So everyone knows my driving time is limited and we need to make things count. Part of which is getting Kat ready for the CDE in Sonoita in October. The marathon course is between 8-12km or roughly 5-7.5 miles... The Darby course in Paulden was only about 1km and there were times I felt him start to slightly putter out. If we are going to give it a shot, I want us both to be ready for it and in shape to do the job.
When we were in Coolidge watching the CDE last March, there was a horse on course that the TD (Technical Delegate) 'waved off'. The horse was visibly, thoroughly 'spent'. S/He had no more to give, but kept trying anyways, as we all know horses will do. Then and there, I vowed if only to myself- I NEVER want to be That horse! I hope I have the knowledge of my horse or ponys' fitness level that nobody Ever has to step in and tell me to stop and go back to the barns.
Last weekend I got up early and headed out on Sunday morning. This weekend I tried for both days. What was I thinking? Saturday mornings are not a good time for this. Not with a fresh newbie. We worked out back a little before heading out this time. I let him go into his trot and burn off some steam before we headed down the driveway.
We got part way down the street and here comes a woman on a horse. Not knowing how her horse would react, I stopped Kat before they got too close, dismounted the cart and stood by his head, where I waited as they approached and went on by. I didn't need to set her horse off, possibly get her dumped and as a reaction set Kat off too. We're still working on some things, I just really don't need the excitement.
We reached the end of the street and made the corner. About the same time we did, the garbage truck did too and was headed right at us. Insert swearing here. I stopped Kat, got out and stood by his head again. Garbage truck went by, he could care less- the driver (and Kat) so I hopped back in and we were on our way. Again the sprinklers were on and there was a mud puddle. And Kat refused to go in it. Again. Another day little man, another day. Cars were coming and we needed to move on.
We got around the corner, down the street and were about halfway through our trip, when I looked up and seen the garbage truck coming our way again. CRAP! So I pushed Kat to walk on, speed things up a little and hoped we would make the next street and be able to turn- getting out of the path of the garbage truck. No such luck and it seems like he is speeding up too. WTH? Really? Are you freakin kidding me??? I reached the corner as the garbage truck was fast approaching. There is an irrigation ditch- with water in it (that Kat heard and wasn't happy about) so again, I decided to stop and get out of the cart. Better safe than sorry.
It seems the garbage truck route has them turning down the same street I was hoping to 'escape' on. Awesome? Hahaha, NOT! I was kinda glad the truck got around the corner before us. No big deal, right? I hopped back into the cart, we were off again and made the corner- this time following the garbage man. We also made the corner in time to get off the road as a car was coming from behind us... Then they too made the corner and pulled up next to us.
My eyes were rolling and I was thinking, WTH is the deal today?!?! What is it with traffic? Note to self- Saturday mornings we need to go somewhere waaaaaay out in the desert where we have no distractions...
Back to the guy in the car, he has 3 little girls with him and he has a cart at home. He was wondering if I may be interested in buying it? I laughed a little when admitting, "I have four carts at home and only this one pony so far, that drives." He is asking a low price so I figure what does it hurt to look? Gave him directions to our house and off he went. As he left who do you think made the corner, heading our way yet AGAIN?
You bet. It was the damn garbage truck. I was giving him the stink eye too. I was not thrilled to see him and after crossing our path twice already and me getting out of the cart, I think the driver realized, (hopefully he was smart enough) my concern for the trucks size, the noise and everything that could go wrong.
I figured screw it. Kat has been unfazed so far so I just let him keep walking towards home. As the driver got closer the truck made some noise almost like he had hit the Jake brake or something. Kat was fine. He just kept on walking like a real trooper. I gave the driver another glare- through my sunglasses of course. Forgot I had them on and he couldn't see me too well.
It didn't bother Kat that another neighbor drove his truck past us coming up from behind, or that our neighbor at the end of the street was riding his horse at a jog, came from behind us and went on past, jogging along on the other side of the street... Kat just kept on walking as I breathed a few big sighs of relief that he was so good about it all. We went around the arena a few times after getting back and quit there. He was still a little fresh, but relaxed and happy to stop. It's good to know my pony handled it all so well and maybe a bit better than I did. :) Now we just have to work on our distances.