My plan this time out was to just go really slow and easy, take some pictures for the blog, see the scenery and enjoy an easy 25 miles.
Friday morning we loaded Dazzby into the last slot of Glen and Flo's awesome living quarter trailer and headed south, then east, then northeast. We rolled into camp about 6.5 hours later and got comfortable. The terrain is rolling hills, grasslands, no trees really to speak of, and beautiful big sky.
I took Dazz over to vet in. He opened her mouth and said "Oh this is an old fella!"
I informed him that 17 is the new 12.
That night the ride sponsored a big stew dinner and we had dessert potluck. I made cupcakes, chocolate and white with white frosting. I'm not sure I'll go with cupcakes again, they don't really travel all that well. There was a ride meeting, unfortunately I happened to be seated near the "partying" group and couldn't hear a word that was said by the ride manager. I'll admit I was wishing a nice hangover to the one lady that carryed on so. I must work on my tolerance I guess.
After the meeting we headed back to the trailer and got ready for the next morning.
Glen and Flo did a 50, so they saddled up and headed out at 7am.
About 7:20 I started getting Dazz tacked up. I tried to dawdle a little as I didn't want to get stuck in the throng of horses milling around at the start.
When I saw the frontrunners go by our camp I walked over to the start and we were off!
Within the first mile Dazz started having "issues". She was SO naughty. Threatening to buck, then flinging her head up and hopping. I got after her a bit, but finally had to stop and get off. I figured I was getting off one way or another anyway. I hoped that handwalking her a bit would help.
The start of this ride has some pretty good rolling hills and single track trail. I stumbled up the trail trying to stay out of the way of my crazed horse, while keeping her somewhat on the trail and out of the way of other horses. Eeeek. She actually kicked out at another horse at one point.
I'm not sure I've ever seen this mare that ticked off.
I finally climbed back on, when we started getting to some steeper downhill sections and we continued on down the trail, me and my fire breathing dragon.
Last year I got a few nice pics during the first part of the ride, but this year I had my reins in a cross and couldn't let go. I was thinking it might be nice to have a set of my racing reins with the rubber grips, after all this ride was like trying to gallop a fit race-ready TB.
By the time we got back to camp I was absolutely worn out and my sleek TB looked like an American Curly Horse.
The vet's comment after doing her check was "This horse hasn't had enough miles."
The second loop was oh so nice! My angel mare was back with me and I was loving it. I did get off and walk quite a bit, I was sore and I was still worried that Dazz wasn't quite as fit as her pissy-tude was indicating.
At one point we were about half way out and headed back in the direction of camp. Dazzby knew it too, she grabbed the bit (not in the obnoxious manner of the first loop). She just grabbed the bit and took off in her awesome forward trot. She was having fun! We slipped into canter and were having a great time. I think she was actually looking for ribbons.
Before we knew it camp was in sight!
We spent the afternoon eating, taking walks (my new strategy to help keep her from stocking up after every ride), visiting, crewing for Glen and Flo, and more eating.
I got to see AareneX and Miss Fiddle heading out for their last loop on the 50 (wearing the most stunning purple rump rug- I might add).
I crewed for Glen and Flo on their last hold and basically just had a good time watching all the horses and riders coming and going at the vet check. It was a great day.
Riders heading out on the 50:
Next post, ride strategy critique. Time to change strategies?