Dad, Dusty and the Overnight Gymkhana
Once a year our Gymkhana club would host an overnight Gymkhana where the members would ride from town from town out to the Gymkhana grounds on the Saturday, stayed overnight and the next day, Sunday we would have the Gymkhana. It was always a lot of fun but one particular one was more memorable than the rest.
Dusty was a very competitive horse, I’m not sure if it had anything to do with his original training or if it was just his personality but being last was not in his vocabulary. As the riders all gathered and started mounting up you could see the anxiety rising in him. My dad new better than to try and get on him until the masses were actually moving. Trying to keep him standing in that group would have been a feat in itself.
Once the ride began and the group started to ride out, my dad got on Dusty, his plan was to hold him back, to teach him he didn’t always have to be at the front of the pack. This is about the time the bucking started. Dusty bucked, fought and pranced the whole way there! The ride was roughly 12 km’s long and the two of them fought the whole way there! Dusty was lathered from one end to the other by the time the ride was over and that wasn’t the only excitement for the day! It was also extremely warm that day and along the trail was this nice big mud puddle. Some horses skirted around it, some walked through it but Kaneeta the pony must have been feeling a little warm that day because when she saw it, she charged right in! Next thing you know she started pawing and down she went, having herself a nice big roll. My sister managed to get off but Kaneeta rolled saddle and all! It was a muddy mess to say the least.
When we finally arrived at the grounds that day, my dad unsaddled Dusty, cooled him down, gave him a drink then put him in his pen. We joke all the time about Dusty laying down in the pen and my dad crawling into the camper and neither one of them moved a muscle for the rest of the day.