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[RC] Chicken Chase, Part One (long) - April Johnson

Note: Parts One and Two are pre-ride. If you just want the ride part, read
part three.

After getting off work on Wednesday, my husband and I dropped Serts off at
the horse-sitters. We used to board Serts and Tanna with Judy, so were
completely relaxed about leaving the gelding in one of her pastures.

Then we went home and began packing the right side of the trailer. Four
bales of hay, a plastic rubbermaid-type container holding 50 lbs of grain
and 40 pounds of beet pulp pellets went in first. I believe in being
overprepared! :-) Then 3 rubbermaid containers with dog and horse supplies,
several buckets, and the dog's large pet kennel.

Daniel mounted a closed circuit camera on the trailer door looking into
Tanna's trailer stall. He also took 5 corral panels from our round pen and
loaded them onto the rack he'd made on top of the trailer.

We spent the remainder of the evening packing people stuff and food into our
small slide-in camper. This would be our first trip with our new-to-us

Thursday dawn cold and rainy. Ick! What happened to the promised sun and
high 60 degree weather?

I got dressed and went out to find Tanna. I scanned the front pasture and
didn't see him, so started up our big hill to look for him, figuring he was
at the very top talking to the mare in a neighbor's pasture. I got worried
when I reached the top and didn't find him. So I went down the fence line
calling and looking. I called to Daniel, asking if he saw Tanna. Yep, down
in the front pasture. Oh, well, it was good exercise.

Tanna was shivering, so I tied him to the trailer and gave him some beet
pulp. I also threw his winter blanket on him. It took a while, but he
finally stopped shivering. Poor guy. I should have had his blanket on him
all night.

Daniel and I finished eating our own breakfast and finished last minute
preparations to leave. We were in no hurry. Our ride wasn't until Sunday, so
Tanna would have plenty of time to rest up for it.

We loaded Tanna into the trailer about noon. He went in quickly after a
couple of false starts. He's not used to seeing all that other stuff in the
stall next to him! Then I realized I hadn't put a hay bag in for him. So
after trying to shove the hay bag in through the front window, I unloaded
Tanna and put the hay bag in. Tanna jumped back into the trailer with no
problems. He immediately started munching hay, quite content.

We pulled out of our driveway and stopped at a gas station down the road.
Not to get gas, nope. To get a 1-liter bottle of Mountain Dew for Daniel.
His normal traveling fare. :)

Our next stop was only 20 miles down the road at our local Wal-mart. We
needed a few things, fresh fruit and 10 pounds of carrots.

Ok, finally! On our way! The camera looking in on Tanna blanked out. Oh,
well. We switched to the other camera that was mounted on the back of the
camper that Daniel uses to hook up the trailer. I could at least see Tanna's
nose every now and again. Not very good though.

We traveled quite happily for quite aways, then stopped at an exit 30 miles
south of the exit to get off for the ride. We went into a Taco Bell and
ordered some take-out, and scooted across the road to a gas station. We took
about 10 or 15 minutes at the gas station, loading up the truck with gas,
buying bread and Pizza Combos (yummy!), and taking care of the animals. I
got the dog out of the trailer and ran her back and forth a little. Then I
offered her water and Tanna water. Tanna didn't drink, but obediently
dropped his nose into it 2 or 3 times.

We got back on the road and followed the GPS directions after getting off
the interstate. We were soon pulling into camp. We rolled slowly through
camp and picked out a spot backed up to a treeline.

It took a very little time to pull the corral panels off the trailer and the
divider out of the trailer and set them up into a hexagonal-shaped pen for
Tanna. We gave him a bucket of water and his hay bag. Then we headed back
toward the front to look for check-in.

I introduced myself to Amy Whelan, the ride manager, then waited as a couple
of people riding on Friday got checked in. Then I got checked in for Sunday,
paying my $$ for the entry fee and the mandatory Indiana state park bridle
tag. Since I was the first rider to check in for Sunday's LD ride, I got the
A number. Cool. A for April. On my first LD at Longstreet's Charge years and
years (4) ago, I got AA when I was riding Apache (April and Apache, AA).

Amy told me that they would buy back the bridle tag since I was only riding
one day. I'd get $10 of the $15 back. Works for me!

As we wandered back to our trailer, we looked at all the trucks and horses
that were already there. There were 30-some-odd horses that started the 55
miler on Friday.

The weather was chilly, but at least we'd driven out of the drizzly
yuckiness we'd seen in Nasvhille.

We attended the ride meeting later that evening. Even though I wasn't going
to be riding, I was planning to volunteer out at the away vet check. Pulse
would be 60 for all horses, all distances, all weekend. Holds on Friday and
Saturday were 45 minutes. Holds on Sunday were 50 minutes due to easier
calculations. The Sunday holds were decided Saturday night. The 55 would
have 2 vet checks, both away from camp at Wilson Lake. All other vet checks
for the weekend would be in camp.

After feeding Tanna a bucket of beet pulp and grain mix and filling 2 hay
bags for him, Daniel and I disappeared into our little camper for munchies
and then bed. It was so nice to crawl up into the bed over the cab instead
of sleeping on the ground!

Tanna was making noise everytime he grabbed a bite of hay, banging the
panels a bit. So Daniel went out and put bungee cords at the top of each
panel intersection, stablizing them a bit so there was a lot less noise.

...to be continued.

Nashville, TN

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