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[RC] Impossible dreams-the beginning - Maggie Mieske

All in all, it was a good ride. I will do it again. This was my first big ride in my DeSoto saddle that was custom made for me by Marilyn Horstmyer last year. I have to give credit to her and that saddle. My butt might have been sore (come on, it WAS 100 miles) but overall, I felt GREAT. My knee gave me trouble through no fault of the saddle so that doesn't count. The only other "pain" I really felt was in my abdominal muscles. I hesitate to say my "belly" because fat isn't supposed to hurt, right? I really never had a problem getting back in the saddle...Nelson never got to use the duck tape!!! Hahaha!! After waiting at the check and not moving around as much, it took those ab muscles some time to numb themselves again after we got going on the trail. And that didn't even start until after the 78 mile check. I am curious to see how well I might do on a 100 if my knee isn't bothering me!! And if I lost a few pounds, that might help (though I hope no one holds their breath!!). But I AM soooo glad I purchased that saddle. It was one of my better and smarter investments in endurance riding!

What would I do differently?

Pack more grain and beet pulp. The horses ate and ate and ate for two days before the ride and ate and ate and ate during the ride. We only had enough left for them to have one more grain and beet pulp meal before we left on Sunday. They DID get TONS of carrots and apples though!!! We also still had a whole bale of hay left when we got home.

Give more pro bi and electrolytes at crew stops. We had not anticipated that the horses would drink so well in the beginning and I don't start to electrolyte them during the ride until they DO start drinking and have peed. We weren't ready. I don't think it made a huge difference but in retrospect, I would do that differently.

Drink MORE Glucerna. It REALLY helped me and at one point when I was trying to figure out what to eat and nothing sounded good, I went ahead and had two Glucernas instead of a sandwich or a piece of chicken. I'm not going to worry about limiting myself to one at a check!! I think I will write to the company and offer to be their poster child. :)

Get my knee healed before I do another 100. Though I made it through, I felt bad that I made it tougher for Malik. I know I overcompensated trying to make it easier and it tired both of us faster than we normally would have.

Do not take tack off at the later checks...I think Malik figured the tack was off and we MUST be going to camp right where we were at for the night!

Be more assertive and tell people to WAIT until we have a better passing lane than a single track before allowing them to pass AND speak up and let people know that YOU are NEXT in line to see the vet. It is possible to be polite AND assertive.

Two horses and riders need an extra person to take care of the RIDERS, to assure they are eating and drinking and keeping their bottles full on their saddles. Even so, on a one hundred miler, I think you really need one person for your horse and one person for YOU (though one person could also handle another rider). OK, OK. So I wanted my SISTER there!! Next time she will be!!

Carry a flashlight WITH me! It would have been easier for me to decide which path to take had a light been available that could have helped me COUNT the number of horse tracks going in each direction. Had it been darker, I might have gone with Malik's desire to go to the right and not the left. Had it been darker, the blue diamonds might have been harder to see in the forest. I have to cover those IFs if I do this again!

We are home now, plotting our next rides, searching out possible 100 milers for later in the season. The lilacs were in bloom when we arrived. What a gift. The horses all had FULL water tanks (thanks to the "at home water boy", Benjamin who came every day to check on everyone and feed dogs and fill waters and just "be" here to ease my mind....thanks, Benjamin!). That was a blessing. Thanks also to my daughter, Carrie and her boyfriend, Joe who stopped in the mornings and evenings to double check everything again. It was great not worrying about home!! Also many thanks to EVERYONE who encouraged us from home, on the trail and at the ride.

Congratulations to Jenny and Max who actually finished SIXTH and stood for BC with a score of 612! Her vet score was 410 which I think is fantastic. Hot dawg!!! Max is a helluva endurance horse and Jenny has become an endurance rider any mom would love to be proud of and I am very proud of both of them (even though Malik and I missed them TERRIBLY that last 22 miles).

Thank you to dear friends, Barb and Larry Ward of Mashallah Arabians, who loaned us their trusty truck to make sure we made it to the ride in the first place. We REALLY couldn't have done it without THEM!! And, yes, of course, Malik is from their farm so they have a special interest in his success as well. Now if I can just get Larry to foot the ENTRY FEES and Barb to absorb all my owies and muscle cramps, I'll be ALL set. :)

Finally, thanks and congratulations to Nelson and Daniel...I know that crewing ANY distance is not easy. Crewing us for 100 miles and then having to split up at 78 miles really blew all our well laid plans. But it worked out and we couldn't have done it without you!! THANK YOU!!!! And many thanks, hugs and kisses to Nelson who supports these endeavors for me emotionally, financially and physically (he has to get me and my horse TO the rides!). He is the best husband in the whole wide world.

This morning, Malik and I had a quiet moment of reflection when I fed him and checked him all over again and told him how much I love him and how wonderful he is. He's not mad at me anymore.

YEE HA!!!!

Maggie (Move over, Malik!) and the magnificent stallion, Mashallah AlMalik (Is it time for my nap yet?)