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[RC] Colorado Horse Park Challenge - Marlene Moss

Hi all,

I just got back from doing the Colorado Horse Park Challenge in Parker CO.  We were a little unsure if we were going to make the ride – we’ve just moved (we thought about trying Bryce, but it was too soon after the move to be gone that long) and it’s a tough ride if it’s hot.  But we didn’t have many ride opportunities before Outlaw Trail since we’ll be vending at the Pan Am Championship and the weather was looking to be perfect.  So off we went, no idea how many things we’d left behind because of the move and buying a new trailer in the same timeframe.


There weren’t many people at the ride – I heard a few people wimped out fearing rain and I’m sure quite a few went to Bryce.  We only did the 50 on Saturday although there was another 50 on Sunday or a 2-day 100 offered, as well as a 25 on Saturday.  This was our second 50 of the season and we were a little unsure if we were ready since conditioning time had been sparse.


The head vet, Utta Jung, stressed her value on gut sounds and giving the horses a chance to eat on the trail since it was fairly flat, it’s easy to just let your horse keep going and not give them a chance to snack.  One of our horses had gotten a little stressed at the last ride so we decided to make sure he didn’t run out of energy again.  Of course with only 9 entries in the 50, we could have let them eat for hours and still top tenned!


I didn’t get to do the ride last year as I’d just gotten a new horse and it was a little soon after doing a ride in CA and then the drive back to Colorado.  But it was my husband’s first 50, so I got to crew for him as he did for my first 50.  At the time, I wasn’t too upset because it was really hot!  This year the temps were in the 60’s and we had a light rain during the ride (for us slow-pokes anyhow) and then a serious down pour afterward.  I really enjoyed every minute on the trail and was very glad we been able to make it.


I was actually really surprised with the amount of terrain available on the ride.  There is some road, but it’s nice dirt, not terribly hard packed and after a couple days of rain, you couldn’t ask for better road if you have to have road. Otherwise, nice community trails, 2 track and game trails. There was a neat little canyon with some tricky footing, a couple bridges and plenty of heavy spring gates to keep your arms worked out and even some cattle to chase.  There was plenty of grass and tons of water – a big improvement after the draught this region dealt with last year.


The ride is well sponsored, so prizes were really great.  I won a gift certificate for a pair of Irideon riding tights – I was hoping to pass it on to my husband as we haven’t quite found the right ones for him yet.  But I think they only have women’s and I finally had to give up my argument – since he did 50 miles and posted most of it and didn’t have any rub spots, I guess he can stick with his jeans.  I was really looking forward to seeing him in tights though!


Camp was also pretty sweet – we were able to get RV sites and put the horses into pens and even stalls were available.  Which was nice for me – I used to not sleep listening to the horses tied to the trailer, and after we got HiTies I don’t sleep worrying that they’ve gotten away since I don’t hear anything!


But most importantly, both of our horses did very well.  No sore backs or legs and I don’t think they even lost any weight – which is something my mom always comments on when we bring them home. 


So thanks to Tom and Cindy for putting on an excellent ride and I hope to see more of you there next year!




Marlene Moss

Moss Rock Endurance Adventures