Photos by Jessica R. Anderson
Mt. Adams was a blast!!! It threatened to rain but held off just long enough to get through the ride and the awards Sunday morning:)
I headed over Friday morning and made it into camp about 1pm. The camp was already pretty full and I ended up parking way down by the last water tank and porta potty. Cartman hauled well and we managed to get in a little warm up ride after vetting in.
I wandered around a little and let him graze on the wonderful grass they had in camp.
As usual he was a little restless Friday night and after being woke up for about the 50th time in 2 hours I started thinking one of those Hold Your Horses corrals might be really nice!
In all seriousness I am considering trying one. I think he would be able to move around more and I wouldn't have to listen to the "springing" of the hi-tie all night long. Not to mention it's only a matter of time before someone dents up the trailer with a misplaced foot or an itchy halter clad face!
Saturday morning I was up before my alarm. For once I felt somewhat prepared! I had packed the saddle with snacks, water, and my vet card. We did more handwalking and grazing and then I downed a protein shake with peanut butter and saddled up.
I was not aware until ride meeting Friday night that we were actually doing a 30miler this year. So we had 7hours and 15 minutes to complete.
Since I haven't gotten as much hill conditioning in as I would have liked I decided to hang back and actually see the front runners leave camp before we ambled over to the start. I did not want him to get all amped up and want to chase them. Cartman was relaxed and he snacked his way across the field to the start.
Thankfully this attitude lasted for the first mile or so. Then he went through a bit of a bratty phase when we had a little disagreement about whether we really should be trying to pace a mule going downhill. He thought so, I thought not!
I ended up having to circle him a few times and at one point he actually have a few tantrum-like jumps up and down. I felt like I was riding a coiled spring...
Thankfully his good nature took back over pretty quickly and we settled into a good pace.
Since one of the two items I forgot to pack was.... my GPS/HRM (dingbat) I had no idea how far we had gone or how high his heart rate was. I know this ride is a bit deceptive, lots and lots of climbing and dropping in elevation. I had no care as to where we "placed" as my goal is not racing, so we just carried on at a good clip and walked through any rocky areas or steep declines.
We ended up hanging with a very nice lady on a big beautiful bay TB and a junior on a lovely grey registered Paint. It was the Paint's first time out and he was a rock star- acting like he'd been at this for ever.
Cartman really liked the pair of horses and called to them like they were his own herd when we parted ways at the vet check.
Before I knew it we back in camp after completing 16miles. Cartman pulsed right in and went to dragging me around for grass bites while we waited in the vet line. He got all A's but B on gut sounds.
I had packed a bag and taken it over to the check, since I ended up in the vet line almost through an entire hold at this ride once. This year we got lucky and had enough time to sneak back to the trailer for a few minutes.
As always, I was 10 minutes late leaving out on our last loop. Cartman actually broke into his big trot as we left camp this time! So proud of him:)
The last loop was about 13 miles and again was lots of down, down, down. The footing was SO good on this ride, as close to perfect as it gets for a mountain ride I think. I ended up riding with a lady named M. that I was actually bringing a saddle to swap with from my riding buddy Michelle.
We cruised along chatting and enjoying the beauty of the trail. Before I knew it we had hit a common trail from the morning and we were headed back up a LONG steady climb back to camp. It had started to warm up and I am really aware that Cartman does not pulse/cool down as quickly as he could once the temperature starts climbing.
I decided to walk in the last 1/4 mile while M. went on at a little jog. I couldn't believe it, we were right back to the brattitude I had at the start of the ride. When his "buddy" got out of sight Cartman was bouncing, bunching up his neck and basically being a little shit head!
This didn't last long though and once they were out of sight he settled right back down. By that time I had hopped off to loosen his girth and he was trying to inhale as much grass as possible, while I tried to steer him back towards the trail and the finish.
We tried a pulse in but he was at 68. I led him over to a tiny shady spot and he grabbed two huge mouthfuls of grass and then stretched out and (sorry non-horse people) "pee'd like a racehorse". Whew.
I drug him back over to the pulse area and he was at 60bpm.
About this time he started stomping and jumping around and I was thinking "what the heck is going on????"
We got in the vet line and about every 2 minutes he would flail around and act like a nutball. It was a large horse fly causing all this commotion. But they ladies behind me did give him a wide berth. So embarrassing.
We vetted through with A's and again one B on gut sounds! Yeah, first ride of the year in the bag:)
Following photos are by me
|we got to ride through the burn area, don't get off trail!!!!!!|
|It was eerie, I kept feeling like I was riding through a Lord of the Rings movie.|
|Mt Adams above|
|view from our camp site|
|caught almost napping post-ride|
|Mt Adams in clouds above ride camp|
|Sunday morning graze-about.|