Friday, September 14, 2007

Adventures for Rachel and Grandma and Arabian Horses at the St Jude's Children's Hospital Ride Part 5

Part 1
When the sun finally came up, I began making phone calls again to the last numbers I had on my list of Backcountry Horsemen. Again and again I found myself talking to people who weren't anywhere near my area.

My very last call turned out to be to the director of the Capital Hills Riders. While he was unable to help with a search because he had to work, he did give the phone number of someone very near the park.

He also told me he had lost horses a couple of different times at this location. The man said that his two horses had run off on a lark just like Dandy and that by morning both of them were tired of the game and ready to come home. He figured Dandy was probably trapped somewhere unable to figure out his way back.

He also thought if you had to loose one this was sure the best place to do it. Because the trails are ridden so extensively sooner or later someone was bound to find my horse. The only problem was I didn't think my horse had gone the direction of the trails, whether or not he would find his way to them was a big question. Even this man admitted that could be a big problem.

Finishing up that call, I moved onto the number he had given me. This time I was relieved to reach someone who thought she could help. She was going to make some phone calls to see if she could round up some others to come search for my horse.

In the meantime, there were still signs to be put out for the ride. Lilli had not gotten them done the night before and she was pushing me to go along. Reluctantly, I rode with her placing directional signs along the rode leading to our location. The whole time I struggled with my sense of responsibility for this darn ride and worrying about my horse.

About half way through posting our signs I got a call back from Cindy from the Backcountry Horsemen. She had five horse and rider teams that would be coming our way between 9 and 9:30. Finally I knew I had searchers coming who had experience doing this kind of thing and who knew the area like the back of their hands.

Not long after Colleen called and she was on her way into the gun club. Crystal Baker was not far behind and she had others following her. We would have about ten horse and rider combinations searching for my gelding. I was breathing a little better but still scared to death after all of this we would not find him.

By the time we got back to the gun club, Lilli was still trying to get me to help with more signs but I bailed. As soon as I saw Colleen I flagged her down to get a ride and told Lilli she was just going to have to go up to the clubhouse and get one of the other Daffodil members to help. I had to be at the basecamp for our search. I was suprised that she was so adamant that as long as I had my cell phone I was the base camp but I wasn't buying it. I was going back to the last place I had seen my horse.

We got the girls up and checked the other horses. Legs needed more food and water and so did I. Once that was taken care of I went looking for Colleen. She had been behind our campsite and had spotted tracks she thought might have been Dandy. The only problem was she lost them in the brush.

Once Rachel was dressed, the three of us went to the last place she had seen the horse as he ran away from her. As we were standing there talking we were all looking around for places he could have gone. The brush was dense and there was a huge pile of downed trees right in front of us.

Just about at the same time as Rachel said, "There he is!"
I spotted the gelding behind that pile of trees. He was stretching up as far as he could to look over at us. We could tell by the look on his face, he was equally glad to see us!!

I called his name and he began talking back to me. You could just tell from the tone and all his talking he was telling us he had had quite a night. Afraid that he might decide to move, I looked around for the closet route to him. That meant climbing through a barbed wire fence around the mound of trees and back through more of the barbed wire fence.

Dandy followed me with his eyes turning to face me as I worked my way around to him. Thankfully he wasn't moving from that spot he just didn't want to let me out of his sight.

I walked up to him carefully reaching for his halter. I didn't breathe a sigh of relief until I knew I had him. But even then, I didn't trust that it was over. Not until we had the horse safely back in camp would I believe this nightmare was over.

Looking around I couldn't even figure out how he had gotten here. There was not an obvious route just lots of downed brush and trees and overgrowth. Rachel is the one who figured how to get to us. Once I saw her approaching I began walking the horse towards her.

Even after we got out from behind the huge pile of trees I still wasn't sure about the way back to camp but Rachel knew exactly where she was. So she led the way and Colleen, Dandy and I followed.

I had Colleen take my cell to begin calling the searchers off. Just as she placed her first call, Crytal called in on her cell. She was already on sight. I laughed as Colleen called the gentleman who answered Cindy's phone Cindy. It really showed how stressed we all had been. He said he'd call the searchers off and he knew they'd be glad to hear we'd found our horse.

Not until we got back to camp and I had a leadrope on him and he was safely tied did I begin to check him over to see if he was all right. He had a cut on his left front pastern, a hole torn on the inside of his blanket and rub marks on his face from his halter. He must have gotten caught many times through the night and pulled himself free.

The horse was also badly sucked up. It was clear he'd had a long hard night. Crystal gave him banamine and we withheld food until we knew that he was drinking well. We would watch him over the next couple of hours to see if it was even reasonable to use him to take down the markers from the trail ride. There was one thing we were all clear on............Dandy was definitely grounded!

To be continued.............

The cocky foal in the picture of above. That would be Dandy. If anyone has any questions how this horse could have run off away from the other horses, just look at that attitude! That is why!! lol

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  1. Awwww...cute picture. He sure was a cute baby!! Glad you guys found Dandy!! That's a relief! Hope all is well with him and you weren't too tough with his grounding! ;) LOL!

  2. They can be such brats at times can't they? I'm glad he turned out to be okay.

    I can't wait to hear more of the story though. :)

  3. WHAT a sassy boy! Sheesh, I cannot believe he actually stayed away all night - I know he probably got caught on a bunch of things, but still, I can't believe he went the far that quickly without any other horses along! I guess he won't ever do that again, though... glad he's safe! :-)

  4. Dandy is certainly a dandy! I'm so happy he wasn't seriously injured. The hole in his blanket stopped my heart.
    I'm anxious to hear now how the ride proceeded.

  5. What a story! Goodness! You have as many adventures as the people climbing Mt. Everest (and you tell your stories better).

    He was such a cute foal. Great photo.

    I can't believe he had so many entanglements during the night and wasn't badly hurt. So glad he was smart enough to stand still and wait for you to rescue. Can't wait to read the next installment!

  6. Geez, all of you were right on this post, you must have really been cying to know what happened to this horse lost in the woods! LOL Sorry about the cliffhangers, it must be part of my nature....

  7. Well, I am finally caught up on your stories, and thank goodness Dandy was found as soon as possible! and that he stayed still til you got a hold of him. I wonder what caused him to run off like that. I don't think I would of gotten any sleep knowing he wasn't with the rest of the crew, and that he was somewhere in the woods. I sure hope he is alright now, looking forward to reading more.

  8. My studying is going much better today now that I am not worried about Dandy lost in the woods ;)

    Great posts! I look forward to seeing how your ride goes...

  9. I have no clue why Dandy decided to run off, only that he did, the dirty little bugger. Sure made me worry.

    julia, I'm glad your studying is going better, wouldn't want to be the cause of you sucking down more than your alloted number of candy cigarettes. lol

  10. MiKael, I started jogging today, so that should balance out any candy cigarette consumption.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog! As for my other blog, I had someone (I assume from my class) say some pretty rude comments about me (and my blog) in the comments of one of my friend's blogs, so I decided to play it safe and shut down my new blog :) Things are going well, though, thanks for asking!

  11. Glad everything is OK :) Great blog! And thank you for stopping by mine!

  12. Hi, You recently visited my Blog and were very kind and supportive with our family's efforts at living our dreams. Thank you!

    We just bought our first horses and are so excited and a bit nervous, too. I'm looking forward to reading more on your terrific Blog soon.