Making memories

What an awesome day! I took Johnny out for our last XC outing before I go get my hip cracked open, and with help from Patricia again, Johnny and I formed a trusting partnership and finally clicked out on course! I, as usual, was letting my head get too involved, and I was fighting the distance. Patricia picked up on the fact that Johnny kept asking, “This feels right, jump now?” To which he received nothing, so he was second-guessing himself and chipping in. She had me count the rhythm, then close my legs and cluck audibly to him when the take-off spot presented itself, and he asked the question. After a couple of attempts, we were cruising smoothly over the BN and novice level fences. That’s not to say we were suddenly perfect, but it was waay better. We negotiated a double bank (up), ditch uphill to rolltop, a steep downhill approach over a log one-stride into the water, and even a baby drop into the water that got us both wet and a big laugh. Patricia didn’t want me peeking down at the drop, so she had me keep my eyes up on the horizon. I trusted that I would feel Johnny tense for the jump, but Johnny took a cue from me, and thinking there was something to see up on that horizon, he didn’t look at the drop either. What a surprise we both got when the bottom suddenly dropped out from beneath his feet! The splash was ginormous–even my face was soaked with water! Our next attempt, I was allowed to peek a little at the drop, and this time Johnny was a little more obliging at watching where his feet were going. Success! Sadly, we have no video from today’s ride, but what a memory to etch into my brain to keep me motivated towards recovery…
On the way back, however, disaster nearly struck. It was every trailer driver’s worst nightmare: as we came barreling down the one-way entrance onto Fort Benning in the far right truck lane, a car came driving the wrong way straight towards us. I immediately hit the brakes and simultaneously lay on the horn (and probably muttered an expletive), but as we’re all aware, a heavy steel trailer carrying an oversized horse does NOT stop quickly. Instead of moving off the road, the driver only came to a stop in my lane. As there were vehicles to my left, I couldn’t go anywhere either, and I worried that swerving quickly off the road might be disastrous for me (plus, I wasn’t entirely sure what she would try). Thankfully I noticed her far enough in advance to get the truck stopped, but my adrenaline was pumping, and I was beyond angry. Luckily for her, the gate guards saw what happened and stopped her after she’d completed a U-turn and tried to enter on post. I made a mental note of her license plate, though. If I happen to see her around on post, she WILL get a piece of my mind.

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