Intuition and Impulse

I was enamoured the first time I saw the her, walking across the pasture towards me as I rode up to the ranch where I was to spend the night.  Fully aware of my own foolishness in even harboring the thought, I asked about the well-built little mare.  She was already spoken for, not to mention completely green at 4 years old.  I tried to put her out of my mind and failed.  Then came the visit to the ER and a few days of rest.  I was still thinking about her.  As casually as possible, I asked again.  By the time I rode out of Tulia I’d struck a deal.  With no little trepidation I called Gryph.
Finehorn was lagging, sad and lonely, truding along like a soldier in need of furlough, tired of being the pack pony, missing her human and the special bond they shared.  I was giving her as much attention as I could, scratching her belly and whispering in her ears but it just wasn’t the same.  I mentioned this, and then mentioned the new mare I’d met, admitting to my act of utter insanity based on a hunch.  Would she, could she, possibly come back and ride with me for awhile?  Please?  Gryph offered a month, we set a date, I called and made arrangements for the new mare to be delivered to us in Altus, Oklahoma.
The best laid plans…  Gryph hitchhiked in from Oakland and arrived a day early in the middle of the night.  I was in Duke, OK.  Jesse James and Finehorn were enjoying a day of rest in a pasture several miles past Duke.  The Altus rodeo grounds were 18 miles ahead.  Sunday morning I got a call, “I’m in Altus with your new horse.  Where are you?”  Surprise!  We all arrived at the pasture outside of Duke within minutes of one another.  Our hosts were being incredibly gracious and helpful as our plans evolved by the minute.  Unfortunately, according to Finehorn, Gryph and the new mare arrived at the exact same moment – more than a little jealousy in pony world!

I’d known that there was no way to add the new mare to the Journey without help.  Gryph has a way with animals that involves adoring them soooo much while she cajoles and insists that they do exactly what she wants that they just give in to her, loving every minute of it.  I was glad of Gryph’s incredible patience when it took us Two Whole Hours to catch our new horse out of a 3 acre pasture on monday morning when we urgently needed to ride out in time to make the Altus Rodeo Grounds by nightfall.  Hah!  We arrived after dark – which is a whole other story, but our green pony handled the day brilliantly, following Mr. James like she’d done it all her life.
In Altus we put the pack saddle on her for the first time and let her loose in the pen with the other two horses.  Absolutely no fuss – which was amazing.  By this time we’d started calling our new arrival Luna Jack, which seemed to fit her better than her registered name of “Ace’s Jackie Star”.  By the time we rode out of Altus we had the side packs loaded for the ride down to Humphreys and she came along like a pro.  Could this really be so easy?  Between arranging to buy Luna and having her delivered I’d had a few sensible second thoughts and called my friend kt in Tucson who reminded me that much of this Journey has been about learning to trust my intution.  Things had fallen into place so beautifully every step of the way that adding Luna Jack to the herd seemed almost sensible.
The next day we packed Luna with the full load (along with an empty water jug and a small bag of garbage) and headed for Tipton and the rodeo grounds there.  The only fly in the ointment was Finehorn who wasn’t pleased with the new addition.  She and Jesse had really bonded during the many months since Daisy and Cowgirl left us in March.  Finehorn was intent on keeping Luna Jack in her place at the bottom of the pecking order, driving her away from food and water, laying her ears back and showing her teeth.  On a certain level this was pony business and no concern of ours but we did need to remind her that when  working she needed to leave issues of herd dominance to the humans.  Luna Jack was polite and curious and eager to learn, obviously bright and sensible and able to think her way through new situations.  I was feeling vindicated in my impulsive decision to take such a major step based on a hunch.  It was lovely having Gryph back with the Free Range Rodeo and we were meeting wonderful people and having a lot of fun as we traversed Oklahoma.  We decided to try and bring in the New Year down in Austin, Texas and headed south, knowing the glorious weather wouldn’t last forever.
Two weeks to the day after Gryph and Luna arrived we crossed the Red River into Texas.  The 79 bridge was narrow and long and we walked the ponies across.  We rode to the J- pens where we planned to spend the night several miles over the border.  We’d untied the diamond hitch and removed the wizard’s cloak that covers the packs when suddenly our calm little mare decided to help us unload in a hurry!  One buck put most of the top-pack on the ground and she took off around the pens (she can really move when she wants to!)  The saddle was 90 degrees off center to the right and both side packs were hanging off the same side when she came around a corner and there was a barn panel lying on the ground, corrugated metal and 2x4s with nails sticking up.  There wasn’t even time to hold my breath before she tucked up and jumped over the whole mess in perfect form, landed neatly and in one stride turned sharp left to miss the fence.  Realizing that she needed our help to get the rest of the gear unloaded she trotted over to Gryph and I and stood perfectly still while we unclipped the two side packs and uncinched the sawbuck.  The next day she was good as gold as we loaded her up for the day’s ride.  Welcome to the Free Range Rodeo Luna Jack!

About Sea G Rhydr

Sea G Rhydr and her trusty steeds, Jesse James and Finehorn - embarking on a grand adventure to cross America.
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4 Responses to Intuition and Impulse

  1. Cozy Turner says:

    Just wondering about you guys. Hope all is going well. Let us hear from you.

  2. Marianne says:

    Congrats Luna Jack as well as Sea and Gryph, Finehorn and Jesse! Such a beautiful mare, she seems right at home with the FRR.

  3. Sue says:

    Hi Gryph, It is good you are back. I got your letter and it was so nice to finally hear from you. I did not get to meet Sea, but I have been keeping tabs on the whole journey. It is wonderful to see you both back together. I will be following you through your Journey.
    Sue Harris

  4. Susie Burgess says:

    wonderfully refreshing to hear about what is happening with the Free Range Rodeo. Luna is adorable. ahhh. glad to see gryph back in the mix as well 🙂 more stories!!!

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