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The first trip, I was asked often what my cause was, that one I really didn't have one, but now I do. I am riding for awareness, not just about Uterine Cancer, but our health in general. We know ourselves better than any doctor, stand up and fight for yourself, it may just save your life.
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

All Hail the Queen...

Those of us that ride all know that our horsey companions are wonderful, we would do anything for them and they for us. The bond formed between horse and rider grows strong through the years and we become a part of each other, loving them more each day, although, even the most wonderful of them has their moment of bovine behavior. At some time, during a ride our steady true trail master does something odd, crazy or just plain stupid. You could be riding down the trail, having just come over a pass in let's say, Mt Hood, jumped onto the old Barlow Rd and wound down miles of twisting, rutted dirt roads, crossed rickety bridges, carefully cleared tangled brush piles and then it happens. The amazing partner suddenly decides that the chipmunk running across the road is actually a fire breathing dragon, cleverly disguised as a cute furry critter. That calm, dependable champion of your safety, decides that spinning around on a 10 inch section of trail, with, of course, a 45 foot drop to the river below you, is the only recourse it has. Scrambling backwards, the bank crumbling under her formerly sure feet. You hall on the reins, trying to regain calm and solid ground. Raising your voice, while trying not to freak her out further, shouting words of encouragement, like "easy now," and "its ok, just a chipmunk." Your stomach drops as you feel her slide sideways off the path and with a momentous effort, you wrench her head around, kick her hard in the side and bellow "KNOCK IT OFF YOU COW!" It has happened, you have played the "cow" card. For some reason that particular word has the amazing effect making your cow, er, horse, regain her senses. I don't know what it is about it, maybe its the affront to their sensibilities. Possibly the fear that some other horse will hear them referred to by that term and mock them. I don't know, but it works. Now I hate to admit it, but my dear and beautiful girl has been christened with that term more times than I can count and usually after she regains her senses is rather offended. She sulks for a while, reluctantly forgiving me while giving me woeful looks. I feel bad, maybe I over reacted, I don't know. This trip has revealed some interesting facts about my dear loved horse. First, I turned her out in a pasture with 4 other horses and 14 yearling steer. Who did she choose to hang out with, the steer, interesting. Second, while riding to the Canby fairgrounds, we passed a field with 3 young calves all of whom ran after us, mooing at Strip like they would their mother (this seemed to offend her greatly). The third occurrence came as a total surprise to me. My shimmering example of horseyosity has always acted like she didn't like cows, wanted nothing to do with them, even "spooking" at them. Then, one day, riding away from the Mountain, I came upon a field full of cattle, easily 200 of them. Strip tossed her head up, snorted and blew. The first of the cattle looked up and stopped eating. One by one the whole field followed suit until eventually our progress towards them was being intently watched by hundreds of eyes. I tried not to tense up, wondering if I was in for a monster spook. Then it happened. As we started passing them they started calling, bellowing more like and one by one they began to follow us. I just stared at them, the pack growing steadily all bellowing at Strip. The Princess of Purity was looking around, I think searching for other horses, and snorting angrily at the cattle, "hush up, shhhh" Her secret was out. My perfect example of equine beauty, was the Queen of the Cows. Honestly I am not really surprised and now when she does something extremely silly I no longer tell her that her "Arab" is showing, I say "Oops was that an udder dropping?" So much more satisfying!

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