|Friday October 19 2007
"Can my friend Tamara come here too?" Connie asked. "She rides! She rode with me in Honduras!"
"Sure, as long as she's not a diva!" In other words, no whining about accommodations (no four poster beds here), food (how could you, with the Trader Joe's delicacies and a fridge full of food in the house!), horses, or scenery.
"Oh, she's not! We've travelled together, camped together, she rode with me in Honduras, she's done the owl job with me." Ah - if she's been on some spotted owl hikes, she must be pretty tough.
So, Tamara jetted in from Seattle this morning, we picked her up, and brought her to the Owyhee Boonies. While she didn't check in four bags - two of them full of food (she was on a prop plane), she did manage to smuggle some more Trader Joe's goodies in her one checked-in bag (eark chocolate edamame, wild rice, tortellini, dried fruit, ginger snap cookies!).
Despite the dark heavy-laden clouds (we hadn't seen the mountains all day) and the 80% chance of rain, we bundled up, and saddled up three horses, throwing Tamara up on Quickie, who is maybe the best guest horse.
Tamara was having a wee bit of trouble at first... didn't really know how to post, her legs went way back, toes went down, was pitched a bit forward, was kind of hanging on to the reins for balance, was stiff, and was getting thrown about at the trot. And Quickie has a big trot.
Tamara didn't look too worried, but Connie did. She gave Tamara a few instructions, had her trot around a bit more, then we lit right out on the trail, Connie leading the way on Finneas, Tamara next, me following on Jose Viola. I was kind of wondering why we left so fast when Tamara wasn't quite that comfortable... and Connie later said she thought she heard the door open and was afraid Steph was going to step out and say, "Hey - I think you better not take Tamara out on my horses!" So she wanted to get out of there and on the trail fast.
Once we got down in Blonde Cow Wash, Connie didn't look back for a while - she picked up a trot and kept going. I was watching Tamara ahead of me, but very soon she looked like she was quite comfortable in the saddle, and I said so. I think it was only about then Connie dared to look back. She said later, "I was thinking, Ohmigod, I've got three days left here to ride and I'm going to have to WALK the whole time!"
We didn't hear any whimpering from Tamara, so Connie kept up a brisk trot on Finneas up ahead. Really, from my view, Tamara had adjusted quickly to riding. "So when did you ride last?" I asked her.
"In Honduras! Two years ago!"
"And once more, for about an hour, a month ago."
Oh! Tamara must have been starting to hurt very quickly, because really, you don't use some of those horse riding leg muscles doing anything else, but she never uttered a complaint, about her horse (we didn't tell her till we got back that while Quickie may have been the least complicated horse to ride, she was the very roughest), or the stormy weather, strong cold wind and some spitting raindrops. Well, she did ask once, "Is it okay that my legs are numb?" "Oh, sure! I wouldn't worry about it!" She really looked quite comfortable in the saddle. I think there's a real horsewoman in there.
We took her about 12 miles and we trotted much of it, no mercy for the person who hadn't really had her legs beaten on like that except for one day two years ago. And she really looked like she enjoyed it. We took her along the Rim Trail, great views down into Hart Creek, with the stormy, snow-covered but still mostly obscured Owyhee Mountains in front of us.
Wait till we put her on a smooth horse and take her on a ride on a beautiful warm sunny day, which is what Sunday is shaping up to be!
Of course, we'll have to see if Tamara can walk in the morning.