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Gambler's Special

Went on my first competitive ride for the season last Saturday.  Took two 
two of my horses for their first 50 and my 11 year old neighbor rode one for her first 

I didn't plan to move real fast as my goal was to just finish 
with healthy horses.  We left at the very back of the 50's, the 65 milers had left an 
hour earlier.  After moving at a slow jog to warm up horses I just
followed a couple of horses ahead of us. . . BIG MISTAKE!  I learned
an important lesson, just because someone is ahead does not mean
they know where they are going!

We went I guess 5-6 miles out and finally stopped because one of
the gals I was following decided we were not on the right trail, so
we stop and cuss and discuss for a few minutes when down the trail 
comes 3 65 milers and they holler that we are on the wrong trail
and they are also.  They take off back tracking while we still
cuss and discuss when another lone 65 miler comes and she is 
lost also and then a 50 miler that was just ahead us came back and 
said we were on the wrong trail.  Finally we all start back tracking
and come across two other lost souls.  We have to back track for
a good 4 miles I guess when we come across the correct trail that 
happens to be very well marked.  We all decided that never follow 
the person ahead without checking your map and making sure you
are on the correct trail. . . you are the leader of your destiny!

By assuming that the person in front that I was following new where 
she was going cost my poor horses I don't know but somewhere between
5-8 miles of extra riding and a couple of extra hours and it was 
my own fault.

We did complete the ride, not in any record time, 9 hours and 25 min.
but the horses were fine and we were happy.

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