I guess that it is time to post another update to the blog. Starting a blog is easy, the hard work is in finding the time (and the content) to keep it current. Because of the record rains in April and so far in May, everything that was scheduled to occur prior to this past weekend, had been cancelled. There hasn’t been much to be reported. I doubt that there would have been much interest in hearing about me gazing longingly out of the window waiting for the rain to end.
We held the first wagon ride of the season around this area over the past weekend. It was hosted by Marvin Doyle at his son Terry’s Triple DDD Stables down near Carlisle, Kentucky. Needless to say, it was overcast and rained on both Saturday and Sunday. This definitely affected the number of folks who came out to ride, but the usual cast of hard core riders was on hand. They weren’t about to let a little rain shower keep them from having fun.
On the Saturday ride, we had 6 wagons and a handful of outriders. The wagons were those of Dannie Crawford, Homer Rader, Marvin Doyle, Terry Doyle, Lee Tucker, and a new member named Josh (whose last name I don’t know) along with his family. The ride was scheduled for about 14.5 miles, but the rain in the morning delayed our departure by a few hours, so the route was shortened to about 9 miles instead. Just about every seat available was in use and, despite the tops on the wagons and a lot of rain gear, there were a lot of wet butts.
When we stopped to eat lunch, Beth Tucker came to me and asked if I would help her to drive their team. Lee and Beth’s dad, Rob Stroub, were going to have to leave to run home because one of Rob’s horses had escaped from their place and was now harassing the mares of one of their neighbors. Although Rob’s horse was a gelding, the neighbor was upset and had called the sheriff. Terry had called the stables on his cell phone and one of the workers was coming to pick them up. So, I moved from Homer’s wagon over to Lee’s and assumed the teamster task for Beth for the rest of the ride. While I really enjoy driving, the problem is that I can’t take photos and drive at the same time. Therefore, I don’t have many photos to share from the Saturday ride.
Of course, as is always the case, when we got back to the farm and unhooked the horses, the rain finally stopped, the sun came out and gave us a few hours of beautiful weather. Mrs. Doyle and the other ladies had set up our dinner inside of Terry’s huge barn building so that we would be out of the weather. There was plenty of great food and the desserts, as usual, were delicious. I had to try a little of each dessert just to make sure that I didn’t offend anyone who might think that I didn’t like whatever they have brought.
I had set up my truck tent to sleep in overnight and went to sleep about 10 PM with the sky appearing to be clearing. I had hopes that the bad weather was past and that I would wake up on Sunday morning to a beautiful day. Boy were my hopes dashed! About midnight it stated to rain again and it continued all night until about 6:30 in the morning. The rain was not heavy and there was no lightening or thunder, just a constant shower. I didn’t get wet at all and actually slept quite well as the temperatures were in the lower 50’s (F). I woke up in the morning and moved my truck inside of Terry’s barn where I fixed myself a great breakfast and got all of my gear packed so i would be ready to leave later in the day. By 8 AM, an intermittent rain began and it came and went throughout the rest of the day with the temperatures staying on the cold side. In fact, on the next day (Monday), the record for this area was set with the coldest high temperature on record for the month of May.
I wasn’t sure that anyone would show back up to ride on Sunday once that cold rain returned, but by 10 AM several of the same folks who had ridden on Saturday showed up and were ready to give it another try. We finally hit the road at a little after 11 AM with three wagons and about 8 outriders. Marvin elected to ride with Homer instead of driving his wagon and Dannie Crawford and his crew elected to ride their saddle horses instead of their wagon. Sam Cooper, who had not ridden on Saturday because his wife Barbara was felling sick, drove Dannie’s mules and wagon. I rode with Sammy and was able to get a lot of photos of the Sunday ride. We took the longer ride that had been planned for Saturday.
Things went fine most of the day until we were about one mile from camp when Terry Doyle’s Halflingers spooked and tried to run off. Whatever was upsetting them had spooked them a couple of times earlier in the ride and Terry had gotten them calmed back down. This time, he wasn’t able to get them stopped and they ran off the left side of the road where they got tied up in some fencing. Although one horse suffered a pretty ugly 6-7 inch gash to his muzzle just below his eye, there were no other serious problems or injuries except to a section of fencing. Terry’s wagon was able to be towed back to his place behind a truck and it didn’t appear to have any serious problems. It reminded us just how quickly things can get ugly. Thank goodness that no one was hurt.
Overall, the weekend, while wet, was still a lot of fun and I think that everybody was really glad to be out and about with their horse friends. As we all left on Sunday, everyone was quick to remind each other that we would be together in two weeks at Jeff and Penny Burton’s place for their Spring ride. I can’t wait!!!