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RE: [RC] [RC] LBL 25 Part 3 of 3 (long) - Howard Bramhall

Great story, April. Just fantastic!

They have stalls at LBL????? I did not know that. Next year, it's on the list.

I bet I know why the ride meeting was so long. Was Jerry doing the talking?????? lol. haha. jk, jk, jk. Did Truman talk, also (Truman had to have been there; he's been absent on Ridecamp for too long and this is the only logical explanation)?

Get those two together, in front of a captive audience, and it would probably take less time for you to read "War and Peace." Throw in Jim Holland and I'd expect an all-nighter. Sunrise Sermon with Jer, Tru, and Jimbo.

Howard (loves riding in the rain but can do without the lightning)

From: April <pmacedir@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC]   LBL 25 Part 3 of 3 (long)
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 14:55:28 -0500

(continued from part 2)

After Diamond and Tanna were vetted in, Dan suggested we head back to the
trailers for our hold rather than stay at the vet check area as we'd intended.
So we gathered up our stuff and went back to the trailers. Tanna was being
prissy and didn't want to eat. I fed him by hand, changing the offering when he
balked at eating what I offered. He ate 2 handfuls of grass hay, several
handfuls of alfalfa hay, a few bites of beet pulp/sweet feed, and one bite of
apple. The only thing I didn't try, that I will next time, is dry beet pulp
and/or dry sweet feed. Maybe he was just sick of everything being wet. I knew I
was. I ate much better as Daniel fed me a sandwich while I was trying to hand
feed Tanna. :-) :-)

It had started raining during our hold. Ugh. I had been hoping to dump my
jacket, but at least it started raining before we left the hold and I was
without my jacket! Laura had mounted and was heading toward us with a bright
orange poncho. I told her to stay over at her trailer while I was mounting. Last
thing I wanted was for Tanna to freak out while I was trying to mount. I quickly
mounted and rode over to her trailer. Tanna looked at the poncho but didn't seem
concerned. Good boy. So we headed toward the timers. Almost there I realized I
had left my vet card at our campsite. Sigh. Laura waited there while I headed
back to the trailer to get my vet card. As a result of my forgetfulness, we left
10 minutes late from that hold.

That second loop was miserable. A lot of the trail was part of the first loop,
including the 1/4 mile stretch of river we had to walk up. After 30 minutes, I
was soaked from head to toe despite my jacket. I was thankful for the jacket,
though, as it probably kept me from being too cold. I was glad for the rump rug
I'd left on Tanna. Tanna was still good to go and he would ask to catch up to
any rider he saw in front of us. We only saw a couple riders though. We passed
one and another passed us. No trail riders at all. Hmmm, wonder why THAT was!

The only problem Diamond and Tanna have riding together is that Diamond is
bigger and has a longer stride than Tanna. So when Diamond is walking (if he's
not dragging his feet, which he wasn't), Tanna has to do a slow trot to keep up.
It's not really a big deal until I really want Tanna to walk, like to let his
heart rate recover or to walk down some of those slippery slopes. Then Tanna got
mad because Diamond was ahead of him and I wouldn't let him trot to catch up. So
we had some discussions there. Tanna also cantered more than Diamond as Diamond
can do a bigger trot without extending. When Tanna gets to his huge 11 mph trot,
I nudge him up into a canter. But Tanna and I train the canter so we weren't
doing anything we don't do in training.

It was really funny to hear their heart rates, though. They were almost always
within a couple of beats of each other. It was like they were sharing the same
heart. Would have been interesting to see their CRIs. There was no way we were
picking up each other's HRM either. We were sufficiently far enough away from
each other that that wouldn't have been an issue at all.

It took us 2 hours 15 minutes to do that second loop (2 hours 25 minutes since
our out time). Shortly before we finished, it stopped raining and the sun came
out and it was pretty. We walked in the last little bit. I was letting Tanna
grab grass while Laura was trying to see if Diamond wanted to pee. As we got
closer to the vet check area, I spotted my truck and trailer in the parking lot!
Soon we saw Laura's truck and trailer on the other side of mine. Guess the guys
took it to heart when we said we wanted to leave after the ride and to pack up
while we were on our last loop.

We took the horses to the water trough and both horses finally drank long drinks
of water. Probably a gallon or so each. Just sucked it down. Tanna was at 52 for
his heart rate, so I headed for my trailer and Daniel took Tanna while I
loosened the girth while walking. At the trailer, we stripped him and threw his
cooler over him. Straight to the pulse takers where Tanna again stretched out to
pee. Guess that was a good pee spot! Susan K took his pulse and called for time.
12:39. Ride time of 4 hours 29 minutes. Good for 32nd place. :-) Nice back of
the pack pace. There were 8 other horses they were waiting on for the 25 milers.

Took Tanna to the vet and Otis pronounced him finished and gave him all As on
his vet card. First ride that Tanna has had As on his guts at all the checks!! I
thanked Otis for standing in the rain and mud to vet us all.

We weighed Tanna. He lost 30 pounds! Sheesh. Lots, but he seemed A-ok. Daniel
took Tanna over to the wash rack while I recorded the weight loss on the
clipboard and my vet card. Some nice gentleman was holding Tanna while Daniel
sprayed him down. Tanna apparently hadn't liked the idea of cold water on him
and had been giving Daniel a hard time. Goofy boy, we just wanted to get the
caked-on mud off him!

Then back to the trailer where he got his blanket on and he began to eat his
beet pulp he'd ignored at the vet check.

With Tanna taken care of, I finally went into the camper and changed into dry
clothes. I was mostly dry (except for my hair and my feet) for the first time
since 5 AM. Felt great, even though I had to wear my wet tennis shoes since I
didn't have any other shoes with me.

Laura and I hunted up the ride manager, Diane Fruth, and asked for our
completion awards since we were gonna head home. While she was off retrieving
our t-shirts, Laura remembered that she hadn't weighed Diamond after the ride.
So I stood around under the vet canopy eating the food there (I wasn't going to
eat my ride meal, so I wasn't shy about eating a couple of oreos from the
table), watching other horses vet through and generally just feeling good about
being where I was. Diane returned with our shirts and I took them both and
thanked her for the ride.

After a brief pause at the gate house to tell them we were out of our campsites,
we were on our way. Daniel was driving this time and I was babbling on about the
ride and Tanna and the changes I wanted to make. We were home in short order and
I turned Tanna loose with his pasture buddy and they went galloping, bucking and
trotting around their field for the next 30 minutes. Goodness. Too bad I wore
him out on that ride!

I feel quite proud of Tanna. Even though we hardly ever ride in the rain, he did
great and never balked at where I wanted him to go. He carried himself very well
and handled the slop like it was dry. Amazing what my little guy can do. I love
him to death and he is now going to get a very well earned 3 week rest. Then
it's back in training for Hoosier Daddy at the end of June.

I have some changes I'm going to make. First and foremost, I'm going to quit
using my Dixie Midnight pad for rides longer than 15 miles or so. He got some
more rubs on his loins at LBL and Daniel and I are suspecting the DM pad is
contributing to that as we didn't have that problem at Liberty Run (50) or BSF
(25) last year which was before we got the DM pad. So I'm going to use the DM
pad for shorter training rides to keep me from having to wash my woolback pads
as often, but we'll try using just the wool pad for Hoosier Daddy and my 25 mile
training rides to see if the rubbing disappears.

Second, I'm going to quit girthing him up so tight. That also contributed to
some light rubbing around the girth area above the girth itself. (which also
might be contributed to by the DM pad)

Third, he is going into crupper training as soon as he comes back into training
with the goal to ride Hoosier Daddy (a reportedly flat ride) with it to prepare
him for more hilly rides with it. Having the crupper and the breast collar
(which he is already used to) should help me be able to keep his girth a little
looser and still keep the saddle in place.

I had a lot of fun these last 2 weekends and I am looking forward to Hoosier
Daddy in a couple months. Thanks to Diane and Jerry Fruth for putting on LBL
this year and for it being a 2 DAY RIDE! :-) I had a great time despite the
rain, the campsite would be hard to beat, the volunteers cheerful and bright
despite the rain, and the trails were well marked. Every time we had a question
of which way to go, there was a pie plate with an X on it to tell us NOT to go
there. Thanks to the volunteers and LBL AND the ride managers for a great ride!

Nashville, TN

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will go out their way to help and be friendly.
~ Laura Hayes

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