Monday, June 2, 2008


Melody... Oh, what a beautiful morning is what Marla sang as we left the Kingfisher Rodeo Arena! We left about 6:45 ish or 7:00 ish….It was so beautiful! The west side of Kingfisher is lined with trees and the wheat fields were visible between the trees. It was overcast and cool as we headed out…..Patriota and Little John were ready to go, and we were in “the zone”…I was going along great and it was so much fun to just be out in the early morning…We saw 3 deer off in an alfalfa field. The first 6 miles went by in 1 hour and 20 minutes….Whew! We thought that we would be in Watonga by noon……..But a terrible thing happened. We had gone another 2 ½ miles when all of a sudden Patriota stopped, and he just buckled and went all the way to the ground. I was flabbergasted! Shocked, scared, petrified, nervous, upset, worried are all words that come to mind. I was so afraid that something was really wrong with Patriota, and so I was so thankful when he got right up. So of course Marla called Steve right away and he came back….we started walking down the road to meet them. Patriota did not want to drink, which was very disturbing. But, he would eat some grass. Marla thought that he was probably dehydrated…..and after a great man, David Wilczek, from Loyal, stopped to see if we were ok. He gave us some numbers for the vet in Watonga. He even brought a syringe back out to us when we needed to give Patriota a shot before he got to the vet…THANK YOU SO MUCH! Thanks seems so inadequate for your kindness. So that brought me to riding Rocky!!! I had a hard time doing that! So at the next stop, Marla and I switched horses, and I rode Little John…..and we got along famously! We only had to cross one “scary” bridge…. I know he has to be tired. He has gone the whole way…..The rest of the time was a lot slower than the first 8 miles….BUT, WE MADE IT! Marla says that she was really proud of me that I got back on a horse after Patriota fell…..Oh yes, Marla was right….the vet says that he was dehydrated…He is doing lots better….We think he might be ready to go tomorrow….We will see….Thank you very much to the Vet in Watonga….Justin

Donna... I slept in until 8:00 this morning. After so much sun and not feeling well, we thought it best if I took a day off. I felt like a failure to begin with, but as the day wore on, I realized I was learning about a lot of things. You know the old saying, "when life hands you lemons, make lemonade." Patriota went down today after becoming fatigued. Melody started riding Rocky while Patriota finished taking the day off with me. She had already gotten used to riding Patriota, so it made her a little nervous to be riding Rocky. New horse, as well as one so BIG! Later she switched horses with Marla. I wondered how it would feel to ride Rocky after Marla "got him into shape." O.k. I know everyone is anxious to know what I learned today. I did get to go with Steve to the vet. It was interesting watching the whole check-over procedure. He felt his gums for wetness and color. He pinched his skin to check for elasticity. He even pinched his eyelids! I learned that even if a horse doesn't act lame it doesn't mean he's not feeling poorly. Patriota had a lot of twitching. She was given a muscle relaxer injection and some kind of oral stuff. I'll find out what the names are again. Horses have two sets of teeth. The front ones I understand do the ripping and the oodles of back ones do the grinding. They have something called floating, which I believe means they grind the back teeth down if they have become too pointy to chew. Horses give you a clue this needs to be done when they keep dropping their food. Another thing I learned is it is a very serious matter if a horse stops pooping. This requires a quick trip to the vet or it could be fatal. There is also a rub you can use on horses that also helps people with sore muscles. I understand it smells like fish and you can actually taste it after it has been rubbed down. Back to Patriota, we were advised to get some electrolytes and salt. He seemed to be back to his normal self by the end of the day. Yesterday we were talking about how surprised we were that only one person stopped to check on us at the side of the rode. Something you might expect in the city, not the country. Today we were reassured about our faith in people. When Patriota was fatigued, we realized we had no syringe to administer the muscle relaxer. One couple that had stopped earlier drove back to where we were and brought a syringe. Then when we went to see the vet, he agreed to meet us on his day off and he didn't charge a dime. He told the story of a man last summer knocking at his door. It was storming outside and the man asked if he had a place he and his horse could stay. The vet informed him he had a place for his horse. The man replied, "What's good enough for my horse is good enough for me", and proceeded to break open the hay and sleep with his horse. He was from Perkins and was heading to a ranching job in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
I was reminded again today that it takes longer to get to places on horseback than a car. It only took a few minutes to drive ahead to the next stopping point. I immediately started watching for the riders. It was about 45 minutes later that they showed up. I also know I missed seeing all the little things you notice on horseback. When Melody dismounted, I noticed her shirt was missing a few buttons. This as a result of sliding off her horse. She asked if this was why cowboys wore snaps on their shirts. Before anyone could answer, she said, "Oh, wait, cowboys know how to get off a horse!" Marla said she didn't think Melody would get back on a horse again after Patriota buckled. She was really happy when Melody got right back on a horse. Melody has good reason to be proud of herself. Another interesting observation about riding horses. The trip takes a little longer and you have plenty of time to talk. We started laughing when Melody asked Marla at the end of the day, "Did I tell you about when I was five years old..." Patriota looks to be feeling more like himself. We all arrived in one piece. All in all, it's been another successful day! Can't wait for tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Yet another great day of true Abernathy Adventure! Glad to hear your safe & am looking forward to hearing more.

Makinze says-
I think that will be really cool riding to Frederick. That is so cool that you get to ride on a new horse. You get to have fun in frederick! Hope you are having fun on your ride!

good luck! I couldn't help but remember the boys loss of their horse and how they must have felt...

life--as best we can said...

I am glad that you guys are having a great time and are getting back on track to feeling better Donna! I look forward to reading some more tales!

life--as best we can said...

I am glad that you are feeling better Donna! I look forward to reading about more adventures!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're feeling better Donna! Hope you're having fun and I'll continue to keep up with you all!