Horse Shows

Los Altos Hounds Fox Hunt 2016

Horse Show - Los Altos Hounds Fox Hunt 2016

They say life is an ADVENTURE, or nothing at all.

-story by janna weir

Started 2016 w/ quite the adventure.
Rose at 5am to freezing temps and frost on the windshield (yes, I think NY is actually warmer than SF Bay area right now!?), hooked up truck and trailer by myself and convinced my 16 yr old friesian partner, that yes, it really IS a good idea to load in the trailer before sunrise. Had the most marvelous ride with Los Altos Hounds, at one point doing a MACH 10 hand gallop that seemed to last forever, over rugged terrain. During the 5 mile warm up, I had had this discussion with my friesian, Ate: “Ate, in our partnership, there is a CHIEF, and there is an INDIAN. You are a very VERY good Indian, but an Indian nonetheless, and I am the CHIEF”. Ate is a magnificent horse, & a bit of a primadonna. This horse truly thinks his opinion counts. You are just “honored to be his passenger”. On this particular day, Ate’s brakes seemed to have gone out; normal communication with this horse was simply not working. So when the hounds got the scent of a coyote, and we were off, flying across the tundra, up and down ditches, up hills, down ravines, with rocks hidden in the brush everywhere, I simply got in the jockey position, and decided to offer helpful hints, whispering in the petite ears of the obvious REAL Chief in this scenario…Ate, easy, watch the rocks, horses ahead are easing up—foot off the gas, Ate”. It was balls to the walls thrilling.

At the top of a hillside, we passed a flask with honey whiskey and another with Port, and patted ourselves on the back for still being on top of our steeds. I could see Ate sneer, and say “yea, who is the CHIEF now, Janna?!?” This horse has a “tude”, that’s what makes him a champion. It was a 2 ½ hour drive back to the ranch, & my old duromax diesel, with the perpetual “check engine” light on was getting low on diesel; we hit standstill traffic on hwy 37. I repeatedly and anxiously asked Siri where the closest diesel station was, and she repeatedly told me 48 miles away, in San Francisco. Thank you Siri, but my LOW FUEL light just came on. Looked to my left, water, looked to my right, water. Just beautiful. The sun was setting. Would be surreal, except I am now traveling on fumes. Made it to 101 and got off at first exit and pulled into a chevron—guess what, NO DIESEL. Pulled back into the intersection to go two blocks to another gas station, and trusty GMC just died, waiting at the stoplight, outta gas. Yep, gauge reads BELOW empty. Damn it, if only that chevron had had diesel!

Checked on Ate, and told him of our plight. He seemed to look at me and say “ really? I perform at amazing athletic levels for 3 hours, keeping up with the strongest sport horses in No Cal, and you cant even remember to fill up the tank?” Okay CHIEF. Apparently he now thinks I’m a PATHETIC Indian. A super nice Novato policeman stopped and I told him of my plight. He watched my truck and trailer while I jogged to the next gas station, bought a gas can and diesel, and jogged back. When I returned, Officer McCready enthusiastically greeted me, filled the tank for me, stating “wow, you are quite the accomplished equestrian!!”. I peered at him, thinking “what the heck, I’m a stupid broad that just ran my truck out of diesel, and am stranded on the road He saw the “what the heck?” look, and pointed to his left hand, holding his phone, with the website pulled up. I felt like movie stars must feel when they get special treatment. The truck still wouldn’t start, so I made 3 more jogging trips to the gas station with gas can, remembering how my ex-husband always bungee corded a BIG gas can full of diesel, to the bed of this pick up truck, “just in case, Janna”. Yea, should have listened to Blu. Tank almost ½ full, and truck still wont turn over. Officer Mc Cready asks if I have AAA and calls a tow service. Yea, have a AAA card in name of old boyfriends ex-wife, Seriously not feeling good about using that card, altho certainly worked well in the past, thank you Barbara. Another super nice guy arrived with a humongous tow truck, who was quite happy to tow me to an empty commuter lot next to 101, to the tune of $200, so I would be off the road. The sun had now set, and thankfully I had packed my ski gear –and pulled out the finger and toe warmers, and thought through my options. Battery was now dead, from so much cranking. The policeman had to take off, now that I was safely off the road, and the tow truck driver could only offer this advice :” yea, my buddy has a duromax diesel, said they are a bitch to start when they have less than ¼ gas in their tank”. Thanks.

Immediate thought is to call one of the guys I have dated in the last 4 years: 1) Investment banker who typically says “janna, don’t you have the UBER app on your phone??” whenever I ask him for a ride anywhere. Scratch that one. 2) CEO who does turn arounds…hmm, he owns a new sports car and a classic. Yea, no way he knows how to start a diesel that has been run bone dry. He is good at spread sheets. No one gonna save me, but myself. I watered Ate, thinking how I would normally have been flustered, forever angry w/ myself for not stopping sooner for diesel, and unbelievably angry that I just dropped $$$$ on being towed. But I was overcome with an almost meditative peacefulness, nothing was going to disrupt my happy mood from the day’s awesome ride.

I decided to have another conversation with Siri, “Siri” how do you start a duromax diesel that is out of gas?” Seems I am not the only idiot to have this problem, two sites have forum discussions on the topic, detailing how to “pump the primer”. I tell the tow truck driver that I found the solution on my phone, and ask for his assistance in finding the “button to push”. Amused, he says “Lady, don’t you have a guy you can call? It’s late on a Saturday nite, your truck is not going to start, we have tried a million times already, don’t you have someone to help you? Unless you can ride your horse home, you aren’t going anywhere tonight”. Okay, NO, actually, I DON’T have someone to call. Undaunted, I explain to him that failure is not an option, and I do another search on WHERE the correct button to pump is located in the engine compartment. Don’t they teach tow truck drivers anything?!? This time Siri got it right, I had the tow truck driver hold my iphone as a flashlight, while I pumped the primer. Still wouldn’t start. Another 20 pumps, and Walla, truck rolled over!
SUCCESS FEELS GOOD!! I high five the tow truck driver and do a victory dance in front of the trailer, while Ate gazes out, and thinks his mom has truly lost it. I suggest to the tow truck driver that he might want to know how to prime a diesel tank, for other stranded motorists they gets calls for, that are out of gas. Oh yea, then they wouldn’t NEED to be towed. Lol. Never mind. Back on the road and home, Ate seemed no worse for the wear.

We both have an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

2016 is going to be a GRAND year!

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