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USA East

My fat (condition score a 6+), underconditioned, barefoot behind mare
actually completed the USA East 50 on Sunday. It's a flat, very sandy ride,
the weather was very cool (in the 40's) with lots of water on trail-perfect
for the first ride of the season. I went expecting to pull and viewing it
as a monitored training ride-My mare really surprised me! I'd left her
barefoot behind because I did not anticipate doing the entire 50 miles!
We went slowly-finished in just under 9 hours, she was a bit tired but
overall she was great-no arrythmias at all despite some mind fart sweating
during the first 10 miles. Rode most of the way with Jean Devecchio-great
company and going exactly the pace I wanted to go-just when I started to
think about walking, she'd say let's walk. Becky Wachtel rode the first
loop with me and we caught up with Jean about half way through it. Becky
was on her good old Shubie, the unregistered Morgan type horse but Shubie
wanted to go faster so she went ahead of us the rest of the ride, she did
really well. As far as Fling's ride management, I had one dose of Northern
Lytes (Trish Dowling's new recipe) that I gave her at the first vet check,
had given her my homemade concoction before the ride (at 3AM with her usual
breakfast, of which she onlyt ate half) and a small dose at the second
check. Her thirst and appetite really kicked in after the Northern
Lytes...She got hay cubes, 4-5 carrots and a couple handfuls of her
extruded feed at each check plus free choice hay, though she prefers to
steal other horses hay.  Her recoveries were the best they have ever been
and she was SOUND (thought the last 10 miles or so she got a little ouchy
on gravel-luckily there wasn't much of that)! YAY! I'm sooo proud of her!
Now I am really psyched to try the OD 100....

Patti did a great job as ride manager, God bless her for loaning me a pen
for Fling, since I vetted the first day...She did neglect to tell me in
advance that I would be the only vet to check the horses in on Friday! And
it was COLD- light blowing snow all afternoon. I was camping in the back of
my truck with my dog-it was so cold his drinking water froze solid in the
truck with us! Thank God for two wonderful sleeping bags and tons of
blankets and the cap over my truck bed. Makes you a bit jealous of all
those fancy new rigs that were there (lots of discussion about them going
on pre-ride-it seems the men are more insistant on the creatures comforts
than the women!)

29 horses started the first day, 5 of them in the two day 100, about 20
more came for the second 50 on Sunday. I don't know all of the results, but
from memory, 5 horses pulled the first day, most for lameness (that deep
sand can be really deceptive), only one the second. Sandy Terp and her
sister, Nancy Wombacher, had a bad day Saturday. When Sandy's horse pulled
for lameness, Nancy decided to pull too. The cause of the lameness was not
obvious and hopefully it was something really minor. Maggie Price was there
with her usual entourage of riders, as was Pam Weidel, who brought I think
the only junior to compete. Patti's great horse Savaq was ridden by a
wonderful Brazilian woman, Nika, who also scribed for me Friday (she'd only
been in the USA 3 days and was Freezing-what a good sport!). Savaq came in
second in the hundred.  Maggie rode only on Sunday-I'm sure she finished in
the top Ten. Heather Hoyne came down from Vermont to ride Just Bill in the
50 on Saturday and won Best Condition for that day.  Meg Sleeper vetted
with me Saturday and rode with her husband, Dave on Sunday - I know they
both completed but I'm not sure what place. April (didn't catch her last
name) on Max, a huge drafty type horse successfully completed both days!
It's a joy to see her with that horse-she adores him and he's such a
trouper. Bucky Spicer (sp?), an inspiration to us all who aspire to
continue to compete in our senior years, completed well on the first day.
Her unfailing good humor and energy are wonderful. Steve and Bette Baker
showed up for the Sunday ride. Only Steve rode and I heard he won best
condition for that day. Ellen Tully rode Bahrain on Saturday and completed
well then rode Patti Pizzo's new horse (who kept Fling company in camp on
Saturday:->) on Sunday. I know they top tenned but not sure where. I
believe Mary Coleman (the Amish Blanket lady!) completed the 100, but may
have only been in the first 50-my memory is failing me!
Sorry this is a bit disjointed. I've left a lot of people out, but it was a
great group, good people and fun!

Sarah and Fling (Mom, do I get shoes on my hind feet now?-yes)

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