Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Crazy Day in the Park

Crazy Day in the Park

My sister and I planned to take Cole and Ranger up to the show ring area for a ride, but it looked like rain. She checked her smart phone, and sure enough, rain was on the way. It was hard to tell how much time we had—maybe and hour or maybe two?

We decided to take the chance and ride, anyway. We would keep an eye on the sky and turn for home if it looked bad. The ride we were planning takes about an hour and a half if we do a lot of trotting.

Ellen also told me that it looked like the Susan Komen Run for the Cure was coming through the park. We had more than potential rain to deal with, but that didn’t put us off, either.

The trip up to the show ring area wasn’t too bad. The park was pretty busy with a lot of traffic and people all about, but once we got up the big hill, away from the main trail that stays close to the rode, it was quiet. We usually take the back trails, but Ellen suggested we take the front trail, instead. It goes around the field, and we would have a clear view of the sky.

We got out into the open and saw the big clouds. It was only a couple minutes later that we heard the first thunder. It was time to go home. We were about a half hour away from the barn.

We got the horses back down the big hill and re-entered the busy part of the park. I saw through the trees a woman on a paved cross trail wearing a long, white cape that was billowing in the wind and warned Ellen. We stopped and let her pass before we got too close. The horses did pretty well with that.

We crossed the street and rode on the trail that parallels the road. The paved trail on the other side of the street is where all the action was, and there was a lot of it. There were women all over. With the threat of imminent rain, they put on their plastic ponchos. Cars were honking them encouragement. People were yelling. There was one conglomeration where a large group of participants were clapping and cheering. Ranger started to prance. It started to drizzle. Cole is still funny about rain, but usually only for the first few minutes. After he gets wet enough, he takes it all in stride. (With the drought, this year, we haven’t had many chances to practice.) Cole decided it was time to high-tail it to shelter. Ellen and I thought it was time to dismount.

I know a lot of people will stay in the saddle in these kind of circumstances—feeling they have better control there—but Ellen and I find we do better on the ground. I immediately pointed towards the ground. Cole dropped his head and started to do his silly walk. He forgot about the rain and excitement in just a few seconds. My sister told Range to put his head down, and he did the same, stopped prancing and just marched quickly towards home. The horses were now more relaxed than we were. It started raining harder.

We kept leading, though. Ellen prefers to use a mounting block, as Ranger is much taller than my pony. The honking, clapping and cheering continued. We rounded one corner to find a car by the side of the road with the driver standing outside in the rain shouting encouragement to the women as they went by. More honking…people everywhere…

Right before the next river crossing, there are a bunch of boulders. Ellen picked the smallest one and mounted up. I climbed on Cole, and we crossed the river. We went up one hill and then had to go down a short, steep hill that ends with an intersection with the road. Halfway down the hill, we saw the woman on the bicycle going along the road with her huge plastic poncho blowing in the wind. If I have ever seen Horse-Eating Monster, this was one. By my estimation, we would be just about to the bottom of the hill when she would pass us. Roadside spooks are bad news—particularly with the amount of traffic there was.

Then a miracle happened. Not only did she see us, but she must have known something about horses because she stopped well away from us to let us pass. We thanked her so much, crossed the street, and went into the woods; away from the chaos. We could still hear the honking in the background. The rain was letting up and though we were wet, we weren’t soaked.

We got back to the barn. Eventually, the rain did stop and I was able to take Cruiser for a relaxing ride.


~Allison said...

Whew! I would have dismounted as well! The horses seemed like they were good for all the commotion that was going on!!

achieve1dream said...

Yep I dismount and lead too if my horse is acting like he/she wants to bolt. I'm glad it went well and that the lady on the bike was so kind. That makes my day. :D