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Monday, August 31, 2009

HOM: The Bob III

It was an educational week. I learned that the weather was cold enough to make ice in shady spots. I made this discovery when I was on a log and part way across a creek. I learned that trying to catch your breath while sitting in knee-deep ice water was hard. I learned that being soaking wet from the shoulders down made hurrying a necessity if you wanted to get back to camp and a fire before your teeth chattered out of your head. Then I learned that if you stood your boots too close to the fire, the leather laces turned brittle and unusable. And I learned that Jim thought all of this was much funnier than I did. We both learned that carrying a rifle on a sling over the shoulder while riding was extremely difficult, and that wedging your head and a shoulder through it so it rode diagonally on your back kept it in place but was awkward & uncomfortable to the extreme. My equine education edged along. I lost arguments with both Randa and Gurly and found out that they lacked patience with a klutz. I was mounting and got one foot in the stirrup and the other tangled in the slicker I had tied behind the saddle. Randa gave me about three seconds to to straighten things out and then took off. NOT walking! I stayed aboard, thanks to the handy saddle horn and a death grip. Then I tried to compensate for the short-legged-rider/tall horse syndrome. I was on the lead horse when the morning coffee caught up to me, so I dismounted while Jim stayed aboard his horse. Since the trail was on a sidehill and downhill was to the left, when I was ready to remount I turned my horse around so I was on the uphill side and had a shorter step up. My horse wasn't particularly happy facing in what she figured was the wrong direction so as soon as my foot hit the stirrup she spun 180 degrees. This resulted in my going up on her left side, tipping over her back and rolling off her right side, to land exactly where I'd started from on the sidehill. It took a while to get going again -- Jim was laughing too hard to ride. I laughed too -- a few years later. Tweren't funny at the time. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)