Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] Raven's Tevis '06 - Sue Walz

Hi All,

First, I want to thank everyone for the multitude of congratulations I've received!
We had a great Tevis this year for Raven & I! It could've started better, but we made up time at Squaw Valley. The new start puts the riders in 3 pens, this year by their previous ride record. My last season was dismal so I was seeded in the #2 pen. Not what I'd planned. Raven has had a stellar season this year! I wanted to get to the front & let him stretch out & do his best! Instead I had to hang too much on the bit & pass people as I could. We lost over an hour with the controlled start & aftermath of it.
When we got to Squaw & Raven could move out he about exploded! Galloping up the road to High Camp & Watson's Monument. We ended up in the front pack of faster movers. More his speed!
He made his way safely through Granite Chief Wilderness. That always makes me nervous, we had a bad fall there in '04. He was able to relax on a loose rein after that heading for Cougar Rock. I had decided that if we got to Cougar in a relaxed state that we'd go for it this year! He was & we did! He is a total point & shoot horse. He trusts that if I ask him to do something that it is doable. He didn't hesitate & followed the arrows up that landmark rock! He did stop momentarily before the big jump, I dropped back into the saddle & was pulling myself back up over his shoulders when the picture was shot.
We did it!!!!! On the other side on the trail I was in a state of shock that we actually accomplished it without a problem! My feet were shaking in my stirrups!!! Adrenelin rush like nothing else!!
We relaxed & took in the incredible scenery as we continued down the trail. The first third of this ride has the most incredible vistas to enjoy! You can see what I mean in the ride pictures for that high Sierra section of the Tevis.
We had a good rest at Robinson Flat. I changed him to his bitless bridle. We got out in good time & onto the new section of trail. More interesting than the road we rode in the previous years. I'm sure it did add some more time but I'm glad they put it back in.
We had a good ride through the big canyons. Raven got to do his downhill thing! He can really make good time on the downhills with his 4 beat Kentucky Mountain gait! I let him take his time going up the canyons. He pulsed down well on all the checks, often below criteria! My crew was great! They made the stops such a pleasure & let me relax as much as I could! After Foresthill we had a couple of hours of daylight to get much of the California Loop done in. It was dark by the time we hit Francisco's. I pre-rode the California Loop more for me that for Raven. He knows it so well from year to year! I don't use light sticks. It interferes with the horse's vision. I think even the bright moon made it more difficult for him. In the dark I try to keep his reins dropped or loose & let him navigate the trail. I swear, the darker it is, the better he seems to see. I get nervous, but he just flys through the night! He wants to get to the fairgounds! He knows it's not over until we're there!
We crossed the river & went the wrong way on the trail briefly! We had to turn around in the dark & get on the right trail! The two women I was riding with trotted on ahead after awhile. I thought Raven would pick up & follow, but no, he wanted to walk awhile. I let him & he kept in his long strided flat walk. I started dosing off on his back! He took care of me & kept on the trail while I went in & out of conciousness. When I was awake I found myself hallucinating ocassionally! Red glows around Raven, imaginary rocks... wierd!
We finally got to Lower Quarry. Thank goodness! I ate brownies & put some Emergen-C into my water bottle. Raven scarfed down some mash & some hay. The volunteers were fantastic! At all the non- crewed check they were invaluable!
Now it was to home stretch! The last 6 miles to the finish! We were revived & made a quick trip of it! We were joined by 3 other riders which helps keep the momentum going. We rode an amazing amount of trail this year alone. Raven takes it less seriously then. He was on a mission to get home now! He navigated the dark trails easily & soon we were galloping up the hill & over the finish line! What a ride!!!
We came in 22nd out of 87 finishers out of 193 starters.
I am certifiably addicted to the Tevis 100 mile ride!!!
http://www.foothill.net/tevis - all updated!

~Sue Walz & Raven


Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!