this same wash....and of course, there are the is indeed, snake season. Those of you who have beed folowing this for the past thre years, know, I HATE snakes. I am petrified of them. I don't like to see photos of them, let alone actually see one, or worse yet, be chased by one. You also know, for me, riding season is OVER when those things come slithering back out.
But, I am riding with Sherrie. Snakes are but yet one more thing she is making me endure in my quest to be a NATRC competitor. I have to keep Santana in shape, so, I have to ride with the snakes. More fear to deal with. Lucky me.
We set out to the west a bit. There is very little flat area as we were riding lots of ridges....then, we headed back to the east. Santana's first mile was a battle for me... after gaiting so nicely just the day before (and two days before that) on the trail, behind Pharoh, he was convinced he should trot. So, there was some arguing going on. Eventually, I won, and I got him gaiting behind his favorite cousin. Yahoo! I am making some progress here. He starting to figure it all out. Afer about thre miles of steep hill work, I noticed that I hadn't attached his breast collar neck strap over and across. Opps. A few miles later, at lunch, I noticed one side of his halter bridle was unsnapped. Opps. Wow. You'd think I had never saddled a horse before.
We continued on, following lots of single tracks. At one point, we were dumped into a wash that we followed a very short distance. After the fact, Sherrie mentions that a snake went across her path, but, it wasn't a rattler. I guess she thought that made it OK in my book. NOT!!!!! Ewwwwwwww. I had goose bumps. Yuckkkky. We continued on up another single track along another ridge. This ride was nothing but hill work, and lots of it, some quite steep. At one point, we could see the Superstition mountians, Weaver's Needle, the fountain at Fountain Hills, and Four Peaks (and some snow still on it) all off into the far distance. We could also see trails that just kept ging all the way the what I believe would be Fountain Hills. It was a mazing. No houses or towns in between. Just rugged mountains and trails. We decided at one point, we should head back, as we still had a ways to go to get to the trailer. We were going to gait all the way up a fairly long expanse of trail, all mostly uphill. Santana stayed behind Pha. At one point, he umped a little ditch. No biggee. And I was proud of myself for staying on... about this time, Santana stopped. He just stopped, and did NOT want to go further. Weird behavior from him. I asked him to move and he refused. I got all over his case and told him to MOVE!!! SO, we started gaiting again, up hill. Then I heard it. The familiar sound of my roller buckle on my cinch. BIG OPPS! My girth had come COMPLETELY undone. I yelled (we call this using our playground voices, thank you Karen Kafka...) at Sherrie and told her to stop. I think at this point the woman must have thought I was a complete moron. I kicked my feet out of the stirrups and jumped off Santana without moving the saddle. He tried to tell me when he stopped earlier. He tried. I didn't listen. I guess I have a pretty balanced seat after all, or, I would have been under his belly when we made that little jump...Anyway, I cinched him up, and we finished our ride. We did eleven pretty hard, pretty fast miles.
When we got back to the parking area, it had filled in with other vehicles. No horse trailers, just ours. Some idiot parked RIGHT next to the trailer, making it almost impossible to tie a horse. Sherrie was a very unhappy camper about this, and didn't intend to let this guy go unpunished........He was also pulled up to the step-over making it almost impossible for a horse and rider to get in or out. WE untacked the horses and watered them. Left over water got poured at the doors to the truck, making a really nice, muddy area. THis simulated pee. Somehow, horse hair was all over the front of the winshield, like by the wipers. The horse are shedding, and, well, thats what happens when you park so close. And, horses poop. Poop just so happened to get all over the door handles to the truck and to the car parked behind the truck, also making it hard for us to pull out . If he wasn't parked so close, the poop wouldn't have hit his truck.... How in the world horse hair got into the trucks ice/food chest is beyond me. I guess horse hair is like plaster dust... it gets into everything.

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