Saturday was the Saddle Up for the Cure ride.
Friday evening I was regretting my decision to go. The early morning departure time was no longer appealing to me, but the boys were excited about it. So we went to out to get the truck gassed up and load up all the tack and equipment we'd need that night. Saturday morning the boys and I were up at 5:30 am to get dressed and head to the farm. We hitched up the trailer, filled the hay net, loaded up a few last minute things, and loaded the horses. Tommy got in his normal way, but Weapon was pulling the lead out of John's hand trying to load himself in the trailer. At least one of us was perky that morning.
We said our goodbyes, hopped in the truck, and nothing....
It took a little while but we got the truck jumped and it fired up. I have to tell you it blew our schedule though. We were doing so good. I'd allotted the perfect amount of time for all of our morning tasks, and we were on schedule. I was really frustrated, and was not sure we should continue on to Waynesville with an unreliable truck. I would have been perfectly ok with chucking the whole thing and heading back to bed, but the children gave me googly-eyes so off we went.
Our next stop was McDonalds for breakfast burritos. The breakfast of champions and trail riders who do not allot eating time into the schedule.
John had some breakfast, and then crashed. He slept most of the drive there, after the ride, after lunch, and all the way home. That's the life.
We found the Horseman's Camp at Caesar Creek easily enough, although the twisty road didn't leave much room for vehicles coming the other way. I thought some of our country roads were bad, but not like this! We found a parking space conveniently by the water pump and a picnic table. We were running late so we scooted right on down to register then boogied back to unload and tack up.
Tommy was enjoying the all you can eat hay buffet. That doesn't happen for Tom very often. Check out my pretty, clean tack and pristine pad and girth. It's the last time you'll see them.
Weapon looks thrilled doesn't he? Plain nasty draft horse hay = yuck. Weapon likes delicious old-man hay with tasty alfalfa.
The ride organizers came around to round us up for the group pictures, so the boys and I rushed through the rest of our grooming job and hopped on.
And by hopped on I mean we used our handy picnic table. Here's John waiting for me to bring Tommy around. I love this picture of Ethan and Weapon. I wish I'd have thought to take the lead rope off for it, but we were late late late. See how there are no other horses at the trailers in the distance? Yep. We were that kind of late.
All the riders converged for the group photo. I wish I'd gotten a head count, but there were too many. The numbers haven't been posted on the website or on Facebook yet. There was a professional photographer there, Chris Meyer and I can't wait to see how the group shots turned out.
I'd never ridden at Caesar Creek before, but the boys and I followed the group out on the Moonlight Vista Trail. I'm happy to say that Tommy traversed all 3.6 miles of it and arrived back to the trailer victorious and sound!
Tommy and Weapon both did great. Tommy really got into his job of staying in front of Weapon. He'd sidle over in front or swing his hip before I even realized Weapon was making a bid to pass. It was pretty funny, but it worked. Ethan gets upset if he has to constantly rein Weapon in, and Weapon can get goofy. Our last trail ride at the farm ended with Ethan getting bucked off, so TOmmy and I were on our A game to make sure that didn't happen again. Weapon sure is sassy for a 29 year old.
Ethan rode Weapon solo and John doubled up with me on Tom.
We all arrived back at the trailer safe and sound. Check out the mud on Tommy's leg. He was SPLASHING into the puddles. Other horses (including Weapon) were skirting around the edges and dancing along the top of the ruts, but Tom believes in taking the Shortest Possible Route...which is usually right through the middle.
Just imagine what my pretty girth looks like. I'd take a picture of it, but it's too sad. I haven't cleaned anything yet. We were so tired after the early morning, the ride, lunch, and the silent auction, that we just wanted to go home. But it was not to be.
It turns out that niggling little sixth sense that tells you it might not be a good idea to rely on your truck today was right. It was not. Luckily we were across from a really nice couple who took the time to adjust some things on the battery and get us jump started again. It took a long time, and I think we were all getting a little apprehensive that I'd be calling AAA, but in the long run it worked. I never even asked their names, but their truck/trailer said New Vocations Racehorse Adoption and there was something about Standardbreds...maybe a hat or jacket? It was a long day and I can't remember. Anyways, a big shout out to those two people.
I'd love to return the favor someday, but honestly if you're relying on me for automotive assistance we're all screwed.