Thursday, December 11, 2014

SDEC Winter Show Pt 3

I forgot to add this in part 1 of the adventure that when we got back from dropping Bert off on Saturday night, there were goats in his stall. 

Uncatchable, bolting about, silly goats. So we wrastled them back into their pasture by their horns, all while sliding about in post-horse-bath mud. It felt important to share this.  

Show's over. The horses are exhausted.

The kids are also tired. Everyone's been here for many hours. It's time to load our things up and go home!

I run back to the farm with just the Bertasaurus before the show is totally over - he may be a pain to load but he hauls nicely and it's just one horse once I get back to the farm. He unloads, I leave one working student with a pile of supplies to put away and go to leave the farm.

This part will be difficult to explain for those who have never been to my facility. It's basically a mountain with a plateau for the barn, a plateau for the arena, and a plateau for the roundpen. Everything else is... well.... mountainous.

Especially the driveway. Last week was awfully rainy, as the Bay Area natives will know. The truck I was driving didn't have super great tires on. It had been tricky getting the trailer turned around and off the property all weekend because I was leery of particularly steep ascents.

There was a lesson going on, so the path I'd been taking (which travels alongside the arena) was sort of out. The instructor encouraged me to take this other, less flat route to get down to the highway. I made it about 3/4ths of the way up the hill before the whole rig stopped climbing. I backed down, managed to turn around without spooking any of the horses or backing straight into the arena, and go back to SDEC to collect my final four.

 I load Camou and Andy. They're happy to be done, jump in the trailer. I only get ever so slightly off track trying to put some diesel in the truck. You sort of take gas stations for granted when you're not driving a diesel, I think.

Camou and Andy unload at home nicely.

Back at SDEC, I load Danny.

Danny's been in the front part of this trailer twice with me hauling him. He fits fine. But for some reason, after a long day of work, I could not fit him behind the barrier of the slant. I clucked and encouraged him to step further up, but even when he was totally smashed in there, the dividing bar was really wedged into his hindquarters. I start to question my judgement. Was it like this on the way here? Certainly not. It was fine. So I pull him out of the trailer and put Jimmy in front. Slender Arab that he is, he fits just fine. We put Danny in the back. I'm not thrilled to have the greater weight in the back of the trailer but honestly he's in the trailer and we're almost done. I was happy.

Until I make the mistake of pulling into the driveway without enough momentum to propel us to the top of the driveway. We're in 4WD-low, we're really trying to climb up that slippery, dewy hill. But once again, I lose traction. I find a way to park in a relatively safe spot and we go to unload the horses so I have less weight to drag up the hill. Danny hops out, but the incline somehow overwhelmed Jimmy and he basically slid, while scrambling frantically, out of the trailer and onto Danny.

Ugh. But E caught hold of him, I closed up the trailer, and went to try the hill again.

Nothing. Could not get that rig up that hill. I was so worried about sliding into trees or even back into the highway. Eventually I finagled a way to turn the rig around and ended up back on highway 17 doing a loop all the way around so I could approach the hill with more momentum.

Heading down the hill, someone has parked their broken down car half on the shoulder and half in the right hand lane. They're around a right hand turn, so it was luck and timing that enabled me to get around them without hitting them. That would've been a bad end to what otherwise was a pretty good day.

Coming up to the turnoff for my farm, I shift back into 4WD and accelerate. The truck roars. The rig leans around the curve, powers up the hill. It starts to slow but we're still climbing. The ascent lessens a little so the rig maintains it's speed.

And then finally, breathtakingly, the rig crests the hill. I let off the gas, pull up to where I want to park the rig, and jog the rest of the way up the driveway to check on E and the horses. 


  1. glad you all made it through without accident!! that sounds, uh, *stressful* to say the least!