Richard just purchased a new red truck, a Ford, 4door diesel. This is his pride and joy. Often Richard went with us to these ride weekends, he came to enjoy the company of other non riders. Richard has always been willing to help with water buckets and holding a horse while a rider went off to eat something or run to the bathroom. What a great pit crew he became for all of us!
This weekend he was unable to go. It was my daughter-in-law, Tere and my friend, Beth and myself. We were taking the brand new truck to it's first ride, it was only two weeks old. The ride was in Mohican State Forest, about three hours from home. The truck pulled the goose-neck trailer with three horses perfectly. When we arrived to the site of the ride and had to pull the rig into a hayfield. Sounds simple, but the entrance to the field was just after a curve in the road and when you pulled into the field it was long downward slope. We circled the trucks and trailers that were already there and came up beside them, facing out. Perfect spot, not far off the lane-way. The field was rough as rocks, it was dry and bumpy. I remember how difficult it was to put electric fence posts in the ground it was that hard.
Camp was set up, horses were happy and eating. Vetting went well for two of the three horses, mine was slightly lame and not allow to participate. We visited with friends, had a ride meeting and went to bed. That is when it happened. Far off we could hear thunder and soon we could see lightening. Then the rain began.
It wasn't a gentle summer rain, it was a down pour........ Sometimes when you are inside a tent or trailer it is very pleasant to hear the rain overhead. Not this night. The dread of riding wet slippery trails is all you can think about. Sleep was not easy.
Getting up to saddle wet, cold horses in the rain is not fun. Doing a 30 mile ride in the rain is not fun. You'd think I'd have been glad not to be riding this day, but the truth is all I could do was worry about the riders out there. What they must be going through. I found out later that trees fell in the pine forest as they rode the wooded trail. The wind and rain continued the entire time they were riding. I don't remember who won the ride or even how my two riders did. I remember the rain, it rained 5 inches in 24 hours. Not one rig was going to get out of that hayfield without being pulled out by a tractor! Good grief, I had a brand new truck.......... what was I going to tell Richard when we returned with mud all over his precious truck?
There was nothing to do but call him, he and Ryan came up that night to oversee the truck and trailer being pulled out the next morning. I was so glad he came to witnesss this mess in the hayfield.