Jack Brooks Ride, September 2003
by Anonymous

The Trailblazers had an incredible weekend at Jack Brooks Sept. 26-30; perhaps the best ever! There were 22 members who attended, including three brand new members. With the exception of perhaps just maybe one person who had to go home early due to injuries sustained from an unscheduled dismount and various bee stings, I truly don't think there was anyone who didn't have a fantastic weekend! Folks started rolling in Thursday around noon. The only other campers there were a group of three nice women in Camp 3 who were vacationing for the week. Trailblazers who were present included: Nancy & Roger Brown, Jan Carlisle, Celeste Comfort, Susan Dockter, Sally Foster, Earl Kelly, Sandy Kinsella, Judy Lee, Paulette Little, Dawn Johnson, Katie Madeiros, Penny Marrs, Dick Quigley, Jean Schreiber, Andi Schreibman, Danine Simas, Tom Slone, Faith Taylor, and new members Victoria Harrow, Cassie Conley and Gail Wind. Katie brought her beautiful black/gray two year old Whiskey along to get used to the camp experience, and she found him high as a kite Friday morning when she attempted to longe him. Whoa Nelly! Everyone gathered round, pulling up chairs to check out the excitement! Jean took over and had to do a serious lesson for the rambunctious youngster. Now that baby could buck, rear, snort, tail flag, you name it, he was an eyecatcher and gorgeous! I believe Katie thought about riding him a bit around camp, but soon changed her mind in favor of letting him settle for a day – or a few weeks maybe! We noticed our camping neighbors had trailered out for the day Friday, and by nightfall they still hadn't returned. Why anyone would want to leave J.B. anyway is beyond me, but anyway, sometime after dark, one of the women pulled into camp alone, and horseless. She wanted to know if anyone had a larger open trailer she could borrow. They had trailered to Memorial Park to ride; one of their two horses absolutely refused to get in her trailer (I don't blame the horse, it WAS a crotchety old little thing!!!! It had some striking similarity to President Quigley's trailer as a matter of fact!!!! Sorry Dick, I couldn't resist yet another jab! The horse was used to a big open trailer apparently. Well, needless to say, it was Earl Kelly who jumped to the rescue of the 3 defenseless damsels in distress! He popped down his tent, battoned down the hatches, rehooked up his trailer, and away they went. It wasn't long until they returned; the horse jumped right in Earl's trailer! Once again Earl earns the hero award and made three new lady friends!

Jean Schreiber offered a schooling ride both Friday and Saturday for folks who had some trail issues to work on. She got rave reviews from all who went along! Dick Quigley turned out to be number one in line as his spirited bay gelding Foxy was determined not to stand still long enough to even let Dick get on his back prior to the ride! Foxy had definitely perfected a new equine dance step which he was firmly determined not to have a partner for! Jean's rides were a huge help according to her group, and different people rode with her each day. I led a ride each day. Friday's ride was the Brook Loop; we avoided the steep single track drop-off section for those with green horses by following the road partway and letting the horses get used to the group thing. It was the first time several of the members' horses had been on serious trail, and they all did great after a little stretch on the road to get with the program! Saturday there were several smaller groups who went out; the trotters (Celeste, Dick, Sandy and Paulette whose Tennesee Walker's walk equaled their trot!); the naturals Susan and Danine; the schoolers with Jean, and the rest with me. Everyone did some serious trails Saturday, and I believe everyone was out for a good four or five hours. Susan and Danine even did the Butano Ridge trail, which no-one has done for several years since the Nick Warhol and Judy Long days! Kudos to you guys, it's good to still be so youthful and energetic!

Ok, so here's the 'Ride a bucking bronc and drop your drawers part! Friday afternoon Roger took Buddy out for a second ride with Katie, who rode Nancy's mustang Rocky, since she'd been stuck at camp all day. They were just doing a short ride up to the lookout, but Katie had the great misfortune to come across a bee nest in the middle of the road. Apparently she didn't have a clue until Rocky went into a full bucking horse routine. According to Roger, Katie clung on quite a while until finally her 8 seconds were up and she came off – jamming her finger and getting quite bruised – not to mention stung. Rocky hightailed it right off to camp at a full gallop. Geez, I hate it when that happens! You're getting up, dusting off your rear and all you can see is a cloud of dust in the distance! How rude! Roger had the presence of mind to do a quick dismount off of Buddy not yet knowing what the cause of the problem with Rocky was; all we know is Roger was then spotted by a group of Trailblazers returning from their ride with his pants down, trying to get a bee out of his drawers! Sure, sure, that's what they all say! Poor Rocky came running home to Mom Nancy with several nasty bee stings and was quite upset about anyone touching that area to treat him; fortunately he was fine by the next day. Katie, well, was not so lucky. She wound up going home that evening, figuring she'd rather be pampering herself in a comfy bed since she couldn't ride anyway. We were all sorry to see her go, but a few days of pampering her wounds and she was fine.

The potlucks were truly amazing. Friday was great and Saturday even better! Good thing we decided not to provide meat, what a waste it would have been with all the rest of the food! It was truly an amazing plethora of delicacies! And the campfires were just great and much needed as it turned out to be a cool weekend with cold nights! Somehow we conned Danine into staying up later and bringing forth her stashed bottle of butterschnapse and we proceeded to indoctrinate all members present into the Trailblazers ritualistic passing of the schnapse, with strong scolding taking place for anyone caught backwashing! Conversation was rich, though it's weeks later as I write this and I can't remember anything in particular – though I know there were so many good laughs and such a good feeling amongst everyone! I think the horses were all very well behaved for the most part, and overall it was a great weekend and I still smile when I think about it!