Case in point #3:
Two If By Sea
90 % of the horsewomen I know keep an extra set of riding essentials in their vehicle: breeches or jeans, socks, shirt, jacket…occasionally an extra helmet and boots in the trunk. We’re ready for that riding emergency.
What riding emergency?
Helllooooo. Sitting in Starbucks, sipping our lattes, minding our own business. All of a sudden, Paul Revere gallops up, collapses, and says “I can’t go on, my heart…”
That riding emergency.
We will snatch his lanterns, mount up (first checking his horse’s hydration and heart rate), and then RIDE to save the country from the British. (Sorry UK, we really like you guys now.) Fortunately, most of our cell phones have navigators in them, so we can thumb in “bell tower” and get directions to the nearest one while galloping. You do all text and ride, right? I thought so.
One If By Land
Shaun beat me to the gym after work. She asked me if I could drop my ipod off, so she’d have some music to sweat by. (I was on my way home to change.) Rats. I have the iPod with me. In Shaun’s world, the gym is on the way home. In my world, I have to double back. (I don’t know who is right.) I knew if I went to the gym and then home, my body would believe it had already worked out, and fall into a state of zombie-like inertia. Gym? What gym?
I run the ipod into the gym. Shaun thanks me profusely.
On the way back to the car, my inner drill sergeant says: Jane! In 15 minutes you’ll be on the couch in pajamas watching reruns of “The Ace of Cakes”. She flashes me the memory photo of Bella lifting half of Hudson’s body weight. Dang it all! What if I don’t WANT to be inspired?
I don’t care if you’re inspired. You are going IN, she says. Minimum: 30 minutes, elliptical. Period. Hut. Hut! Slacks? What rule says you can’t workout in slacks?
That would be: the I’d Like To Not Look Stupid rule.
I rummage through my riding emergency bag, whip out pull-on breeches and clean T-shirt, change in the car. Ha!. I look just like the spandex clad gym rats, except for the knee patches and orange/green stained T-shirt. You know we are all just giant napkins for our horses.
When I walk back in 5 minutes later, Shaun says “Weren’t you just wearing… I thought you were going…? “
“Nah”, I say, “I keep these in the car for…”
“…riding emergencies”, she says.
I think she’s getting the hang of this Be Prepared thing.
Case in point #4:
Thanks to Mr. Chips caused emergencies, I always kept an extra halter and lead behind the seat of my truck, should I ever be driving down the interstate and come across a horse haltering emergency. What are the odds? Right. Zero.
We were on a leisurely afternoon drive up Highway 1, along the California coast. Steep curves and switchbacks, with sheer cliff on the western side, no guard rails. I round a blind curve to find the road filled with 2-year-old steers, and 5 or 6 stopped cars. I look up at the incline next to the road. Downed barbed wire fence. Cars from the opposite direction are honking (not particularly helpful with bovines). The car behind us stopped. I opened my door. Shaun said, panicked, “What are you doing!?!” She’s a city girl. To her, this was roughly equal to stepping into a lake full of piranha while bleeding.
I direct the driver behind us to flag down the following cars so none of us would get rear-ended. Back at the truck, I say to Shaun “Lean forward”. She gets out to help traffic guy. I flip the seat forward, and pull out the emergency lead rope and halter. Unclip the lead, buckle the halter. A young guy gets out of his car on the opposite side. He looks scared. There’s a pretty girl in the passenger seat. Thank god for guys who want to impress. The cows aren’t too far from the opening. A few have already become nervous and headed back toward the fence line. I hand him the halter. “We’re going to herd them back into the field.” He starts to raise his arm like he’s going to beat them to death with the halter.
“Wait!”, I say, “they’ll scare and scatter. We’re going to move slow…follow my lead, and whap the halter lightly on your thigh if a cow doesn’t move. “
I was counting on these steers having been herded before. Lucky me: they had. I double the lead rope and slowly hold out my arms as a visual block. Halter guy does the same thing. I whistle that peculiar whistle I heard cowboys use on the cattle ranch, and say firmly, “git on there, git on now.” The closest steer stares at me indulgently, chewing and flicking his ears: amateur. Fine. I slap the rope on my thigh, whistle sharper, and brilliantly yell “SHOO” instead of Git. The steer comes to attention, turns around and walks toward the downed fence. Halter guy picks up on this, and pretty soon we’re both whistling, yelling “Shoo!”, slapping ourselves, and using our body angles to tell the steers where to go. It works. So much for git along little doggie.
As the last steers make their way to the break, a big beefy guy jogs up the highway, huffing, swearing, and winding through the stalled cars. He’s carrying a roll of barbed wire and a come-along. I see wire cutters in his back pocket. Clearly the ranch owner. He sees the last of the steers meandering up to the pasture, picks up a rock, emits a piercing whistle, throws the rock, hits the steer on the rump, and yells “Git along there, you God danged little !@#$%*&. GIT. Git git git ON now!
The steers break into a clumsy gallop, jump the downed wire, and zoom into the pasture like little rockets, as far as possible from the opening.
The owner looks disgusted. He spits and wipes the sweat off his forehead. He saw us herding, and steps forward to thank the person obviously responsible. I open my mouth to say “it was no big deal”.
He slaps halter guy on the back, saying “You probably saved some lives, son. And I don’t mean my @&*()@#!! cows. That was quick thinking.” He glances over at me. “You too, missy. Thanks for helping out.”
He trudged up to the fence line, assuming the truck belonged to the guy, and the convertible with waiting friend was mine.
Halter guy sheepishly hands over the halter and tries to apologize. “You did great”, I say. “Don’t worry about it. They’re in, that’s all that matters.”
How much you want to bet that guy did NOT add a rope to his emergency travel kit? I’m telling you, few people are more prepared than horse people.
I can tell from the comments on the last post, you are all in the Be Prepared category. (BTW, now I want a knife like Bella’s to add to my emergency kit. In case there’s a rope emergency.)
So what are YOUR Be Prepared emergency stories? We want to know!