Check it Out!
2001 XP, Day 2
Today was better, but still terribly difficult for the horses. It poured
buckets all night long, literally. The trails were muddy and it was warmer
and very humid. Right now, 7 p.m., it's 75 degrees and 85% humidity. It
threatened to rain on us all day but didn't. Earlier today the humidity
was 97%. It's hard to keep hydrated well, good thing I brought enough
Emergen-C to make 300 gallons of the stuff.
The trail was actually very nice, we're riding thru Kansas now thru corn
fields and farms. It's really green and lots of green grass, along with
puddles from all the rain for the horses to drink out of. Weaver seemed to
handle it pretty well, I have been electrolyting the snot out of him and
hosing and cooling him down every chance I get. I think going thru all
that deep sticky mud tired him out even tho we were holding them back at
the end -- they knew where camp was and just wanted to get finished. It
was a long day. 9:10 ride time for us, and we were 26th and 27th. I rode
with Pat Verhuel most of the day and we had a great time together. I have
lots of photos all ready to put up (and send this email) as soon as I get
an internet connection. We aren't getting strong enough cell reception here.
Rocky looks ready to go for tomorrow. I've been keeping an eye out for
scratches. Lots of horses are going to have them. Especially the greys. I
counted a half a dozen horses going down the trail today thru the mud with
totally bright pink heels. This is my greatest fear for Rocky. Weaver has
never had scratches (knocking on wood). I wonder how many people are going
to be losing shoes after going thru all this mud? I've kept 4 easyboots on
the horses each day and I think that really helps. We haven't slipped in
the mud once, and it's a whole lot more secure on all the pavement.
The weather is nice right now, at least we see blue sky for the first time
since the day before the ride started. Everybody has been busy taking care
of business. Only 56 riders started the first day, and 50 started
today. Yesterday I only know of two pulls -- Karen Nelson, whose horses
pulse stayed high and Kathy Thompson. Kat Swigert finished yesterday but
did not ride today. She has a 16 year old crew person, poor thing --
driving a stick shift on a rig that keeps breaking down.
Scott and Beth Wachenheim were attacked by a badger. We were trotting down
the trail a couple of hundred yards behind them when Beth's horse spooked
sideways, then suddenly out of the bush comes flying this badger after the
horses legs -- they got away but the badger came after them a couple of
times. We waited for it to go back into hiding then galloped by.
Today Louise's horse Sloan tied up just before lunch. She is okay, never
got stiff or anything. Poor Louise, they have had such a traumatic trip
wit almost losing their dog. Finally, Barney diagnosed what was wrong
after two other emergency vets that they went to (on in MO and one in KS)
failed to do so. Tinker pulled on her stallion at lunch too. Dave was
crewing for both of them so they both got a ride back in my trailer. Good
thing I didn't pull too we wouldn't have had room! :+P
Enough for now, there aren't enough hours in the day when you are taking 10
of them to ride and have two horses to take care of. I don't know how we
are going to get food bought and our laundry done. Luckily the weekend is
coming. Ride meeting was at 8 p.m. tonight. It's now 10 p.m., and we just
finished walking the horses and feeding them again. We don't know where we
going tomorrow because an hour before our ride meeting tonight we lost
tomorrow nights basecamp. In the morning we'll have a meeting and find out
what we are doing. We are in Seneca, Kansas now and are supposed to go to
******* (3 hours later)
I think the humidity and heat are getting a lot of people dehydrated and
they are losing it. I just had a conversation with another XP rider that
went something like this.....so what's what flag (our 1861 flag), and I
explained that we got the flag with 34 stars because it was from
1861....then...."so what is the significance of that". rofl
We have a small lake across the street from us, and the dogs have had a
blast. There are lots of , all are getting a long well. So far, everybody
is having a really great time. It's going to get easier we keep telling
ourselves, the first couple of days have definitely been a challenge. Like
Pat said, we've all been dying to do this for 2 1/2 years we aren't going
to quit or wimp out just because it's raining or a bit muddy. What is
really funny is how we have revised our opinions of what muddy really is.
We got to shower tonight, with real hot water, in a real shower. Woohoo,
my first shower in a week and a half....well, I've been using a cold
sunshower and that ain't been so hot (literally). Even got to hose the
horse down, ain't life grand!
Got the GPS all figured out now. It's totally amazing, the riders are all
doing extremely well with them and it's just awesome. There has never been
such a well marked trail in the history of the sport, this is just
incredible. The written directions are also really great each day, nobody
that I have heard of has had a single problem. At least not following the
trail, lots of people will have some really incredible stories to tell.
Oh yeah, BC today was to Michelle Shaw and I don't know what horse,
yesterday was to Pat Henslee on her stallion. I have no idea who won, and
don't really care :+D We're just here to ride, and have a good time. Pat
told me today that a third of the people are here to have a good time. so I
asked her well what about the other 2/3? <vbg> We figured that a 1/3 are
here to have a good time, 1/3 to get AERC credit (and also have a good
time), and the other third are really competitive and having a good time
isn't really that important. I don't understand how you can ride 50 miles
and not have a good time, let alone on the Pony Express trail!!!
Glad to be here.
Happy XP Trails,
.....2 down, 38 to go!!
& Weaver & Rocky, 50 more miles each :+)
Photos will be here: www.endurohorse.com
Check it Out!
Back to TOC