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RE:Multi-day rides

Jonni (
>>>You would view the actual "riding" differently or the associated
logistics of attending and doing the rides differently? <<<

After spending 8 weeks on the road, getting my "rider" (I was the
crew/driver for her at XP2001) going each morning on the ride, I found it
became very routine. Almost as casual as just getting up at home and going
for a training ride. We did not stress over equipment, fanny packs, or
crew equipment. It was always pretty much set and ready to go from the
previous day. We slept well each night, although not enough sleep on the
nights that a ride meeting ran late. The alarm went off at 4AM, and I had
the horse that was being ridden that day fed its breakfast mash, while
Vickie (the rider) got herself ready and fed. At 4:30AM I tacked up the
horse, and at 4:55 she was mounted up and gone. I did not have to go to
all the lunch stops, and most the time got to go on ahead to the next
camp. I sent a crew bag out with another crew. Each night, it took maybe
30 min. to prep for the following day. We would clean tack and leg boots
as needed. Replenish the crew bag, get the next mornings mash mixed, with
the water in a small bucket to add in the AM, and any tack changes, such
as breast collar, or different bit on the bridle for different horse was
done. If the horse going needed EZ boots put on, we did it the night
before. (we did not foam on, but did the duct tape application around
hoof) The horse going the next day was groomed well, and if it was not too
warm, or it was a very dusty/dirty campsite, we put a day sheet on to help
keep them clean. Oh, and refill the water bottles on the saddle.

The horse that had gone that day had its care done when it arrived.
Cleaned up, checked over, fed some "goodies" and left alone to rest.
During the day, when she was riding, the horses in camp were fed and
watered during the day. Not much more than feeding them at home. As I
said, it became very routine on the XP.

It seems on a 1 day 50, maybe because we are visiting folks we have not
seen in awhile, and the horses and riders are over-all more anxious, there
is a tension in the air that went away on the XP2001 after the first week
of riding. It got to be that in the AM, as the horses went out on the
trail, the horses staying behind did not fuss and whinny near as much as
they did the first week. (Maybe they were glad they did not HAVE to go??)
Or, maybe they realized as many do when you go for a ride at home, and
leave one behind, that their stable mate will return soon, and no need to

Breaking camp was a breeze for me, as I tried to keep the amount of stuff
to a minimum, and to only get out just what was needed, and put things
away right away when done. After Vickie left to ride, I could be packed,
and horses loaded in about 10 min. each AM.

As for the riding being different, I think in general Yes, the riders rode
different than on one day rides. We had less people who cared about
placing well, and more who just wanted to ride the ride, see the trail,
and have a horse that could go on another day. We cheered those who won,
and those who got BC, but we also cheered those who were out there day
after day, ALL day, late in the day, using most of the 12 hours to finish,
so they could do it again the next day.

While endurance rides in general are helpful to each other, I have to say,
the group of people along on XP2001 really got along VERY well. Imagine
living on the road, day in, and day out with say 150 people, and having
really no major issues between everyone. Yes, there were a few that we
might have wanted to "Vote off the ride", but they just added
to the entertainment aspect of it all.

I think now, I see that I (and others) would get too stressed over little
things getting ready for a 1 day ride. Just go ride, and enjoy the day.
Thats what its about...a good horse, and enjoying the ride and the trail,
and those you are sharing it with..........


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