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Fw: [naturalhorsetrim] Sunland 50 mile ride --- barefoot

----- Original Message -----
From: Sandy Bolinger <>
To: ride <>
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2001 6:56 PM
Subject: Fw: [naturalhorsetrim] Sunland 50 mile ride --- barefoot

> ----- Robyn told me I could post this on ride camp.................
> > Just got back from having a wonderful time at the Sunland 50 mile ride.
> For those of you not familiar with the ride, the terrain is rugged/hilly
> with rocks, rocks, and more rocks (almost the whole way). Big rocks,
> rocks, sharp rocks, sharp jagged rocks, ankle twisting rocks, you name it
> encountered it. It is known as the most difficult ride in the region for
> having both rocks and hills. The terrain is pretty much a barefoot horse's
> worst nightmare for 50 miles.
> >
> > At the pre-ride vet in Dr. Hewitt asked me " Are you really sure your
> horse can handle going barefoot over these kind of rocks?" I assured him
> that I had been conditioning on very rocky terrain, and that he completed
> the Eastern High Sierria Classic 50 barefoot (very rugged/rocky ride) and
> rocks don't phase him.
> >
> > I started off at the back of the pack. Adelante (Wiley) is young (age
> so my main goal is keeping him calm and relaxed at the start of the ride.
> This was his 5th  50 miler barefoot. Once he's calm, relaxed, and
> efficiently, then I let him pick up the pace and pick off the other
> The first 13 miles is pretty much all uphill. There was some really nasty
> sharp rocky sections, but Wiley handled them just fine.
> >
> > When I got to the first vet check mile 13. Wiley pulsed down right away.
> The vets intently watched him at the trot out and said "Wow! he's doing
> really good!"
> >
> > Some of the 25 milers racing past us to the lunch stop (their finish
> at 25 miles, frazzled his brain a bit. So we did lots of brain training in
> this stretch. It slowed us down a bit, but I figured it was more important
> to be successful with training his brain, rather than blasting senselessly
> down the trail with a frazzled horse.
> >
> > At the lunch stop he got all A's once again, and his trot out was
> spectacular.
> >
> > Going out for the last 25 mile loop is where it all started coming
> together. Wiley was a dream to ride. He was forward, but relaxed and light
> on the rein and moving very efficiently (I was glad we took the time out
> do the brain training ). We had several miles of horribly rocky stretches
> the riverbed washes. The rocks were the sharp jutted up type rocks (This
> where you pray you don't fall off your horse).  It was pretty mushy for a
> few miles, and I did worry that his feet may soften up a bit . But, Wiley
> handled it all just fine, and picked his way through the rocks, and even
> wanted to trot through them. So we trotted in the spots that weren't
> dangerous. We passed several horse/riders, then had a good climb and
> downhill, then came into vet check 3 at mile 31. Dr. Hewitt was really
> amazed at this point. He gave Wiley all A's and after the trot out he said
> You know, I think this the best horse we've seen so far! You're riding him
> too slow. Pick up the pace,  I'm serious."
> >
> > So the next section to vet check 4 was a long climb/switchbacks with
> rocks. Wiley climbed the hill like it was nothing. We passed more
> horse/riders. Then we came to a long downhill canyon trail that took us to
> the vet check. It was rocky also, but Wiley seemed to know exactly where
> put his feet. We came into vet check 4 at mile 42. Our vet, Dr. Beasom was
> there, and vetted Wiley. The trot out was on a rocky road. He was really
> amazed that a barefoot horse could make it to this point with no lameness
> even ouchiness at all.
> >
> > The next nine miles to the finish was the easiest part of the ride. It
> wide fire road with some rocks and gravel. It was another good climb to
> top. Then there was a steep rocky downhill back to the wash. Going through
> the wash there were lots of sharp jagged rocks. We rode with Jackie
> Bumgardner and her friend to the finish line. Wiley trotted through the
> rocks like he was one of the shod horses. The last little bit was a nice
> sand road, and we cantered at a relaxed canter to the finish line. We
> finished with a group ( 5 of us coming in at the same time), so we ended
> placing 24th out of 44 horse/riders (39 horse/riders finished).
> >
> > Twenty minutes later I vetted him in. Again his trot out was incredible.
> He acted like he didn't do anything. Dr. Rebecca Florio was very
> and gave him all A's. She said he looked real good.
> >
> > I checked his feet at the end of the ride, and he practically had any
> noticeable wear other than his toes were rolled over a bit more. He had no
> chipping.
> >
> > Many people were amazed that a barefoot horse could finish this ride.
> Typically, most pulls for this ride are for lameness. I guess the word got
> around, as people I didn't even know came up to me after the ride and at
> awards/dinner, and congratulated me on how great he looked, and how
> his trot outs were. Someone asked the ride manager at the dinner/awards if
> barefoot horse had ever completed this ride doing the 25 mile or 50 mile
> ride. She said "No, not to her knowledge".
> >
> > It's not so much that he finished this ride, or even that he finished
> ride barefoot. The part that tickles me the most is that he didn't flinch
> even once going over all these rocks, he was incredibly comfortable doing
> the ride, his trot outs were consistently awesome,  and especially how
> he looked the whole way. Of course completing the ride barefoot is icing
> the cake. Truly a most satisfying feeling.
> >
> > Robyn
> >
> >
> > [Way to go Robyn!!!!!--Yvonne]
> >
> >
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