On Sunday we went to the Dunes to ride with friends. Everything started out great -- we actually rode with them this time! We have met these friends out there before, but we never see each other on the trail...this is usually because John and I are late, and/or our horses are taking the trails at a faster pace. But these friends have Rocky Mountain horses which are also gaited, so we don't have the problem we usually have when riding with Quarter Horse friends. Another thing that made this ride so neat was that we had a trail dog with us! She was great! It has been a lot of years since we have had a trail dog along on ride....almost forgot how enjoyable it is.
A tornado came thru this area of the county a couple of weeks ago. We saw lots of uprooted and broken trees on the trail. The park employees must have spent a lot of hours clearing the trails. I took some photos -- I hope they are clear enough. I am not the best photographer.
On the trail our friends were in the lead, and John and I followed. At one point, we went on ahead to do a bit of loping/cantering. The trails in the Dunes have bridges over the little creeks and other perpetually wet areas. These bridges can be tricky -- they are in the shade most of the time, and develop a sort of mossy glaze on them. When we are moving thru the trails, we always slow down to a walk for the bridges. We were ahead of our friends at this point. Well, we came to the long bridge, and Divna took a few steps and almost lost her footing. About that time I saw Zora struggling to keep her footing -- she lost the battle and fell....
My heart was in my throat. I screamed to John "Are you alright??" and he said yes, he was...Then I said "What about Zora??" He answered, "I don't know....."
We were almost panicky. Zora has fallen many times -- she falls in the pasture when she and Divna are running and playing, she has fallen on the trail before, she slipped on the ice one time in the winter and fell . She always jumps right back up. This time she did not. She lay there on that bridge with two legs under her and two of her hooves off the side of the bridge. She didn't thrash around (Thank God!!), she didn't do anything. She just sat there looking at John. It was strange how small and vulnerable she looked. In my mind I imagined at least one broken leg and who knew what other kinds of injuries. I will never forget the look on John's face. We were both so scared.
I could not help him with her -- Divna kept getting in the way. I think she knew something was wrong. She is so attached to Zora. Our friends caught up to us a short time after the fall. I went back to see if one of them could help him get Zora up. Karen jumped off her horse and started to tie him off so she could help, and we heard John call out "She's up! I think she is OK." I cannot describe the relief I felt!!
By the time we all got to them, Zora was up and walking. Nothing was broken!! She was putting all four hooves on the ground, which we were so happy to see....
We got her home, I gave her some Bute and rubbed her down with linament. She seems fine, but we are going to continue to watch her. What a horrible experience!