Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday at Cal Expo!

Friday's in hand class should have gone flawlessly. In fact, it was close...except Sandy refused to trot. Totally not him and I found myself trying to figure out what had gone wrong for the next few hours. We did the obstacles themselves quite well...we ought to have hit 8-10 on everything. As it was, 9 was our highest score and it went down from there as Sandy refused to do anything but walk. On top of that, during the hoof pick up he snatched the right hind away so quickly that I decided I needed to make him pick it up again....and that time he not only snatched but stepped away. I was frustrated with myself, wondering if I'd just miscued due to nerves and being rusty after so many years out of the ring.

A bit later in the day I led him out to lunge a bit and found him reluctant to move out. In fact, he was giving me a look out of the corner of his eye that said, "Leave me alone!", and after a couple of circles I saw a short, quick step with the right hind leg. He didn't stop, kept going, but something was definitely off there. I reversed him and this time after a couple circles his entire hip dropped down as he took a misstep. My boy was sore and I couldn't quite tell where. His stifle? Hip? Lower back? It wasn't his foot or hock, but something higher that was catching. Either way, the mystery of his performance was solved.

Trouble could I ride him now? I spent some time leading him around the grounds hoping whatever it was would work itself out.

One notable thing here: Sandy loves his roll in the sand, and he hadn't rolled at all. Something was definitely wrong. When I took him out later in the day, the same thing happened. He'd go fine a round or two, then something that only a mother can see would change, and then he'd miss. Before leaving for the night I gave him some butte, the equine equivalent of asprin, to reduce any inflamation. In the morning I led him out once more to the arena, hoping to have him looking for a good roll...but he didn't. I had no choice. I couldn't ride a horse who was sore, especially knowing he'd have to get into a trailer and head down the road somewhere, anywhere, in another day.

Patti Colbert was so sweet, saying she was so sorry because she'd watched me ride earlier in the week and had been sure I'd be one of those who made the top ten. That was so nice to hear...Sandy and I have come so far in the past couple of weeks that not riding was killing me. I was allowed to do a 90 second freestyle just from the ground to show some of what Sandy had accomplished. I probably could have mounted, but opted not to. I bridled him in the arena so people could see how easily he took the bit, backed the L and did two 360 turns.

Later, Saunya told me someone had commented along the rail that I was doing this just to keep people from bidding. She jumped on their case immediately, asking if they'd ever trained a horse, if they'd ever ridden in a trailer for two days then stood and slept on a concrete floor for four days where the lights never went off...and if they thought they'd feel like going to work on Monday if they'd spent their weekend that way. Guess it shut them right up. A MAJOR hug to Saunya for sticking up for me!

Sandy backing the L

Corinne Elsner from Burns, OR, chooses a less traditional way to mount her mare, Dolly.
These two made tonight's finals!

Saunya and Little Diva trot the barrels.
These two are also in the finals!

I didn't get the complete list of the riders in tonight's finals but will post them either later tonight or tomorrow. Probably the later as tonight at 9 is the adoption and I will no doubt be a huge puddle of tears...

Please say your prayers for Sandy! Ask God to find him the perfect new home so that I don't need to worry about him :)


Mrs Mom said...

Praying for you two like CRAZY here Tracey...

smellshorsey said...


What a beautiful, sad and touching story.

You've done amazing work.

I was proud of Big Brown's jockey for pulling him up, and I'm proud of you for pulling Sandy out when he hurt.

I'm praying for a happy ending here!

Jessie said...

Praying everything turns out the way it should!!

Wild Rose Cowgirl said...


I'm praying for you and Sandy. I'm also hoping for a happy ending!


Gecko said...

A bit of bad luck there, but prayers coming from here also hun!!