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[RC] Ponde de Leon- - Live and Learn Part 4 - Jen Bramhall

Well after many conversations with Lucy, and passing people who passed us, we finally reached the "pit stop" as I learned to call it. With beet pulp, hay, candy, and drinks who could complain? After we both finished sponging (I *stupidly* forgot my sponge, and not only did they have sponges, they had over 100 jugs filled with water that I used, we left.
    We started talking (after eating all of our candy) and I learned that Lucy had done a lot of competitive and endurance riding. Her horse seemed to remind me so much of Rebel. I missed him, and hoped he was coping with the mountains of South Carolina.
    We came in (20 minutes behind Michele according to dad) with our horses hydrated and looking fantastic. I went through the vet check and War Cry didn't look tired at all! I was so proud, and weighed him and he had actually gained about 5 pounds from last vet check. As I was giving War Cry electrolytes, my mom came in, with Princess looking a little hot It was heating up and I was thankful I only had 11 miles to go. My mom was sponging down Princess and I was tacking up War Cry. By the time Princess was down all I had to do was put on War Cry's bit. My mom had waited long enough for me, and my dad asked our nice neighbor (Gary) to hold War Cry for me (while I got the bit), when my parents left. He was more than helpful while War Cry went crazy as his beloved mare walked past him, into the vet check (which was blocked so he went even more crazy). I thanked Gary as I slipped the bit into his mouth and adjusted his girth. I grabbed my helmet and crop, thanked Gary, and walked to Nancy. I had about 5 minutes to wait so I stayed dismounted while War Cry would neigh here and there (thank God Princess couldn't hear).
    Well I was off with Lucy to do the road loop with 44 miles under my belt and I was so happy! Lucy and I went a little slower because War Cry had stepped on a rock and "limped" for about a minute. Being barefoot does have it's downfalls, but his feet have gotten tough enough for the sport. We walked and he got over it easily, and went on, on the softer ground. After about an hour, we expected to run into the pit stop so didn't stop for muddy water (we wanted our chocolate!) but forgot that this loop didn?t run into it and later regretted not stopping. We finally found water and stopped here and there for our horses to eat.
    Afterwards, we picked the race back up to an extended trot, with no one in sight. Then we went through some knee knockers which was a lot of fun. We had about a mile to camp and my stomach was jerking wanting to see my dad at the finish, but since it was a long ways from the camp I didn't expect him to be there because his leg.
    We turned the corner and heard cheering, I was so happy yet sad, I saw both my parents. Oh no! My mom had been pulled! But she seemed so happy for me, I didn't want to bring it up. I went across the finish line about 50 yards ahead of Lucy, dismounted and hugged my parents. They told me I got third place, 40 minutes behind Michele and only 10 minutes behind Laura. In came Lucy and I cheered for her, and told her how much I liked riding with her. I had just ridden with such a nice woman who had completed 100's in a blink of an eye and her horse looked like he wanted more! My dad took War Cry and said we had to hurry for my 15 minute CRI. I agreed as we went to the camp.
    My mom told me on the way that Princess had been looking fine on the trail, but had defiantly looked off at the vet check. She must have pulled something in the vet line, and I was disappointed. But my mom said it would have just made it worse if the vet had allowed her to go back out in this heat. I cheered up a little when War Cry went through the vet check, a little tired but I was expecting that. I weighed him and he had lost all together about 20 pounds and then gained about 8. I was so relieved that he went straight for water.