Tora Bora

6. Ride Day - Tora Bora

The next loop was Tora Bora - the famous hilly loop. It really is a tough one - sand, hills, and no air - especially down in the bottoms. The horses pretty much trudged through this loop. Trotting the flats and gentle inclines, walking the steep downhills.

We were joined by Cowboy (Mark Dail - Darolyn Butler's husband, here working for one of the stables) - he picked up the spirits a lot, more laughs, zooming along with his jeep. Juan rode along with Cowboy - I think he was ready for some male company at this point- enjoying the ride, and hanging on.. The track for the horses on Tora Bora had been hardened by hauling in rock - so it was pretty decent footing, but the side trails for the rigs were dunes - fun!

Sheikh Mana We were also joined by a white Lexus 4wd rig - tinted windows - "22" license plate. (nice rig...). Madiya's eyes lit up - out flew her brother, Sheikh Mana. He came to help crew - along with his friend, driving grandma's rig. Barefooted, white robed, it was a grand sight to watch them zooming up ahead with the rig, Mana hanging on to the side of the car, white robes flapping, fishtailing through the sand, quick stop and running out to hand his little sister a bottle of water. The horses were most definetely wary of the white robes though... took a few tries before they would get near him.

Sheikha Madiya Mana is a very funny guy - laughing devilish eyes, willing to laugh at himself and anybody else. He pulled off his head scarf (shimagh) to show Grace - he had just shaved all his hair off! Quick laugh and he's off again.

I asked him at one point what he thought of his sister... he said 'She needs my help, I will go with her this summer to take care of her". He's headed to Florida next week, will follow her to Argentina - and he said he'd bring his friends to Idaho this summer - they'd all run around in white robes for the locals. Fun guy. Doesn't work, doesn't have to - just enjoys life.

Time to Walk Toady wasn't having fun on this loop. Meg finally decided to pull back and get off and walk for a while. Bill and Dave stayed back with her. DeWayne Brown and Dennis Summers had also joined us in their rig for this loop - Sue had pulled - Ray had mild thumps. With Cowboy and the white Lexus there were plenty of support rigs, so we split up. It was pretty hot and nasty... puttering along, but it was definitely 'endurance' during this loop. We stopped at all the water points, but the horses weren't drinking much.

The pace was slow enough that they probably didn't need water at every point, but we still tried. A few kilomoters out we were joined again by Meg and Toady. She had perked up, willing to move out again, so the trio was reunited and came together into the 4th hold.

They all vetted through fine, Toady's CRI was 44/44 and metabolics good, but she still didn't want to eat anything. We gave her applesauce and date syrup by syringe, which she seemed happy to have. Hoping to keep her energy level high, hoping she'd finally start wolfing the food like the others - the other two ate and drank well. This was another 40 minute hold with a mandatory recheck. We took extra time, letting them eat more - and then to the recheck. Aliya trotted strong, good metabolics, but the vet (Jim Bryant) said to be careful, she was looking muscle tired in the hindquarters. Toady looked fine, good metabolics, good CRI... sure wish she'd eat though.

Madiya's horse trotted, and looked fine to me - but the vet called a committee of three over, trotted again - he looked a little 'rolling' in his gait, but I couldn't really see a head nod - but the committee voted to eliminate him. Madiya was out. We were all ready for the disappointment, but she was absolutely fine. 'I don't care, I'm happy - he did great - we have lots more rides to do - he is a good horse and it was a good day. Let's go take care of the other horses.'.


Heather and Cowoby Bill Stevens Grandmother's Car
Cowboy and Grace Rigs Steward on the Hill

FEI Website

HH President's Cup
February 17, 2005
Abu Dhabi, UAE

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