Thursday, December 19, 2013

Of Horses and Friends

It was a sticky September Friday morning, and the air was heavy with the promise of rain. I was headed to Troy for my second competitive trail ride weekend, and I had spent two days and checked off numerous lists getting my trailer loaded.

On the trip down, I had the fleeting thought of how horrible it would be to forget one’s clothes on a trip like this. Must have been a premonition, because after unloading my horse, Mallory, at the camp and parking my trailer, it hit me like an iron skillet in the hands of a jealous wife: That’s exactly what I had done.

I arrived with only the clothes I was wearing. There were no comfy jammies, no riding pants, no shampoo, no toothbrush. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I remembered putting my bags on my EZ-Go 4x4, but that’s as far as they got. Fortunately, I had parked the EZ-Go under a shed, protecting it from the weather.

Man, was I bummed out. I felt as stupid as a brick, and my self-esteem was about as low as chewing gum on the bottom of a shoe. I stomped around, fussed, fumed and called myself names that I can’t repeat here, in case my grandson reads this. My fellow riders tried to calm me by relating similar experiences. That wasn’t much help to someone facing a day of sweaty riding without a change of underwear.

Several folks pitched in and loaned or gave me items of clothing, and I purchased toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant at the camp store. Fortunately, I had my towels and linens, food and drink, plus all my tack and horse feed. I washed out my underpants, but they didn’t dry in time for Saturday’s ride.

It was a great ride, even if I was in borrowed breeches. At least I didn’t have to worry about panty lines showing. That night, a friend gave me a pair of panties and someone else gave me a tee-shirt that I slept in and wore the third day with my original jeans. I didn’t have a hair dryer, and my water heater wouldn’t work, forcing me to take tepid showers. But at least I was clean.

When the awards were handed out Sunday, Mallory took first place out of the seven horses in our Novice division. We won’t discuss where I came in. Her win made up for all the horse manure I went through.

Novice or not, I have a great horse and good friends. What more does a woman need?

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