Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bare Bones 2015

My new favorite photo, by Cassidy Rae

Celena Pentrack, look who's leading!!!

We started early! 5:30am

Proof, Cartman can follow.... you can see that right??? LOL.

Western Washington can be beautiful too.

I love this view.

Official ride photo, by Cassidy Rae
Bare Bones was a relaxed ride for us.  It is only an hour north so I worked until about 2pm then headed up around 5pm.  It was so hot that I actually considered just getting up at 3am and hauling in morning of.... but I didn't do it. 

Michelle got there a bit earlier and snagged us a spot in the shade. Yeah!  It's funny to complain of heat here in W. Wa. but it really has been quite warm this year.  I think it was around 90 degrees on Friday.

We were set to go out at 5:30am so had to be up early. Good thing I typically get up at 4am anyway! 
We were hoping to keep Cinn. and C. out of a line of traffic as this ride is mostly single track with limited passing areas.  So, we were on and ready right as the trail was opened.  Unfortunatel I managed to push some button on the GPS and locked the key pad.  So, we milled around and let the horses stand while I frantically tried to figure out how to unlock it.

Finally we were off!!! And walking!!!  Both horses were great. No fire breathing dragon today.  They headed out at a comfortable pace and into the forest we went.

I really do enjoy those trails. 

It is not what I consider a really easy ride though.  The horses are constantly working, twisting, turning, stepping over rocks and roots, climbing, descending. You can't always see what is coming around the bend either, and this is bike riding territory. 

This year it has been hot so the bees are very active.  We had been warned to stay on trail.  There really aren't a lot of places to pass anyway.  Most of the riders we encountered were very polite about it and we tried to be as well. Only one lady seemed a slight bit irritated to be behind us and we were fairly close to a road so I just let her wait.  I will absolutely try to let anyone pass, I don't care about placing so it doesn't matter to me.  I am stubborn enough to not be pushed by people though.

We were heading down a long hill when Michelle shouted out she'd been stung.  Ooops.  We took off at a fast trot and got outta there as quickly as possible. 

We made it into the vet check for a trot by, I think towards the back of the pack.  Back out of the trail we had gone about 2-3miles when Cinnamon lost a shoe. Crap.  So, I had brought two Renegades along but we didn't have a good way to carry them and left them at the trailer.  Lesson learned.

Cartman and I continued on while Michelle turned back to the vet check :(

I think this loop was 10 miles or so. 

Cartman was on fire.  He wanted to go.  It's funny that at this ride I found he was absolutely taking care of watching the footing.  Usually I will ride looking out about 15 feet in front of us and will slow him for rocks and collect where needed.  When we hit open trail I ask him to pick back up the speed.

It's been what- three or four years of trail work now- and I can trust him to take care of it.  I found that it is a lot easier on me to have him watching as well.  It's very comfortable to have this understanding.

We got back to the vet check and it was pretty crowded.  Michelle and Cinn. were there waiting for a trailer ride back to camp.  Some nice lady had lent her a boot but by time she got back Cinn was still a little ouchy on the foot so they pulled. 

I kept on task and was out on trail right on time this time!  C was so forward, it felt like we were flying on this loop.  At one point we were cantering for quite a ways on a nice little gravel road when I spotted ribbons leading up and back into the woods.  I pulled him around intending to stop and turn back to the trail.  He had other ideas and just leapt up the tiny hill back onto the trail.  I think he was having fun :)

About 3 miles out I realized that I'd not gotten my water bottles switched out and was out of water.  Ugh.  It was going to be a hot dry ride back, as the sun was now pounding down on everything and the temp was rising rapidly.

As luck would have it I ran into some trail angels filling troughs!  They gave us fly spray and a bottle of water! Whew, volunteers at this ride are awesome.  I got to meet Eileen Reilich as she was one of the water crew- its fun to put names to faces from our PNER facebook page.

We made it back to camp at 12:01, pulsed in at 12:03 and then had to wait in vet line for a while.  It was nice and shady and they had hay so we were all happy.  I was offered another bottle of water and it tasted so good.

Cartman passed his check with all A's.  Dr Randy Lee was vetting and it was nice to see him again.

Michelle and Cinnamon had just gotten back to camp as well, so we let the horses eat for about 2 hours.  I just could not get enough water, I swear I must have drank a gallon of water and electrolyte water.  Finally I felt up to wandering camp to visit a bit. 

We saw Laura Bond and Wiley and they had completed as well. Yeah!

Finally we loaded up and hauled home, it was really nice to be able to turn him back out after all that hard work.  He took off running and threw in a few small happy bucks.... I think he will be ready for a 50 at OR100!

Bandit Springs 2015

Catch up post here:

We headed over to the Ochocos for the 25th Bandit Springs Ride. 
It has not rained for months, yet as we came through Prineville water was running 8 inches deep in the ditches.  It was thunder and lightening, right in the direction we were heading.

We made it to ride camp and there was a brief clearing that gave us a good opportunity to set up camp.  I did make sure and turn the trailer around heading out, just in case the roads became really muddy.  Plus I like to know we are ready to go quickly in case of fire.

Ride meeting was fun, we saw some familiar faces and enjoyed cake!

It rained over night, I woke up hearing it on the trailer roof and was glad we had put rain sheets on the ponies and didn't have to try to do it in the rain, with a headlamp.

The next morning it was pretty clear though and we headed out, around 8am? I can't remember exactly what time it was. 

Cinnamon got a bit excited at the start, we had to go down a road out of camp and we had several groups of horses in sight.  We went ahead and let them trot as soon as the road opened up and we had a clear path. 

Cinn. started going faster and faster, so we put the 1200lb brakes in front of her.  C was really good about it, I worried a bit that he might get amped up as well but he was pretty content.  I could hear a fire-breathing dragon behind us though!

About 1 mile out we had to cross a small ditch.  It was one of those downhill, into some muddy area, and a small stream deals.  I had to encourage Cartman to go and for a few minutes I thought we were stumped as Cinn. refused to cross.  Michelle got off, and used her long reins as a lead to get across and send Cinn through as well. Whew!

The ride was really nice, beautiful country.  Before I could believe it we were at the vet check!  We had to wait a bit longer that scheduled but I didn't mind.  It was quite relaxing and the horses got to eat their fill.

Finally we were back out on the trail.  About 2 miles out though the weather took a real turn for the worst.  It started just dumping on us. Ugh.  I had ditched my sweatshirt at the vet check so was soon wearing a clingy wet t-shirt. Yuck.  I had a rain jacked tied on back but it was really too warm for me to even consider putting it on. Plus, I was already soaking wet.

We trudged on, trotted anywhere it looked promising and walked, and walked, and walked through the slick mud.

The long walking sets just make me tired and sore, so I was really happy when we got back the road outside of camp.  So happy that I just turned right and cantered back in.  Ooops.

We had already unbridled when the pulser asked us which way we had come in.  I knew pretty much as soon as he started to ask what we had done. Crap.  They had been really clear at the ride meeting that this years ride did not come in on the road. 

We had 3 miles? to go.  We were dry at this point but the sky was threatening again.  Oh, the temptation to just stop right there and get out of those soaking boots and tights....

So, we rebridled the horses, I apologized to the horses and we headed back to where I'd gone off trail. 

Those last three miles were brutal.  It absolutely poured on us and water was running down the middle of the trail so hard we had to try to stay on the side on all the hills.  It was becoming rather slick.

Finally we returned to camp.  We both vetted through and got completions!

Michelle's mare Cinnamon- see the family resemblence?

Stocking up on fuel for tomorrows ride

Ride meeting

25 year anniversary cake for Bandit Springs Endurance Ride

Still eating, must be anticipating a long ride.

Michelle and Cinmamon

These TBs know how to take care of themselves!  At the half way vet check

Beautiful trails

Still dry, still smiling.

Ruh roh.

C is not pleased

Into the tree we go

The last half of the ride looked like this

OMG, soaking wet, still smiling!  M. and Cinn. after completion.

Love the ride awards this year :)

Ha ha, C must have heard rumors of a multi-day- still stuffing his face!