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[RC] Headwaters at the Rogue Ride - rackinfool

OMG!! Just when I think nothing could get any more beautiful than Redwood and all the others, here comes the Headwaters at the Rogue Ride.
This is THE best ride yet. Up in the high Cascade Mountains of Oregon near Crater Lake National Park, this is almost dreamlike it was so gorgeous.
The terrain was so varried and that is what was so heavenly. We crossed so many huge creeks and rivers that it was unbelievable. Just one after another. Rode along side the rivers for so many miles it would take your breath away.
Waterfalls,  riding through the deep dark forest in the morning sun with the rays shimmering through the giant Douglas Fir Trees.
Then you would round a bend and there were meadows to die for hugged by the tall commanding forest trees. Saw some deer clammering through the hill sides too.
Then you would come along some marshes with ponds in them. It was surreal. Dang, I didn't know we had anything that lovely that close to my home.
This was the most technical ride I have done so far in my short LD career. Lots of stump branches and some real rocky areas, but the fun part was the really really steep climbs and descents.
They were not long climbs, but boy were they in the Vertical! That D'Artagnon is like a freakin bulldozer going up those climbs. I have never ridden a horse with such rear end power.
They were so steep that I was practically laying flat on his back holding onto his mane and almost his forelock with my legs straight back to his butt.
He does need to learn to come down them with a bit more finesse, but he is learning so fast at only three rides and so new to even being ridden, I cannot fault that horse one iota. He is born for this sport.
And for Claudia and you other nay sayers, So many people just gushed over his Bee U Ti Ful YELLOW Tack from "Action Tack by Windrider". No body thinks he looks like a school bus, but Claudia. har har har.
Friday night we had a brief Thunder Storm, a few cracks of thunder and a few showers. Saturday, ride day, was like the heavens opened their arms to all of us. Perfect weather!
Nice breeze, and Cotton Ball Cumulous clouds dotted here and there to make the picture worth a million words.
Next year me and the Dude Magnet, D'artagnon, will definitely be doing a fifty, I have to have twice the time to enjoy this ride, it is beyond any description I can muster up here.
There were 48 starts in the Limited Distance and we placed 23rd. Our completion time was 4:40. I would not have done a thing differently on this ride with this horse. He was pulsed down below 60 at each Vet Check. He was just awesome. I am so proud of this horse.(Meaning he was already below criteria when we came into the VC.)
I am so glad I didn't take Strider on this ride. For a four year old, it is too much to ask. Actually, I am thinking that four year olds should not be allowed to compete at all. I think it is just too young.
So while we didn't top ten, which we never aimed for, I am proud to say that my handsome Gaited "rose" amongst the thorns, kicked butt on over half the Ayrabs. We being the ONLY gaited horse there. (c'mon, no flames from the peanut gallery, let me savor this moment)
Dang, I love this sport and D'Artagnon is such a natural, I just can't believe how level headed he is for just starting his future career.
He did lose his head for a minute, when a lady walked her arab mare over to admire D'artagnon.
As we were yakking, her mare tried to get cozy with the Dude and he went back to his Stallion Brain and boy! What an awesome Stallion he must have been.
He snorted, and arched his neck, his head was up to the moon and he was lookin for love!  I quickly asked the lady to move her mare back, and she wasn't in the state of mind to be caught up in a threesome with this powerful boy either!
After they left, D'artagnon looked just like a man rejected, damn, I had to laugh at the look on his puss.  I told him I would give him a cold shower and he could settle down.
Great Ride Management, the best really. The awards were so grand, I have never seen such awards.  All the riders in each division were happy, helpful and just a wonderful bunch of people.
Nice big breakfast this morning, of which I did not eat, but it sure looked and smelled good and there was plenty of grub, that is for sure.
My Portland pardner's nephew came with her and he caught two rainbow trout at the creek and he fried them up for Dinner Sat. night. First time I have ever tasted Rainbow Trout, pretty good actually.
And I am so happy to inform everyone that has been holding their breath to see what kind of trouble I got into this time.........Nothing, Nada, not even a bee sting. Just a great time.
Kudos to Tom and Jackie Jones for putting on such a beautiful and well marked ride. This is their final year at the helm and I am so sorry I never did this ride before. They are just the most lovely folks around. Great turn out of hard core endurance riders that gave up their ride to volunteer and help out. Just amazing and really what this sport should be all about. Giving, caring, happy humans and their beloved equine partners.
That is the story, great ride, so much fun and what a nice challenge.

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