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[RC] Hillsdale Classic: New ride: - Douglas M Gifford

I guess I am feeling a little chatty so will write of this ride.
I am usually a lurker and have been looking over about 250 e mails
pertaining to 
horse deaths on this list. I will keep my observations on that to myself.
This was a hilly  and (to some semi tough) tough ride. I was privileged
in the past
to ride these trails on some CTR's that our local (MOTDRA) organization
has put on.
I knew it would be hilly and rocky for 15 miles and that at least 10
miles were fairly good
going so I decided to take Casper on a 25 mile LD (training ride). Our
goals were many.
1. Work on getting the horse to relax on trail and have energy left at
the end of the ride.
2. Work on getting him to drink and eat well.
3. Work on my own equitation while riding as well as take care of him at
vet checks.
4. Complete
Notice I did not say WIN
Before the ride I met Mary Kofod and we discussed riding together. She
is bringing along a young
colt that needs manners. She had brought a friend along to ride with but
there was questions about
Mary's other horse Saffron making the whole mileage due to scratches. 
   Well we started together about mid pack about 8:00 am and continued
to attack the hilly portion of the
trail. There was a few close turns with knee knockers and sun in your
face that definitely get your attention.
The last 5 miles of the first loop I could tell it was getting to my
horse so I backed off of the pace a little.
As soon as Casper could feel (smell camp) we took off again.  We came
into the vet check and I could
tell that Casper wanted a good roll. He was not going to take NO for an
answer and would probably
not come completely down until he could do so. I asked if we could go to
the trailer  and untack. I was
allowed to do so. Upon getting his saddle off Casper rolled ( boy mom I
was itchy ) and then I presented
for pulse and vet check. He had an A- overall and we were released to
continue after a 45 minute hold.
 When timing out for the second loop I discovered that Mary was waiting
(even though she had pulsed down quicker) because her other horse Saffron
had been pulled. The colt needed help getting out of camp.
We were able to ride together for the 10 mile loop and it was great fun!
Our horses had a kick butt good time on the relatively flat loop. They
drank really well at a water tank supplied by management. We 
offered that water a second time (having to go a little off trail) after
picking up a token and heading back to
camp for the final vet check. When we got there we pulled saddles and
called for time. We finished at 12:50
Of course Casper had to roll again! Dang Mom I am always itchy! Our ride
time 4:05. We presented and
finished with A- on scores and had a 52-48 CRI . I slowly took him to the
trailer letting him eat grass on
the way. Casper was ravenously hungry. After being tied up I observed him
take a 15 minute nap and
then proceed to chow down on his hay and feed. I would have to say my
goals were met.

Mary and I finished 13th and 14th out of 36 LD riders. (of which 7 were
We had 19 50 milers of which 2 were pulled (one for a puncture
wound?might have been one of the 25s not
I would like to thank Laura Marshall for putting on this ride!
The weather was great! The volunteers were great.
The pulse people were great!
The ride was well marked!
Come join us for some beautiful scenery!
Pat in Kansas 


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