I can now say I am the proud owner of a Tevis buckle. I got
my first buckle this last Sunday, riding the best horse I've
ever had the honor to ride, Sir Galahad, a 16 hand, 1000 pound
bay, blm mustange stud. We crossed that finish line at 3:28am
after a very long hot 22 hour ride along the Sierra Foothills.
Last year this great horse and I gave it a shot. We had won our
Tevis entry at the AERC Convention, so what did we have to
lose? We crossed the finish line at 5:38am, Sunday morning. In
my heart we finished, but just too late to get a buckle. This
year I wasn't about to let the clock win again, if I had
anything to do about it. At the same time I wasn't about to
hurt my horse to beat a clock. The entire day I was sponging
Gali, throwing water on him, giving e-lytes and just really
keeping an eye on him through the ride.
I had a schedule in my head of where I wanted to be and what
time, but for anyone that rides Tevis you now how that goes out
the window. There were a few parts of the rides I was worried
about. The Bogs and the canyons. We beat both of them. I was so
thankful that I had equithotic shoes on going over all the
rocks, not one time did my horse slip on the granite!
We got into Robinson's at 10:30am, got Gali vetted on in, then
before I knew it I was being shoved back on him by my crew and
told to get moving. Gali was hot at this point and the going
was slow. A few miles just down the road there appeared to be a
Tevis Oasis. A private family had hoses, water, gatorade for
us. Talk about neat people! They took a lot of time and hosed
Gali, got him cooled off and we had a great conversation with me
telling them that Gali used to be wild, he was captured,
adopted and now here he is and yes he is still a stallion.
(They asked what the brand was on his neck, they got the long
version of what it was, lol).
I head off to the canyons, somewhere in here is where I met the
most wonderful lady, Bobbie Pomroy whom was riding her sisters
horses, Hopper. Turns out Bobbie and I were both riding for our
loved ones that were taken with cancer. We both made a promice
to our loved ones that we would do what ever we could to get
through that ride in their honor. And by gosh, we did!
Bobbie and I rode through the darkness of the canyons together.
It was so dark we couldn't see the ears of our horses. I didn't
want to snap glowsticks unless I had to. So we rode that trail,
just trusting our horses. They never let us down! Her little
mare and Gali my wonderful stud did so well together. I am sure
that Hopper earned a whole lot of respect from Bobbie that
night on the dark trail.
Before I knew it we came into Fransicos'. I have never ate a
better tasting peanut butter and honey sandwich. But, Gali ate
mine! I had to go back and get another one, mmmmm yummy. Gali
trudged onto the river crossing, me talking the whole way. I am
sure Bobbie was about ready to shoot me, shut up CHAR!!! We
step into the river and swoosh, my calves are wet and I ride a
16 hand horse. I hope Bobbie has a snorkle.
We cross the river, climb up the other side and Gali knows one
thing, HOME... He wasn't about to let the clock get him this
year either. I cover his rump at the Quarry, we sure don't want
to have him stiffen up here of all places. He grabs some food
and off we go, back into the darkness, heading for home. We trot
most of the way in and before I know it, there it is the lights
of the Overlook. I have tears in my eyes. I can't not even begin
to tell Gali how brave and gallant he is. I bend over and hug
him, pet him, tell him how good he was for me, he never quit
and I could never be more proud of him.
We head off to take our victory lap around the stadium. There
is a bond that I share with the speical horse that no one will
ever know. I can't imagine my life without Gali in it. He isn't
an arab, he isn't small and sleek, but he is a proud 16 hand,
1000 pound mustang stallion that had something to prove and he
Gali... thank you for giving me a gift, my first Tevis buckle.