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Monday, February 27, 2012

Memory Lane Monday The Trail Ride!

Good morning to all of you. First of all I my heart and prayers this morning are with all the families involved in the horrible shooting this morning at a school in Ohio. I just turned on the news this morning which is rare for me and found this sad news. Any time this happens it leaves all of us asking What has happened to our country?

Yesterday I realized that this was the last week in February so that meant it was time to join Donna at Brynwood  Needleworks for her Memory Lane Monday. I thought I would tell the story of the day my son Clint was born since it was the week of his birthday. Well thank goodness this ole lady checked former post in February and found she had already did this post. haha If you missed the birth of my second child you can click this link  Happy Birthday Son and it will take you to that story.

Now what do I write about since the story of Clint was already told. It seems the last week I have been doing a lot of writing about past memories of my life in prison. You need something different so since this time of the year in my area is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo why not tell you about me riding the famous Salt Grass Trail Ride.

The Salt Grass Trail Ride was conceived in 1952 while then the mayor of Brenham Mayor Reese Lockett was having cocktails with a Houston Post editor and the president of KPRC-TV in Houston. They were laughing about a trip to the Orange Bowl. The mayor of my small town had vowed to them never to travel anywhere again where he could not get back home on horseback. So in turn, to get to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that year, Mayor Lockett insisted he would ride from Brenham to Houston on his horse. In this cocktail-inspired, half-serious pledge, the group recognized a brilliant idea that would simultaneously generate publicity for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and celebrate Texas’ colorful history.

That year on Jan. 30, 1952, 17 riders trotted out of Brenham towards Houston, following many of the trails ridden by Texas cattlemen decades before. The following year, 80 riders made the ride; in 1954, 800; in 1956, the ride’s fourth year, more than 1,400 riders hit the trail for Houston. In short, the 1952 ride that sprang from the lunchtime banter at the long-since closed Cork Club evolved into the largest organized horseback movement to take place in modern times.

Skip ahead twenty years and you have me a young mother of one son and married to a man who thought only of being on a horse or with his horse.  We rode local trail rides on and off but the big daddy of all trail rides was the Salt Grass Trail Ride which by this had grown from 17 riders to more than 1,600 riders organized into approximately 40 wagons, which functioned as separate yet intermingling groups.

We left Brenham on a Saturday morning headed for Houston to join other trail rides for the huge parade in downtown Houston that kicked off the Livestock Show and Rodeo.

My favorite horse at the time was not ready to be ridden a 100 miles in seven days so the hubby opted for me to ride one of his. He failed to tell me that he was still training this particular horse and it was feisty.

It was custom back then to start the ride with a parade through the small town of Brenham. I was excited yet apprehensive since I was not familiar with the horse Brandi Wine and seven days was a long time to be straddled across a horse when the most I was use to was short trail rides two days at the most.

Brandi Wine and I turned on Main Street where the local town’s people were cheering us on and celebrating. She took maybe four steps forward and then two steps back and then the rodeo started. Never mind that we were a hundred miles from the real rodeo, she decided to have her own one horse show in the middle of a one horse town. (Sorry I could not resist) At the time Brenham was just about that to me coming from a much larger town on the beach near Houston.

Instead of a slow ride following along behind all the other wagons and riders we did a fast bucking ride all the way from one end of town to the next. She bucked so high that I can remember at times that I could actually see the tops of some of the covered wagons.

All I could do was hang on. After the parade ended so many riders patted me on the back and congratulated me for not being thrown off. Honestly how I stayed on is a miracle but I knew that I did not want be thrown through a glass plate window in one of the shops and I held on for dear life.

If this were a fairy tale and I was a princess the story would end here with me safe and sound. Not to be.

The same morning ten miles down the rode an older gentlemen wanted to help me adjust something on my saddle to make it more comfortable for me to ride so he told me that he and I should ride about six wagons or more ahead where he could adjust my saddle and by then our wagon would have caught up with us. I trusted the ole guy and did what he asked.

We were riding ahead when we came up to a wagon with a horse tied to the back of it. The horse tied to the wagon kicked at my horse making contact three times with my left leg. The third kick sent me flying over my horse onto the ground.

By the end of the day my leg was swollen twice it’s size and the pain was like nothing I had ever experienced. My jeans were cut to my knee because of the swelling.

When we stopped for lunch that day I was inside the wagon with ice on my leg from what else but the beer keg and I overheard some guys talking to my husband. He told them there was no way with that injury would I be riding any further. Being the three stooges that they were they were envious of him for not having a wife that was going to be tagging along. Well that’s all it took. I never knew how hard headed I was until that moment.

I finished the hundred mile ride to Houston with a leg that looked like it needed a cast and I did it with out the help of alcohol or pain killers. Thinking back I might have been the only sober rider the day we rode into Houston but probably the dumbest since I rode all week injured. Since I did not drink alcohol I fit in that group about like I fit into the parties I attended in South Carolina for the GOP debates.

Did Brandi Wine behave that week? No there were several more incidents but not time to tell you now about them. Did my hubby behave? About like Brandi Wine behaved. What happened to the horse that was tied up behind the wagon and kicked the fool out of me. Well it turns out they found him that night kicking   the side of someone’s wagon and he and his owner were taken off the ride. I also had heard before he kicked me three times on my leg he had kicked a man earlier in the head. I never knew if this was true or not. I was hoping it was just a rumor.

After one long week we reached Houston Memorial Park and the next morning we rode our horses in the parade downtown. Thank goodness my husband had the sense enough to ride close to my horse and with the ole man on the other side of me they managed to keep Brandi Wine from doing a repeat performance of the rodeo she put on in Brenham. I had never been in such a big parade and  Houston looked totally different from the top of a wild horse.

Til to this day I can feel where the horse kicked me. He cracked a bone in my leg and if you feel that spot you can feel the indention in my bone.

Riding the Salt Grass Trail is one of those things when I think back on it now I can't believe that I did it. Even though I can remember as a child standing on the side walks of downtown Houston I would tell my girl friends one day I would be in that parade.  Never knew I would be so lucky. hahaha

Sorry for such a long post. I left out the whole week of incidents. If it could go wrong it did on this trip but I was lucky and made it home safe back to my son Chad. Never did I ever leave him for a  whole week again until he was grown.

Have a lovely week. Hope you are well and to my son Clint I hope you have the best Birthday ever. I will see you this weekend.

Click over to Donna's and join her Memory Lane Monday's at Brynwood Needleworks,

My love to all of you

PS: Wish I could find the pictures of me on this ride but it was so long ago I have no idea what happened to them. These are just pictures off of the web. The last picture says it all. lol


The French Bear said...

Maggie, whar a great story, except for the leg part.....somethings never change...mostly men when they are in a group! Glad you came out okay and with your usual sunny smile!!! Reading about your leg injury makes my leg ache, ouch!
Take care,

Debby said...

Ouch. You are a strong girl. Can't believe you went on with the ride.
Happy Birthday to your son.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post today. Dang, girlfriend. Prison? What were you "in" for? lol (I know...I just couldn't resist!) I'm rolling on the floor 'cuz I just cracked myself up.

No wonder you didn't keep that husband. Wife abuse, I tell ya! I love looking at horses, but the damn things always try to throw me. Never again. The only horses in my life are under the hood of my Explorer!

Thanks for joining my MLM again. I always love your tales.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for the Chardon Ohio...once again a tragedy in our own country!

Ann said...

What an epoc story. I'm sure you have "true grit"!! I enjoyed reading your adventure and wishing your Son a happy birthday.

Marydon said...

Oh, boy can I picture you riding that horse ... & you handling all those men!!! What a blast you must have had.

I hope that Clint is doing well & he has a beautiful & blessed birthday, sweetie. May you enjoy the memories of his birth on your special day ... after all, it is YOUR day even moreso.

Love you so much, Maggie.
Have a great week.

Paula said...

And you didn't even stop in Brenham for ice cream? Great story and happy birthday to your son.

yaya said...

Sounds like the guy that started the whole shabang had a few too many at that lunch! All I could think of during your story was "Man, that's alot of fertilizer on that trek!" I also thought your leg was probably broke. Then I thought if that was my hubby I would beat him within an inch of his life with my good leg...then I thought..."Wow, what a woman that Maggie is!" Thanks for such a "thoughtful" post!

Tam said...

Maggie dear another side of you that I have not heard about. Yet I am not surprised in the least.
Hubby is away for the next few days so I have not got to show him this post yet. He will flip when I do because he shared with me years ago how he always wanted to ride on the Salt Grass Trail but never had the chance. Wait til he hears our Maggie did. How many times did you ride?
Are you going to do another post about your days on there or should I say nights. I hear they can get wild on those rides. If you did not drink how did you manage to be around all the others that did. That would be my big problem other than trying to stay on a horse for seven long days.
Sounds like your hubby needed to be one on Brandi Wine which by the way how did he get that name.
We have been to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo several times and always enjoyed our trips.
I think it is a good idea to write about these memories because if you make your blog into a book your grand babies will have memories of their Grandma Yellow hair that will be with them always and even their children.
Take care dear Maggie and keep writing. You keep me entertained as others have mentioned on here before you are anything but Boring.
Always around

Nezzy said...

I always knew you were a though cookie girl...ouch!!!

I can't believe ya finished the ride, I fear I would of folded!

Prayers for Chardon Oh., terrible!

God bless ya and have a magnificent week sweet Maggie!! :o)

Createology said...

OMG!!! This could only happen to you in Texas where everything is big, bigger and biggest! Thank you for sharing such an important memory and Happy Birthday to your son.

sjmcdowell said...

Hi Dear Maggie girl,

I can't get over your story and All the things you went through on that ride! Your poor leg...ouch!! It actually sounds like an awesome experience despite the you can tell your grandchildren!! Which I'm sure you have!!

I think of you almost everyday dear friend and hope everything in your life is going well.

A very Happy Birthday to Clint!!! :)

Love and Hugs always,


Chatty Crone said...

Prayers for Ohio and happy birthday to your son - it is my birthday too! sandie

PEA said...

Happy Birthday to Clint!! I so loved reading this post and I'm quite in awe that you were able to ride 100 miles on a horse, let alone one that misbehaved! I wouldn't have last 5 minutes. lol I'm sure it was kinda fun to be in such an event but after being kicked by that other horse, it must have been miserable. You sure showed them, though:-) I can't even imagine the pain you were in...ouch!! You sure have had an exciting life so far, haven't you! lol Big hugs xoxox

Julia said...

Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, is there anything you haven't done yet?
You could fool me with loving pink and all that but goodness girl, you are queen of the West. You ride tractors and shoot guns and kick ass to prisoners and ride a whole week to a crazy horse and got kicked silly by a horse and you are still here to tell us about it. Even your escapade at the political debate is still quite out of the ordinary.

I love your story, it was so interesting. Thanks for this post. Never a boring moment in your life.

Hugs, love you JB

Cheryl~ZanyMayd said...

Hi Maggie ~ Thanks so much for stopping by & reading my story.... Now for Yours, Unbelievable, I can't even imagine traveling by horse back 100 miles, but to complete it after being Kicked! You are Amazing... I really enjoyed your story, I look forward to Donna's MLM growing with followers each month~ Have a wonderful week

Sweet Tea said...

You are one "Tough Cookie"!
What a great and grand story!!

Julia said...

Maggie, I was getting into bed and as I was reviewing my day and realized that I forgot to mentioned how sorry I was about the school shooting in Ohio. I had read your post earlier this morning and didn't had time to comment but I reread it again just now and I was so taken by your story that the shooting at the Ohio school kind of slipped by. Of course my prayers goes to all those who are affected by this. I've been so busy all day that I didn't even listened to the news. Thanks for letting us know. Hugs. JB

Garden of Egan said...

Ya.....just what I life is so not boring!!!

I bet that old guy just wanted to watch your backside!

joanne said...

Oh you crazy girl! I just knew you had some fantastic stories just waiting to be told. Sounds like a blast, really. You are tough to the core girlfriend.
Happy happiest birthday to you son Clint...I pray all is well with him.

Arkansas Patti said...

Ha ha , I think I married his brother.
Such a jewel to give you a rank horse. Guess you fixed him by going past the 8 second bell.
You,young lady are one toughie. I would have been playing the drama queen in a wagon sucking the beer barrel dry. What a gal.
Happy Birthday to Clint and hope he is doing well.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sweet Maggie you gotta be one of the strongest women I know. Had that been me I would have been ready to do some husband head kicking for putting me on that horse. Sure happy you survived. I enjoyed reading this very much but felt sorry for you as I read. Hugs

Cherrie said...

I would love you to write a book with all your stories. I would buy it :)

Sue said...

I love this kind of reenactment. My church does it, too, with pioneer treks. What wonderful experiences for all involved. And you are a trooper to take part!


PS. Happy birthday to Clint!!

Sybil said...

Oh Maggie...what a one you are..I woudl just love to have been with you on that fact I would just love to be seeing it now...
can't top your leg though...funniest thing to happen to me was on a ride over the hills on an Icelandic pony with a group of girls from the bank..the lead horse flew off and mine decided to follow close on his wooden leg decided it didn't like being held in teh stirrup and promtly fell off !!! me hangong on for dear life yelling..."some go back and get me leg" !! (most hadn't even realised I had a wooden one LOL
Have a great week Maggie I love you xx
sybil xxx

Sybil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Delena said...

Maggie you are awesome. I love your life adventures and the way you tell them.
Have a nice week.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog often so not surprised to find that you have ridden the Salt Grass Ride. Not many women rode it when you mentioned riding it so I tip my hat to you for having the fortitude to ride seven days on a horse with a bone fracture at that.
I rode it twice in the mid 70's and unlike you I was not sober. Not bragging but most days it was miserably cold and raining so we all drank a lot. I actually slept most of one day in the mess wagon so not sure I am justified in saying I rode it the entire 100 miles like you did.
Your husband sounds like he was a @#*^. Pardon my language.
Wish I could meet a woman like you.
You make me laugh when I come by your site and the life you have lead in law enforcement is something especially working in a prison for years.
Yet you don't have the rough edges about you that you find in others that have worked where you have.
I am completely taken by you but from what I have read your not dating or even thinking of it. Am I right.
Not trying to scare you I am not a stalker just a guy that enjoys reading your writing.
Like your other friends on here I think you should consider doing a book. You have the material.
Your strong and have the gift so go for it.

Pat MacKenzie said...

You are now officially my hero! Being a city girl, I couldn't imagine such a grueling trip, and with a broken leg to boot! There's a reason I'm not overly fond of horses. One bit my boob when I was a teenager and I've never trusted the species since.

Darlene said...

Wow! What a story that was. That ride sounds prety grueling. Just reading about that horse kicking your leg made mine actually hurt for just a few moments. It was really weird. I'll bet you will remember ride for the rest of your life!

By the way, I really do enjoy stories about when you worked at the prison. Please don't stop writing abouta your experiences there.

I hope you have a happy birthday reunion with Clint.

Julie Harward said...

What a story Maggie...if one is around horses long enough, one will get kicked! I know, and the power at the end of that hoof is shocking! ;)

A Tale of Two Cities said...

I never knew the history behind the trail! You really enlightened me today. Have you been to the rodeo in awhile? It's been a long time now for me!