QUIETUDE GARLAND (Quietude Merit x Quietude Sierra)
Owned trusted and loved by Lauren Grimditch CO

Well, as stories go this one has gone to another level. So goes my story.  

Last January my mom tells me that Stefan (Lleane's (my sister) boyfriend) and his entire family were coming to Boulder in May and that they would probably like to go for a ride.  We have occasionally played dude ranch for this group but it is always a tough experience because not one of them actually knows how to ride.  Thank goodness they are good athletes!  So I thought OK we can have four or five horses ready by then.  So I promptly forgot about it as I was headed to Australia and could only think of it being summer there!

At the beginning of May I was told that there would actually be 8 people coming, Stefan, Lleane, Stefan's mom and dad, his sister and her husband from Scotland and his brother and his wife from Vermont.  So that meant we needed 10 horses!  Mom has a lot of horses but not enough to take 10 people out.  So we start contemplating exactly how this is going to work.  Have I mentioned yet that the last time I had ridden any of the horses was October in West Virginia?  If not, this is a good time to mention that we have semi-feral winter horses :-)

This ride is now scheduled for May 6th.  On Sunday May 2, I thought it might be a good idea to have Mom and I get out on two of the horses to see how rusty they really are.  I ride out on Quietude Garland---affectionately known as Garlita.  And my mom on Quietude Comfort.  We have a lovely ride (about two hours) through spring rivers, over rocks, over bridges, through gates (and Garlita still remembers how to open them---a sign of good training!) We came to the second to last gate of the ride and I went to turn around and close it.  

****this is where the story really starts!******

As I went to close it, I stepped off of the road and all of a sudden Garland and I are sinking into the ground!!!  I am on her back and my foot is touching the ground.  This happened very quickly!  I realize that we are in some sort of hole and I have to get off and fast because I am going to have to get her head and pull her out. As I am trying to get off (about 6 inches from a barbed wire fence at this point) she is scrambling to get out of the mud/sink/quick sand hole.  Miraculously she gets out after completely turning herself around in the hole, crossing her back legs and somehow lurching out of the hole.   And then she stands there.  Like it was the most natural thing EVER to be stuck in a hole, me on the ground and her having to get out without getting her hooves or legs anywhere near me. She is not panicked, breathing hard or at all worried.  Just waiting patiently for her rider to come back to her! The most amazing thing about this is not 15 minutes before I was telling mom how much I loved riding Garland because somehow we have an understanding.  I know that she will do her best to take care of me and I will do the same so there is this incredible bond and mutual trust that 15 minutes later was put into practice.  I did not panic and try to ride her out or yell or get in her way and my only thought was how I was going to help.  She did not panic and I believe she worked very hard to not touch me with her feet or push me into barbed wire.  And we both came out completely unscathed.  I have attached three pictures.  1) Garlita with the mud all the way up to her hip area so you can see how far down in the hole she was 2) the actual hole.  The rock bar in the ground is 6 feet I figure that the hole was 3.5-4 feet deep.  How she did not break one of her back legs is amazing.  Conclusion?  Garland and Comfort are ready to go with the rookies!

So we have to postpone our ride to Saturday May 8th.  We gather up all of mom's rideable horses (too bad Quietude Comfort Darling is too young!  She is going to be a gem), my two horses and three horses belonging to other friends.  We tack up 11 horses and off we go into the mountains!  We are having a lovely ride until we stop to let some dogs go by . But Stefan's mom somehow has let the reins get tangled in between the horse's legs and the horse is starting to panic.  So I JUMP off Garland, leave her there (she doesn't move an inch!) without even thinking twice and untangle the reins and we are off again without a wreck!

About 1/2 hour away from our house, a horse starts acting up and being silly so the person riding her is starting to get scared.....I offer to have her switch to my calm and sweet Garland and she immediately says OK. I get off of Garland again (and leave her again) and switch horses.  The horse I'm riding now does not calm down, I am having to do circles, and she is side passing and her barn mates are trying to kick her because she is being so obnoxious.  We get to the gate right before our house and I have to get the gate so the other 10 riders can go through.  Because we were so close to home everyone kept going on which left us vulnerable because the mare I was riding thought that everyone was gone. She would not walk forward....I should have gotten off but usually I am safest on top when they are acting out!  We finally get going down our driveway and about 15 feet from the barn she goes STRAIGHT up in a rear.  Still OK because I can ride a rear but then the scariest thing that has ever happened to me....she goes over backwards on top of me.  Landing on my right side.  I was sure that I had broken my leg.  I didn't--I was lucky!  I am bruised and sore but alive and not broken.

So two weekends with interesting rides!  One on a horse that did everything in her power to keep me safe and the other who did nothing to keep me OR herself safe.  A horse that goes over backwards with NO pressure is a horse that is not interested in self preservation...not to mention human preservation.

So that is my incredible horse story.  I did vow to NEVER ride that horse again.  and I won't.  but mom and I went for a lovely
Mother's day ride with Garland and Mistletoe.  It was heaven----besides the pain in my arm, leg, ankle and neck :-)

Those are the best accolades I could give to a horse and it was a Lambert again.  Sidenote--all other horses/people did great and they had the highlight of their trip.