<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: [RC] The Wild Life-AHAM ride report, Petoskey, MI, July 6, 2002 Part One

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    [RC] The Wild Life-AHAM ride report, Petoskey, MI, July 6, 2002 Part One - Maggie Mieske

    The Wild Life-AHAM ride report, Petoskey, MI, July 6, 2002  Part One

    Anyone who has ever ridden the trails marked by Jim Yell for the Wolverine or Bear River rides knows that there is a lot of wild life out there. You have NO idea! This year, the AHAM Region 13 Championship Ride was held on this very trail and after observing a very welcome break in the weather (read COOL air) Thursday, I decided I WOULD ride after all. Nelson had promised himself as ride farrier and I was not going to take an empty horse trailer to a ride just to camp in. Jenny didn't believe the weatherman and opted to stay at home. Our ride two weeks previous had been pretty hot and miserable (brain melt, hence no ride story for that one, sorry Jeanie and Larry) and the weather since then had not improved and she wasn't anxious to repeat it, I guess.

    This year the AHAM ride was one of the most eventful ones for many people since I can't remember when. There is always something interesting that happens at rides but at this ride, ALL kinds of interesting things happened and important lessons were learned. I hope I can remember them all. Here are a few with credit where I can give it....

    *Snakes enjoy sleeping under tents which have been warmed by the sun all day. BIG snakes. (?)

    *A&D ointment is best dispensed when cool, not when it has been sitting in the sun. (Maggie)

    *5 year old mares in heat are terrified of big white diesel pick ups that start up near them and may buck, sending their rider into the dirt onto the knee scar from surgery last year. (Andy Redman)

    *5 year old mares in heat should not stand over water buckets when eating grass. Heat and being in heat may cause them to suddenly explode upwards, shooting their riders skyward who then fall heavily upon their backs. THUD! (Andy Redman again)

    *Ride managers who decide to measure a sometimes narrow trail with their very big and very nice looking dually pickup will need lots of duck tape to repair the fender when it gets partially ripped off. (Gene Dake)

    *There IS poison ivy in them there bushes. (Marilyn Horstmyer)

    *Trees that lean even slightly into the trail, though propped up by much bigger trees may lead young horses to believe they might come crashing down at any moment, crushing horse and rider and try to avoid said trail at all costs. (Scarlett, Anglo-Arab ridden by Shannon Weston-Wood who also "touched down" at AHAM.

    OK, OK, I have indulged with some funnies here without really giving my "report" as promised. This is it and I will keep it short and sweet so we can focus on funny stuff.

    Malik, practicing at being the wonderful veteran of endurance rides that he will someday be, was wonderful in camp Friday night, eating and drinking and napping like he'd never done it any differently. The next day, I started the ride with Malik in a D ring snaffle and in the middle of the pack. I didn't have to hold him back much and even was able to ride with a loose rein on occasion. There actually ended up being a group of us (6 or so) running in the front. It was a 5:30 a.m. start with a gorgeous sunrise (one saving grace of having to get up so early!) and cool in the forested parts of the trail. It was nice having someone up front to make any boo boos if there were to be any. Jenny usually insists on taking that position but she wasn't there, of course. It was BLACK where the forest was deep. But the horses were all strong and going well, leap frogging here and there, changing positions. It was fun...had the opportunity to visit, if briefly, here and there with fellow endurance riders. It was looking to be a great day. Malik and I came in with Sara Matthews and Ruby ahead of the others to the first check. Then our trouble began. Malik's pulse wouldn't come down to 64. The respected Dane Frazier was our head vet and those are the parameters he likes to work with. Not normally a problem but Malik was soooo excited and so interested in EVERYthing going on around him!! He peed and I figured we had it made. Still couldn't quite get it down and if it did, it would spike back up if he looked at the other stallion there, or a mare or whatever. So close and yet so far! I finally said to heck with it and let him start grazing, figuring I'd wait for the commotion to die down...it dropped like a rock immediately. Another lesson learned. But we were now out 5 minutes behind the front runners. BUMMER! His CRI was 15/13. GREAT numbers!! I was still kind of bummed. But we were still top ten. Seventh place, in fact. My lucky number.

    We left out on time, now using the little S hackamore and made the 13 mile loop back to camp in good time, but still 5 minutes behind the front runners. Shoved a handful of hay in his face and BOOM! His pulse was down! 15/13 CRI again. All As, maybe a B on his vet card. Peeing and pooping. Looking absolutely terrific. I figured it wouldn't take us long to get caught up. WRONG.