Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The last Western Mojave xpride (Road to Tevis #88) - Jessica Black

JessicaEBlack.org - Full Story

by Jessica Black
March 9, 2023

Last Thursday I hurried home from my morning lecture at Bakersfield College so I could load my horses in the trailer and head to what would turn out to be the last Western Mojave xpride. We’d had a week of rain and snow, and Hwy 58 had been closed, but it was open by the time I got home. Everything was muddy. My horses had to slosh through a big mud puddle to get into the trailer. I had to put the truck in 4WD just to pull it out of its current living quarters in our old arena. It would be nice to be in the (comparatively) dry environment of the desert.

Thursday: arrival

I got to ride camp at the Trona Valley Golf course shortly after 4pm. There were not a lot of rigs, so it was easy to park where Jazz and Fantazia would be able to see other horses all the time. (Important because one stays at the trailer while I ride the other!) It was a relatively warm, sunny, and still afternoon. The lack of wind meant I’d be able to light a camp fire and cook my tritip… and besides, too much wind is crazy-making. It can be one of the downsides of the desert, relentless wind. Pre-ride

Right after setting up hay and water, I saddled Jazz and used him to pony Fantazia for a pre-ride. Usually I do it the other way around, but I had ridden Fantazia Sunday. Jazz had not been worked for nearly two weeks. And he’s on the edge of fat whereas Fantazia is far too thin. Jazz is getting a Western saddle on shorter rides, and I used one for the pre-ride. The weight is good exercise and it gives me greater stability when he pulls one of his monster spooks. It’s a challenge to ride a big spook while ponying another horse! The additional weight was especially good because I didn’t have a lot of time to ride...

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