Wednesday, September 19, 2012

 Friday morning we were off about 9:20 am for Brothers Oregon.
A picture of my ride picture taken by Brown's Photo- the original is crystal clear and sharp.

The trip went pretty well.  We stopped in Madras for Starbucks and a little break, then headed to Bend to catch Hwy 20 to our destination. 

Unfortunately I managed to miss the turn once and we had to cruise Bend for an extra 20 minutes or so.  Bend has entirely too many stoplights for my taste and I think I'll avoid that one from now on.

We finally got on the right road and pulled into ridecamp about 3pm.

It is desert, for sure!  The camp was pretty flat and pretty dusty.  We found a good spot and started the unpacking process.  When both  horses were settled in with hay and water and our camp was set up (cots in the horse trailer), we headed over to check in and then vet in.

Cartman and Tucker both had low gut sounds, the vet surmised that this was from our rather long trailer ride.  I have never hauled C that far and I don't think Tucker had ever done it either.

Trailers started filling up camp as the afternoon wore on and we visited with a few of our "neighbors".  For dinner we had a great salad topped with some yummy chicken that Michelle grilled on her Traeger grill. 

The ride meeting was at 7pm and it was pretty dark by the time we got back to our trailer.  By about 9pm we were in our sleeping bags, hoping for some uninteruppted slumber.

I was having some issues with my neck (yes, even with the down pillow) I could not get comfortable and tossed and turned a lot.

Michelle's phone alarm went off at 5:30 and we got up to feed and water the horses.  We had our first experience using a Coleman camp stove and after several muddled, caffeine deprived attempts we were able to hook up the Propane bottle and had water boiling in no time.  Whew,  that could have been a real disaster.

The 100's were off at 6am, and then the 50's at 7am.  By 7:30 we were tacking up and getting ready to go too!  I forced myself to eat a banana and a breakfast bar and drink a whole travel mug of coffee,  then downed a V-8 juice for good measure.  I had managed to get a little headache somewhere during the night and really dreaded putting on that helmet.  

Once in the saddle Michelle and I walked the boys down the road towards the start.  At ride meeting they'd said about 20 horses in the LD but I believe they ended up with about 30.  We'd planned to try and get off in the middle of the pack, after the speed demons but before all the people waiting for the back of the pack. 
leaving camp

After they first bunch left we calmly walked out of the starting area towards the trail.   C is just getting better and better at the start of the ride.  He was absolutely on a loose rein and just put on his big walk and cruised.

As soon as we hit the trail we let the boys jog and they picked up a pretty good pace.  The trail was awesome.  It was dirt/sand and after the first 1/2 mile was wide enough that we could ride two abreast.  We'd planned to mix it up leading and following and when we hit the wide trail Tucker put the hammer down and pulled to the lead.  C was just fine following and we spent a couple of miles like this.

About half way through the first loop of 12.5 miles was a pretty good hill.  We passed a couple of horses we'd been leap frogging with but then had to slow as it got rocky and a little steep.  Coming down the hill we jumped off our horses and led them from foot.

This little break seemed to re-energize the boys and when we remounted they were ready to go!

The water on this ride was fabulous.  Just about the time I'd think about water, a trough would appear on the trail ahead.  It was starting to warm up just a little, and since we had been trotting so much Cartman dove right into the troughs. 

Before I could even believe it we could see ridecamp in the distance.  We passed the photographer's and got some pictures.  At 9:58 we pulsed down at the vet check.  The hold for the LD was in camp, but since it was only 30 minutes we had brought over a bag with snacks for the boys and us.  Both horses vetted through well.  We  discovered that Michelle had lost her sponge and I had lost my leadrope!

We were back on the trail just a few minutes over time.  We jogged for several miles and then took a little break to let the horses snack on some dried out grass and carrot bites.

The ride manager had been out all day on the trail in her ATV, she stopped to chat with us for a few minutes on our little break and promised to look for the sponge and lead rope during the day.  We really appreciated it, but didn't hold out much hope- especially for the tan (trail colored) sponge.

The day was starting to warm up and the boys were dogging it a little during this part of the ride.  We finally came over a ridge and could see Ridecamp way off in the distance.  This seemed to thrill Cartman.  We were riding along a fence line and I could tell C had one eye on the trail but kept looking over the fence towards camp, I think he was looking for a break in the fence.  At one section of trail we were able to break into a canter for a bit.  I hadn't let C do this during a ride before and it was a blast! 
ridecamp in the distance, the dust spot is a horse and rider heading in.

We turned uphill at this point and away from camp.  This was not a real popular idea with the boys, they really started dragging butt.

Finally we reached the water trough that was on the common trail back to camp.  Both horses had been drinking really well and tanked up here.  A few horses had pulled in behind us and as one passed us and took off at a jog the boys decided "It's On!"  Cartman took off in a big trot and Tucker tried to pull the reins out of Michelle's hands.  They were completely rejuvinated and ready to get home.

I pulled C back a little and let the two horses who had passed go on.  It was really too dusty for tailing the other horses.  C behaved well and eased up for a bit.  When they were a good distance ahead I let him roll again and he hit a gear I had not seen before.  Much like his mother Dazzby he can really rock the big trot.  Tucker broke into a lope to keep up but I didn't let C go on too long at that pace.  I know its pretty hard on his joints and he was at the end of 25 miles and I didn't want an injury just for a fun few minutes.

We made it back to camp and were 20th and 21st to complete.  Both horses got over all vet scores of "A".  We were really pleased with our results and I think taking the extra carrots out on the trail for snacks is helping the horses gut sounds.

We spent the afternoon eating, drinking, sponging horses (Cartman rolled immediately after his sponge bath- agh!), and mudding legs.  We also did some more visiting and met a few really nice people.
post-roll dirty horse

dirt, on mud

One lady we met is into Ride and Tie and I think Michelle is considering giving that a try. 

We chatted with a guy from California who had come up for the Appaloosa Championship race.  He came in 9th in the 50 on his cute Appy mare and I believe they won the Championship too!  It was neat because neither Michelle or I new much about the breed (other than the spot thing) and this guy even breeds Appaloosas.  It seems there is an effort to breed Appaloosas that go back to the foundation of the breed.  He also told us that at one point the US Govt had even put a bounty on Appaloosa horses in an effort to get rid of the Indian ponies. 

Its neat to talk to people about their chosen breed of horses, there are so many that I know nothing about.
C and I shared some watermelon

Our immediate neighbors were a nice couple from Oregon that placed 3rd and 5th in the 50 on an Arab/Standarbred (I think) cross and a huge  lovelyAnglo Arab gelding.  I'm surprised to not see more Anglo's competing in this sport.  Perhaps I just don't know them all!

All in all we had a great time at this ride, I loved the scenery and the trail.  We packed up camp Sunday morning after awards (the RM found both my lead rope and M's sponge!) and headed home.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


itWe are off to the Oregon 100!!!!

Today kinda sucked.  Work is really busy, so I was totally stressed out trying to wrap up things so that I could be gone.  When I left I had 51 hours in this week, not including the vacation day tomorrow.  OK then, no wonder I feel a little frazzled!

To top things off, I hadn't made it to the store to get food for the trip, Cartman needed a bath (probably last chance for a real one this year- as he'll be going to the trainer's for a few weeks after this ride.)  Then I noticed the truck was filthy, it had been sitting under a tree and had little pine needles and purple bird poo all over it (blackberries are in full swing here).  I hadn't packed anything in the truck and I still needed to do laundry. 

I settled into a little routine and started getting it together.  It was going pretty well.  I had finished scraping bots off of Cartman, slicked his tail up with Show Sheen and gotten him back out to the field with Girlie.  All the horses were fed, the beet pulp was soaked, the fly masks were washed and hanging with care.  When what to my wondering eyes should appear... 

Wait, wrong story.  What did not appear... was the strap for the Hi Tie.  The one item I could probably not stop off and pick up at the feed store or mall.  The tie is adjustable and has a panic snap so you can safely tie your horse to the flexible arm of the Hi Tie.

I got up into the bed of the truck and started undoing all the totes of gear.  I went thru the tack tote, then the horse care tote, finally my camping tote.  No luck.  I opened up the hay bag and felt all around the hay and under it.  I went through the whole pick up, every little nook and cranny, even the gun safe/goldfish cracker holder.  No tie.

I went and dug my headlamp out of my gear bag and did it all again.  I went through the tack room, looked under and behind everything.  Feed room, same story.  No tie!!!

Finally I accepted the somehow I must have lost it as I packed up from Bare Bones.  Totally irritated with myself at this point, I gave up and headed to the grocery store.

I think that I can fashion a temporary strap using an old trailer tie that has a safety snap on one end and an old lead rope.  I will just tie the rope to the trailer tie and cut it at the appropriate length.  Then clip the trailer tie to the Hi Tie arm.  It will look hideous, but after they see my Hi Tie the mismatched pair of Ariat boots aren't going to be so bad.

And that brings me to what I hope is the last of today's trials and tribulations.  One of my old comfortable Ariat boots broke its lace a few weeks ago.  I purchased a new one at the Wilco Grand Opening sale and tonite was the night I tried to install it. 

Oh lord, who'd have known lacing a boot could be such an ordeal.  I'd never actually paid any attention to how these boots are lace, but let me tell you its no criss cross, back and forth lacing job on these babies.  No, the laces are set on top of the bottom of the opening, with a little leather flap in there to boot.  The new laces are a little thicker than the original ones, so they are hard to force through the holes and don't slide.  It  took me about 20 minutes to get one lace in some sort of order and really would have been easier with a pair of needle nose pliers.

I can't imaging how they mass lace these things at the factory.  It was such a pain that after the first one was done I stopped.  I'm debating whether having one brown lace and one black lace is such a bad thing. 

Well off to bed now, gotta get up early tomorrow and hit the road.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Rides

I got two rides in this weekend.

Saturday Cartman and I did a solo ride over on the jogging path.  It was pretty warm and he got a good workout jogging and cantering on the trail.  His canter is definately improving, although we still need better balance on the right lead.

I rode for about an hour at the jog/lope and then walked for about a mile to cool out. 

Sunday Michelle and I hauled up to the trails and did our our outer rim trail.  There are some really good hill climbs on our standard path and today we let the horses jog and even lope some of these.  They are getting really fit and can make a lot better time than a few months ago. 

Also, I've noticed Cartman has gotten where he can jog on some of the winding, twisty trails, whereas last year we had walk all of these sections.  He's turning into a real dependable trail horse :)

I'm starting to plan out what needs to be done before the OR100, in less than two weeks! 


I got one more noxious task completed for winter- by hand no less!

In other news, Certified Girl appears to have an abscessed tooth, or something.  I noticed her jaw was swollen Sunday morning.  Pulled her up to the barn and called my vet.

He came out a few hours later and "tried" to examine her mouth.  She was less than cooperative, despite getting enough tranqs to actually set her on her butt two times.  Between the swelling, the halter and her 'tude we finally decided to just see if the lump will drain.  Then start anti-biotics.  Hopefully it will heal up this way, but the next step would be yet another trip to the clinic in Gresham to see a dentist.  As I think the only way to get in there that far back, with all the swelling, is going to be with her knocked out completely.  Sigh.

Girlie had already lost at least two of her teeth at the time of her last dental work a year ago.  The dentist noted that another was getting ready to come out at that time (on the same side as the lump).  She quids hay pretty badly and I have to feed her fine hay from now on.  She is in good body condition though, so hopefully this issue will resolve without a lot of fuss.

Today I cut out a circle of an Animalintex pad and taped it to her jaw with Elastikon.  I pulled it off when feeding this evening and it is really looking like its going to burst soon.  She has such a high pain tolerance, she is eating and bossing Cartman around like nothing is wrong. 

Hopefully it will have burst in the morning and I will start her on the Uniprim powder then.