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Re: RC: XP Information

At 12:23 PM 08/02/2001 -0400, wrote:
>Also, what types of saddles used, pads, etc.  Were the horses in portable
>corrals, tied to trailer ties, or just to the trailers? Did you use special
>shoes for different parts of the ride? I would love to hear more details of
>the day to day taking care of the horses. The horses seemed to do just fine
>so I'm wondering how you managed it?

I used a sports saddle on both horses.  (that's also what Kayla used).  I 
used a woolback pad with inserts -- and reversed them regularly and tried 
to keep them clean as often as possible (at laundromats, boy wasn't that 
fun <not>).  I used a mohair girth and washed it each and every day (more 
fun!)   I had wanted to try one of those new pads, but didn't like the trim 
around the edges and was afraid to change from something I already knew 

I have trailer ties and the horses were on those most nights.  Every so 
often we'd get lucky and the horses would have pens or corrals someplace 
for a night or two,. which was wonderful.  Before the ride we'd attached 
bucket holders to the sides of the trailers so the horses would have their 
water and feed buckets (and hay bags) all held securely (so they couldn't 
knock them over) and it'd save us from having to find someplace to put the 
buckets when we moved camp each day.  Well, the horses quickly learned that 
it was just GREAT to scratch and rub themselves on all these new 
things.  The two horses would get to rubbing at night and it'd feel like a 
tornado going thru!  I only had one time during the whole ride where a 
horse lied down and then got the rope around a back leg when he got up (I 
think he rolled).....luckily, no rope burns or harm done.  It's a miracle 
they didn't get tangled up more, since they did lie down and roll every 
single night, it had me on the edge quite often.  Lots of horses got rope 
burns, many people were tieing the horses long enough to be able to graze 
since the first few weeks there was so much green grass.  I knew better and 
kept them fairly short, and just spent more time hand walking or else Dave 
would walk them and let them graze, often for hours every day.  I think 
that the grazing is what helped them get thru the first few weeks of the 
ride when it was so hot and humid (conditions we're not normally used 
to).   We spent a lot of time along the trail each day letting the horses 
graze, just because we only had one lunch vet check each day didn't mean 
that we only let the horses have an hour to eat each day.

I used the same wide web shoes on both horses as usual -- the only 
difference is this time they had easyboots on all 4 feet the entire 
way.  I'd been riding them on conditioning rides for some time with 4 boots 
and both horses have done all of their endurance miles (minus one or two 
rides) in easyboots on the front feet, so it worked out really well for 
us.  I did wear thru a few easyboots, but since I was replacing them every 
two weeks it was never really an issue.  Weaver got a couple of blow-outs 
on his hind feet, funny how he wears the hinds out before the fronts.  He 
must be defective <g>.  I did get several hundred miles out of one single 
set of boots, just to see how far they'd go.

Once we got into Utah (or was it Wyoming?) and encountered our first 
alkaline soil I got the desetin out and kept that on religiously -- mostly 
on Rocky.  I'd put it on whenever we would stop to open a gate, or water, 
etc.  I really kept their pasterns/feet clean and dry.  Each week I bathed 
the horses in a disinfecting shampoo.  After riding each day I sprayed 
rehydrating spray all over their backs, armpits and girth areas.  This kept 
them from getting flaky skin or scurf --both horses finished the ride and 
have not a single rub mark, gall or any flaking skin.  Their coats stayed 
shiny and bright (well, Rocky does look pretty dingy where the brass tack 
turned him green).  My neighbor said to mix some dishwashing soap with a 
little peroxide and see if that'll work.  I've tried baking soda and half a 
dozen different horse and human shampoos and nothing has worked.  I also 
had aloe juice which I would spray or sponge on the horses, especially in 
the armpits too.

Each day at lunch, except for a couple of days, I pulled their tack at 
lunch, and sponged them down and tried to keep them as clean as 
possible.  We went thru a lot of water keeping those horses clean.

The most important reason why things went so well, was because of Dave 
(husband/crew).  He did a really good job, always had water for us...always 
waited for riders behind me to give them water, hauled a few dozen horses 
out of lunch or from the trail, kept me fed and most importantly he kept 
the best care of my horses (even tho he isn't a horse person).  If he was 
at a lunch stop waiting for me he'd take my other horse and go for a long, 
long walk and let that horse graze, roll, or go into a creek -- little 
things like that went a long way to helping the horses recover on their day 
off so they were in great shape the next day.  He also kept everything in 
working order, we lost our trailer breaks a few times driving over 
sagebrush, had one flat, lost the 4WD in the truck, the fridge died a few 
memorable deaths.....and cabinets starting coming off the walls (little 
things like that) :^D

We didn't get much sleep.  After the ride meeting each night we'd come back 
and finish getting everything ready as much as we could for the next 
day.  Turn on the laptop and go over the next days trail, where was lunch 
and where did I want Dave to meet us along the way......then walk the 
horses, electrolyte them......if the freezer was working I'd ice 
boot......make sure they had plenty of hay and if we'd need another bale of 
hay down for the next day, get that down and also start packing things up 
for moving the next morning.  Finish up downloading any photos or GPS 
tracks onto the computer if I hadn't done it already.  Usually we'd get to 
bed about 9:30, often it was too hot to sleep even with the fan 
going.  Then we'd be up by 3:30 or 4 a.m. to do it all again the next 
day.  The 5 a.m. start days from the same camp weren't so bad, but the ones 
where we had to haul somewhere first were tough because we had to be 
totally loaded up ready to go with both horses and everything.

On our days off, I think we worked harder than ever.  There was so much to 
do, and so little time.  I did spend a lot of time in truck stops uploading 
photographs, which really wasn't so bad.  It was air conditioned, and the 
food was always good (I'm not sure if the food was really good or just that 
we were so hungry it didn't matter!).  One time Dave went to do the laundry 
while I was uploading and <sigh>, he ummmm.......well......the week before 
we'd ridden thru Rushcreek ranch and when I'd gotten off to go thru gates 
and things, I got a lot of foxtails in my socks...anyways, he washed 
everything together and for the rest of the ride I was picking foxtails out 
of everything.  (and NO, I didn't tell him!!)  After that, I just made sure 
that I did the laundry.  We also had to find time to grocery shop, get 
whatever parts we needed to fix whatever it was that needed fixing, usually 
several things.  Broken tail light, a small metric screw for the GPS mount 
on the saddle.....all sorts of things.....find the feed store, get the new 
hay up on the top of the trailer, fill up the barrels with feed, get the 
horses washed and their manes re-braided.....pull off their boots and foam 
on new ones (that was every two weeks) we also had our two dogs 
along to take care of.


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