Monday, December 20, 2010


From our saddle expert Linda.

My husband and I have been married for 23 years now. Poor guy married into the horse scene. The most pets his family had growing up was some dogs, a goat and some ducks. So this was a whole new experience for him. We dated for a while before we got married, so he totally knew what he was getting into before he "popped" the question. Throughout the years he has been supportive, but rides less and less as time goes by. He now "rides like the wind" about 2 to 3 times a year (only about an hour or so each ride!!), but at least he's out trying to enjoy it. He tells everyone he knows his "place" and that I would get rid of him before I'd get rid of the horses - which isn't true but we let him think so. I still have the Quarter Horse mare that he started out on. She's 27 now and still going on shorter rides--semi-retired, you could say.

When we were first married we would go camping with my brother and his family on weekend trips to different local state parks. My niece and nephew would love to ride with Uncle Rick (my husband) because he would always do something funny (and not on purpose). That is not a real confidence builder when a 6 and 8 year old are saying this to you as they are riding their own horses.

One time we decided to venture out and go to a state park about an hour away. This park had sand trails with hills and was totally different from what we were used to riding on. We normally would be in wooded areas or hard packed dirt trails. So this would be a new and exciting riding weekend---or so I thought. We got all packed up and away we went. This was before we had kids so there wasn't as much packing to be done. It was in the fall so the horses were starting to get their winter hair. It was cooler at night but warmed up during the day when the sun was out. Well, they weren't used to riding in this sandy ground so they really worked up a sweat at times.

My husband got his back adjusted before we went on this trip (which now I'm wondering why before and not after, but that's beside the point). So we headed out for a nice leisurely ride, just the two of us going along, enjoying the scenery. I was leading with my Arabian and he was following on the Quarter Horse. All of a sudden, I hear a big commotion and him starting to holler. I thought, "Great, what has happened now?" I look back and there he was standing up, still with his feet in the stirrups and still straddling the horse---but his feet were on the ground! I yelled back to him "Get off, you dummy, she is going to roll!"

I'm thinking: broken leg or ankle, being dragged through the camp, there goes his back again---all kinds of things are going through my head.

He's thinking: "Quicksand!! What kind of a state park would have quicksand in the middle of the trail?!! How in blazes are we going to get her out? You can't get a crane back here. There's no way we'll get her free!"

Isn't it funny how differently minds work!! This is all happening in seconds. Well, the horse got onto her side and then decided this was a bad idea. My husband is standing there just watching this whole thing going down, not thinking he should at least hold the reins until she gets back up. Well, she did get back up and took off down the trail heading back to camp. I'm deciding whether to go after her or stay there and get my husband up on the Arabian which doesn't ride double well with a saddle. He would do fine with no saddle but I wasn't leaving my saddle out there. At this point my husband is yelling "You go after her. I'm done riding. I don't care if she doesn't make it back to camp," on and on he goes but I was gone at that point. Needless to say he was not happy with her. He could not believe an animal would try to roll with a saddle on her back. He tells everyone "They have a brain the size of a walnut, you know".

Well, she made it back to camp, ran right up to our hitching rail covered with sand on one side and clean as a whistle on the other. My Mom came up to me as I rode up and wanted to make sure everything wass alright because it was quite a scene with a sand-covered horse running into camp without her rider and me running up behind her. I said we were fine and I would tell her later what had happened. My brother was sitting at the campfire and just knew there was going to be good campfire stories that night. Well, my husband made it back before dark and eventually could talk about his adventure. Alot of folks have gotten a kick out of it. We were even camping at our local state park and had some people riding by and said "There he is! There the quicksand guy!!" We obviously knew part of them but he has become famous from his incident. He definitely tells a better version of it so if you want his side of the story, you will have to ask him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a colt roll with me once. I knew it was coming, but couldn't stop him. I jumped off in time managing to hang on to the reins, but held my breath for my brand new custom-made Franklin saddle. It had been my prized 14th birthday present! Fortunately it was in a recently plowed field and my saddle came out none the worse for wear.

That horse is long, long gone, as are all my horses. But I still have my beautiful saddle!

--a fellow cowgirl (