Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ten-Years Ago Today~

Jasrada, Ben, Dean & Connie
It was a Spring to be remembered...  We were hit hard & hit twice.  Things turned south at the Home On The Range Ride the end of March.  After an uneventful drive over to Potholes, we met-up with our friends & set up camp.  Jas & Khitty were VBF & always enjoyed seeing each other at rides.  We'd had weeks of rain, so when we looked over & saw Jas laying down, at first we just thought she was enjoying the sun.
Khitty & Jas
But that was not the case.  Within minutes of this photo, she got up, we saddled up & headed out for a short ride.   When I asked for a trot & didn't get it, I knew something was WRONG!  We turned back, went to find the Vet & ended up with the treatment Vet that was instrumental in saving Jas's life.  A Very Long story, but we asked Dean Essex, DVM of Granite Falls Thoroughbred Farm, to help us...   Working day & night for over a week, Dean was a one-man-band, orchestrating her treatment & care.  The times I was ready to give-up, he gave me the strength to keep on.   Jas became one of the few, very lucky horses who have survived Anterior Enteritis.  The top photo was taken on the day we took Jas home! (Ben never lost his faith in Jas - he knew - that "his girl" would be "fine".)

Next, I was thrown in our own backyard!  Below is one of the only photos that I saved of the mare who did the deed.  She doesn't look too scary in the photo, but believe me - she was a true nut case.
Jas & Bonnie grazing
Of course in the clarity of retrospect, she was insecure, green broke & was in a full dripping body sweat when we unloaded her after a ten-mile trailer ride home.  While riding her in the lounging circle you can see,  (It was 90 degrees that day!) a friend holding the other end - she reared.   I thought she was going over backwards, (she'd done that before) I grabbed mane.  She dropped back down - but started bucking like a bronco.  About the second or third buck she dislodged me & I knew before I hit the ground that it was going to be bad.
Jas & Connie
I laid on the ground a while & tried to roll over to regain my feet, before I realized that I wasn't going anywhere without help.  Our yard was full of emergency vehicles by the time Butch raced home.  (Luckily he was working in Mt. Vernon.)  The helicopter ride to Harbor View took about 15-min.  I went directly into surgery that lasted over four-hours - to re-attach the top of my femur.  I also had broken ribs & a lung that wasn't in very good shape.  I'm quick though!  In three-days - I was on my way home.  My gray mare was there for me.

Time moves on...  Jas & I went back to HOTR range in 04 - wondering if she or I either one would be up to the task.  Our friends were pulled early on, we finished the fifty at a gallop, but didn't get completion - "Grade One Lame."  One of those decisions that has remained a sore spot even after all these years.  She was 100% sound a hour later & had I known then what I know now... 
We're the white spot! 
I'd been trying to retire Jas from endurance since 2000, but hadn't found the horse that could even come close to replacing her & been hurt for my efforts.  I DID - absolutely - want to finish her ten-year career with a completion at fifty!  We dropped back to an LD & completed it top-ten, before the end of the year.
 NW Labor Day Ride
Jas's feet had always been her weak-link, she was getting joint injections by now.  I'd been told that if I wanted her to retire sound to ride, I only had - maybe - one more fifty in our bag-of-tricks.  We decided on Klickitat 05.  Perfect trails, soft footing - if she couldn't do it there, she couldn't do it anywhere...  With help from our friends & the crewing/support of "Dad" - we Finished!   The final completion of her career.

For those of you who are just starting out, or maybe even been playing at it for a while...   Here's a visual reminder of what, this sport is all about.  You can talk the talk, walk the walk, but what you really need to do is;  "Ride Like You've Never Been Bucked Off!"
Says it ALL!


  1. What a story! And I LOVE that trailer door. LOVE IT.

  2. Ha! I remember that trailer!

    Glad to know that you've healed up pretty well after all these years, too.

    1. I think it was Mary Forrester's?
      Part of an exclusive club; Dory, Diane & me - all sporting Titanium Surgical Implants - whether we like it or Not!

  3. i know that trailer too! thanks for telling this story from when our paths used to cross.

  4. Ride like you have never been bucked off. Love it!


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