by Elicia Kamberg
March 19 2017
Rides of March might have been my craziest adventure yet. It's a long tale but quite entertaining.
Started out with a peaceful drive to Reno. Took the exit for the ride and went 15 miles looking for a turn with ribbons onto a dirt road. Along the drive I had seen single pink ribbons on the side of the road. Get to the mileage, see a sign saying public land access and a cluster of pink ribbons and pink spray paint on the road so I turned. First big mistake. Rutted road with two high tracks to drive on and a ft deep ruts on each side and in the middle. Though this was weird but it was marked so will go a bit further. Now there's no where to turn around, I continue in hopes that this is correct or I will find a spot to turn around and I come to a big washed out looking section. Hop out to look at it and yep, can't cross that, back to the truck to recess. Second mistake, trucks running and Aria jumped on the door and locked me out.
Nothing else to do but scream and walk up to the main road and look for help. Thankfully the rm saw my rig and texted for help, Wes and Dave to the rescue! They were incredible and Wes with a wood wedge and a wire clothes hanger got my truck unlocked and backed it down the road.
Next bad decision, I didn't want the horses in the rig backing down the road in case it ended up in a ditch or got stuck. So unload and I had seen trailers taking the turn several hundred yards down from this road. Thought well that looks close, I'll just walk them over the hill to camp while the guys get my rig out. Dave says go to the cattle guard, take a left and it's a mile to camp. Ok, off we go, take the left and a little walk. Nope! I was supposed to turn hard left and I took the middle trail and went 90 degrees left.
After about 5 miles I made it to the top of a ridge and was heading in the direction of the main road as I knew I was lost when flying to my rescue again... comes Dave in the razor. He tracked my footprints through the desert! We made it down to the jeep road the ride used and then I sat on the back of the razor and held on to the horses as they flew along trotting back to camp behind us.
Then to find my rig in camp. I'm so frazzled I can't find it and actually start to wonder if I am crazy when nope it's down the road and didn't make it quite to camp. Off Dave goes again, did I mention Dave Rabe is incredible! Delivers and parks my rig and were finally settled. I made it to the area at 12:30, it's now almost 5pm. I had plans to go for a short test ride as had lots of new gear but no time now.
So the insanity is done right??? No again. Morning of the ride and tack up and get ready. Think I should hop on and test my stirrups as I have only ridden in this saddle twice (I had been riding in another model owned by a friend and had just bought this one new sized for Apache) have new stirrups leathers, new fuzzies and a new girth. Hop up, he takes one step and immediately launches into the air bucking. I stayed on for one buck then fly off of course landing on my bad hip as always. I lay there and watch him continue to buck, Dave catches him and he still bucks a few more times in place. Side note: Dave was there the last time I fell off at Death Valley and caught my horse lol. The guy watching the whole thing said wow, for a little horse he can really buck. His forehead was almost touching the ground and his hind legs went straight up.
It's the girth, all that caused by using a split girth that the back strap sat 2in further back than a normal girth. That was my third really bad decision. I knew Apache had flank issues. He gets really nervous when I take my feet out of the stirrups. Poor guy was scared out of his wits and shaking. Maybe this time the impact of hitting the ground will knock my brain back in my head. Changed out his girth and hoped on and he's just fine. Not a single naughty behavior all day.
SO the GOOD NEWS is the ride was a success!!! Apache successfully completed his first 50 which was tough as was true GPS mileage and sand the whole way. He finished with a pulse of 56 and overall vet out with an A. As his longest previous ride was around 20 miles I was super impressed with his toughness and willingness to go all day and leave camp 3 times. He looked a bit shocked and dazed at the end not sure what just happened lol. Now for some peace and quiet at home. No adventures for a bit please!
Thank you to all my friends that came to the rescue. Wes Fletcher, Dave Rabe, Gordie Cowan and more :)