Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] mud/fast water riding - Laurie Durgin

as another storm heads to the se today(i guess i picked the right time to get hand stitches). i was thinking about riding thru the slick red clay on about 50-75% of my trails. I usually give it a day after a heavy rain , or try to get to the wooded paths. i try to stay at a walk on that stuff (although the hills can be trotted as they dry sooner and there is some gravelly rock on them.I do have creek crossing at any trail I go too. Unless I only ride the 3.5 mile loop I have to cross water. usually it is only about 1.5 ft. deep. But after a lot of rain (I think we get like 3-4 inches a month) the creeks get muddy red and run very fast. Sometimes I've turned back when they were about 2.5 feet deep and running fast.(one can go 6 feet or more right after a huge storm, at least the sand banks are 6 ft above the water).
So how do you know when it is safe to cross? I err I am sure on the cautious side. He has only crossed water for about 1.5 years and the first year he was not very confident. Now he goes fine with some caution.(course if there is an island in the middle with grass to eat , theres' no caution at all!).
One crossing has large rock the power company put in to cross, so it's nice and level, one has a slanted rock ledge that gets' deeper than has a small fall, so we are more cautious here as you have to kind of go in and to the right then straighten out.This is the one I won't cross if its muddy and deep and running fast.
So how fast is too fast? What can happen? I thought of cars being moved with just a foot of water running hard(course that is rivers, not creeks). Can a 1.5-1.5 feet of fast water knock a horse off its feet? OR does he just move downstream a bit? I could start in higher up, but others I only have about 3-4 feet that is safe to cross.OR you have a drop, etc.
And how do you treat mud? I tell Rascal"mush, mush, slow down".Course, I talk or sing to him so much, when I get to a ride I'm sure I'll get some strange looks. I use"walk, trot, canter, ho, quit, stoooopppp, mush, wet feet, graze, stand, back, over, turn," then theres," you idiot stooopppp", it's a just a rock, couch, refridgerator,trash bag, tumbleweek, car,log,etc."
Back to mud, here it's red clay, top inch slick, then harder usually, but if there is a hole , it becomes like mushy soup, you want to walk that or better yet go around it. A water hole with trapped mud can turn into a muddy quicksand. If it is level normal mud can be trotted somewhat. ,but if there are holes and puddles I try to skirt them(some are bottomless).Of course Rascal when skirting thru the woods has to be guided or he doesn't notice the rider sweeping branches ;]
So how do you all treat muddy trails, fast water etc.??? Since there has been so many ride stories about rainey conditions, thought i'd get prepared,(and in the se, stormy in spring is the Norm.). (just made a rain cover that ties, with stirrup holes to protect my saddle, I need to try out , made it so my sheepskin cover goes over it, so saddle is protected, but I have some traction,with my hopefully waterproof pants. I don't mind rain, I am just loathe to get my saddle soaked. Another stormy day, Angie keeps sending her red cells down here!!! Laurie the one hand/and Rascal & company.

Protect your PC - get McAfee.com VirusScan Online http://clinic.mcafee.com/clinic/ibuy/campaign.asp?cid=3963

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net. Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!