April 11 2022
by Jeanette Mero
What a great weekend. Even though Reyna gave a nice recap, I thought I’d share some pics and videos. It was a brand new ride about 20 miles east of Arroyo Grande. I’m always left feeling so grateful and appreciative to be allowed the privilege of riding in such pristine, wild country. It was indeed all up or down, but that’s normal for our mountain trained horses. Huasna is a private working ranch of some 58,000 acres and the Angus cattle were some of the best I’ve seen.
As Reyna said we had a very successful weekend. We won both days, but they can’t allow ties, so Lena got the wins and Reyna showed Clippie for BC both days winning BC on Day one. We jogged them both post ride and Clippie by far looked the soundest so I told Reyna it was her and Clip’s turn to shine.
It’s been such a tough journey with this talented half sister to Lena. Clip has struggled with feet and shoeing issues and has spent much of the last two years on and off sound, mostly off. After yet again more lameness work ups, and diagnostic X-rays - we made some big commitments, and big changes to her shoeing and we are so very grateful to Cody Hill for getting this mare finally going in the right direction. It’s clearly well worth the long drive and time it takes to get the mares to him for his expertise. A talented farrier is worth their weight in gold! Without them we can’t even begin to be successful in this sport.
As for the spill Lena and I took - well it wasn’t pretty. We had done a great job dodging those darn ground squirrel holes all weekend, as the ranch was dotted with them everywhere. We were on the last section, of the last loop, on the last day, when I looked down and suddenly there was a dam hole right under Lena and I. It all happened so fast I really don’t know what happened other than I tried to jerk her up over it and someone she did manage to not stick her front leg right down in it, but she went down on her knees I think catching part of a foot in it. It was pretty ugly for about three seconds or so and I wasn’t sure she wasn’t going to summersault over top of me, or just snap her front leg off in the hole. But I got clear sort of, bashing my face, taking a hoof, or a knee, or a back leg, or something, to my lower back and somehow we both survived. As I tried to stand up, bloody faced, with broken sunglasses and a bit dizzy- my first question to Reyna was “is Lena ok????!!!!!”
Of course Reyna’s first question to me was - “what day is it, do you know where you are?” Good on her for checking to make sure I wasn’t knocked out or suffering from a concussion.
I wasn’t and all I could think about was my mare, who’s been the gift of a lifetime, and how she surely must be broken and wrecked. But by the grace of God, and probably her athleticism, she only had some light scraping on her knees. She was completely sound. And stayed completely sound. If there had even been the slightest off step with Lena we would have quit. But it appeared thankfully I caught the brunt of it all and my mare was fine. After I had a chance to walk a bit and clear my head, I was able to get back in the saddle. I wasn’t dizzy anymore and I could actually still post and carry on at a trot. So off we went and finished up the last 12 miles. Reyna was scolding me most of the way, worried about me and wanting me to take a Rider Option. I didn’t remember till later on that at just the last ride we had come upon a rider that got into a wreck and was knocked out cold and suffered head trauma. So Reyna was understandably worried and peeved at me, especially since I guess from her view the wreck was quite impressive. All’s well that ends well though, no head trauma, no broken legs on Lena, and two mares that are training up very nicely in preparation for Tevis!