I get by with a little help from my friends (and some Depends)
originally posted by Katherine at 15th June 2012 at 05:50
Wow, where has the time gone? Another week or two has passed, and soon the countdown will be on for those last few days before I depart for the land of Genghis Khan…time seems to fly – and incidentally so do I; me AND my brand spankin’ new hydration pack. But I am getting ahead of myself here.
My last missive saw me getting prepared to roll up my sleeve and take one or three in the arm in the name of travel immunization. Yep – been there, got the needles, and now can reassure Jordan that I will not die from pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, typhoid, cholera, e coli, hepatitis, dropsy, spattergroit, vampiris, housemaid’s knee, galloping consumption or the black plague. Inoculation day – what fun!
But wait! That’s not all. I will return for the rabies series, as I didn’t have the time to schedule in the series of three injections this month; but like a dutiful mother I will do the right thing and get it done. Three more needles that would buy me more time to seek appropriate medical care in case I get too close to those marmots? That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind I do believe.
So I will be medically protected, I have obtained a Mongolian visa (I think it says I can enter the country - maybe it says I have volunteered for their military, better check), and I did in fact hook up with the endurance rider supreme Miki Dekel who has taken me under her wing and has put me on her sweet little five year old Arab mare named Julie.
Julie noshes before we get down to business
Ahhh, Julie…how I remember our first ride together - a few hours accompanying Miki on her Appaloosa gelding “Cool Hand Luke”. An introduction to a real live endurance saddle, a beautiful day and a horse that wanted nothing more than to put on miles and miles and miles.
Our second ride fell on “Hurricane Day”; waving grasses, snapping plastic on the neighbourhood greenhouses, scary branches concealing cougars! Snakes wrapped around road signs! Me going sideways off of Julie who so considerately tried to save me from imminent death-by-road-sign-snake with a fantastic sideways avoidance manoeuver! (Actually, the girth could have been a bit more snug. Really.) Me hitting the deck with my new hydration pack – not a hose out of place; a good test of equipment so not a total loss.
“You okay?” asked Miki, seeing me sprawled on the trail (reins still in hand) in front of the prancing Julie.
“Just fine” I replied, wondering how I was going to explain to Miki how my coffee addiction, long-ago child-bearing and advanced decrepitude, combined with a sudden jolt to the pelvic region had produced a sad result that would require immediate laundering of my riding tights.
“Maybe you should consider Depends”, advised Miki.
“I think I’d give up coffee first” I replied with as much dignity as I could manage.
So now that I’ve told half the world that I suffered a minor pants-wetting (my friends seemed to find it uproariously funny, so please indulge yourself with a laugh at my expense) let me say that I am ready for whatever Mongolia has to throw at me. How much worse can it get?
This past week I also had the pleasure of entertaining some Very Important People – my life-long friends Dawn, her daughter Laura and Dawn’s mom The Fabulous Ms. Jo.
In between the visiting, skulking around, drinking wine and copious cups of excellent coffee we managed to fit in a bit of riding. I was completely honoured to be able to ride with both Dawn and Jo; these two ladies are both accomplished riders with generations of horsemanship in their bones. Jo was the High River Rodeo Queen back in the day, and in keeping with her indomitable spirit, gave my adventure the stamp of approval by sponsoring me for the tack I need to compete in Mongolia. “I want to know that those are my stirrups galloping across Mongolia” she said. (Did she forget to add that I should be in the vicinity of the stirrups? Hmmmm….)
I do believe that had they instituted this race a few years ago she would have been quite the contender. Thank you Ms. Jo. I will do my best to make you proud; I will ride with a spirit of gratitude for the support you and so many others have given me. And I will not have another Depends-moment, even if I hit the deck. Really.