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[RC] First 25 Miler (long) - Peter Harper

Hello All,

I posted a few weeks ago for advice on my first 25
miler and wanted thank everyone for their help and
encouragement and to let everyone know how it went.

TWH Ladyhawk and I had a terrific time this weekend at
the Texas Grasslands ride.  Sue Phillips and the ride
management went out of their way to make us feel
welcome and walk us through the sometimes confusing
process.

Since this was both Ladyhawk's and my first ride we
started with the goal just to finish within the max
time allowed.  We let all the faster riders go out
first at the start.  As much as possible we tried to
go at our own pace, but Ladyhawk cantored for the
first couple miles as she tried to keep up with the
Arabs.  After that she settled into her usual fast
4-beat running walk.  A couple times we had other
riders press us from behind and we'd cantor for a
while then as we reached a wide place in the trail
we'd let them by.  Coming into the first vet check was
a little confusing but we managed.  I soaked her neck
and chest down real well as we came in to cool down. 
By the time we got to the vet she was down to 48.  The
vet gave her mostly A's and a couple B's and the vet
comments "you've got a good TWH, she can do this if
you want to".

We went in for a 1hr hold before the next loop.  After
hay, electrolytes and plenty of water Ladyhawk was
refreshed and ready to go.  She started off fast again
trying to keep up with the bay Arab just ahead of us. 
We passed the Arab in the winding trail in trees. Her
running walk is fast and very sure footed. We did most
of the 2nd loop by our selves at a steady running
walk.  It wasn't until the last two miles to the
finish the bay Arab we had passed earlier caught us on
the flat.  By now the Arab was Landhawk's new found
"buddy" and we cantored into the finish.  Again we
cooled down first at the water and walked up to be
vetted out.  The volunteer had her heart rate at 80
which didn't seem right, she was relaxed and not
breathng hard.  We went back to the water and got
another drink and stood in the shade for a while. 
Another crew member has a stethoscope and I asked for
a 2nd opinion.  He said she was down to 52 so we went
back to be vetted in.  The same volunteer had her at
80 again.  She walked us down to the vet who checked
her and had her at 48.  We finished out the vet check
again with all A's and B's.

Is it proper etiquette to ask for a 2nd opinion if you
know your horse is down to pulse?  We wasted about 20
mins in the vet check with first the false reading.

This was a great experience and I plan on doing more
rides soon.  Speaking as a newbie to the sport, you
need to keep the 25LD as a means to recruiter and
train new people to the sport.  I would try a 25 miler
but a 50 or 100? no way.

See you on the trails,

Pete and Ladyhawk

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