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RE: [RC] [RC] My First Ride/ High Desert Classic - Ranelle Rubin


Great story! It sounds like you ARE HOOKED! Welcome aboard..!

Ranelle Rubin
R.Rubin Consulting


916-663-4140 home office
916-718-2427 cellular
916-848-3662 fax

From: susan cooper <desertduty@xxxxxxxxx>
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC]   My First Ride/ High Desert Classic
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 08:20:52 -0700 (PDT)

Friday afternoon I left the house and travelled the
short distance to Ride Camp in the Stillwater
Mountains in Fallon, NV.  I got to camp, set up my
stuff and got Whisper out and walked her around.  She
seemed calm and interested, but not nervous or
excited.  We vetted in, and luckily, both vets there
this weekend (Susan McCartney and Jamie Kerr - both
SUPER)were familiar with gaited horses, so
while she gaited and trotted for her trot out, they
knew what she was doing, so I got perfect scores for
my "trot out".  I told the vet it was my first ride,
and I had not a clue what I was doing, so he (Jamie
Keerr) took a lot of time to talk to me and tell me
what to look for in my horse.  The most important
being "EDPP" which is eating, drinking, peeing and
pooing.  Any change from her normal, and I was to
bring my horse to him.   He also went over
electrolying, and said it was an art as
well as a science, but that the horse needed to be
drinking well to start with, and the weather wasn't
going to be hot, so I probably didn't need them.

A husband and wife (Roger and Mary Cook-Davis)  parked
their rig next to mine and
she was riding in the Limited Distance 30 mile ride as
well.  She had a lot of experience in Endurance and
has completed Tevis twice, and while her horse was
fit, she was not, so she was only doing the 30 and she
said I could ride with her and she would mentor me.  I
explained that another newbie friend of mine was
meeting me there, and that girl wasa bit pokey, so we
may need to ride on without her, as
my goal was to get a completion in the allotted time.
My friend arrived for dinner and the pre-ride meeting
and met my new friend, Mary, who had agreed to mentor
us during the ride.

I actually slept pretty well, and just felt Whisper
 a couple of times.  She had eaten well, but was not
drinking very much, but considering how cool it was, I
was not concerned.  We saw the 50 milers off at 7am,
at which time I saddled up Whisper.  There were only
11 LD riders, so we left at the back of the pack a
little after 8am.  Our plan was to walk the first
mile, but all 3 horses were antsy, so we trotted out
right away.  If they were going to waste energy, we
figured it might as well be spent going forward!
After the front horses got out of sight, our horses
calmed down, and Whisper's trot became more relaxed
and head down.  I must say, my friend, who has been a
slowpoke during our training rides, kept up!  We
trotted mostly with a little bit of walking the first
3 or 4 miles, until we hit a bad rocky area.  This
lasted for more than a mile, and when we got out of
it, we had a bit of time to make up.  Whisper's two
trail buddies at that point hit their trot stride,
which was a bit too fast for Whisper's trot, so
Whisper cantered, but her canter is nice and relaxed,
so I let her pick her gait, and I picked the speed.

At the first water stop (about 8 miles in) Whisper
didn't drink much, but it was cool, so I wasn't
concerned.  From this point, the trail wound up a wash
thru a narrow canyon, and it was absolutely georgeous.
 I had my camera with me, but I was too busy riding to
get my camera out.  We hit a pretty good pace in the
areas where we could, because the rocky areas slowed
us down so much.  We got into the vet check/lunch stop
(the halfway point at 15 miles) after 2 hours and 45
minutes, and Whisper pulsed down to the required 60
bpm within 3 minutes!  Here she drank water and pigged
out on beet pulp, hay, apples and carrots.  This was a
mandatory 1 hour hold, and when I vetted Whisper in,
she got A's on everything, but a B on gut sounds.  I
vetted her in before I fed her, so next time I will
let her eat for 15 minutes before I vet her in.

The three of us left after an hour on "fresh" horses.
Whisper was still having to canter to keep up, but at
this point, my "pokey" friend and her horse were
hitting their groove at their fast trot.  My friend
realized her horse was enjoying it and I was happily
surprised that I had to actually ask her to slow her
trot down so Whisper didn't have to canter the whole
way.  We left the good dirt road for another wash down
a canyon that was really narrow.  At this point,
Whisper hit a really nice trot and we wound our way
around the rocks.  At the next water stop, Whisper
realized she better get a drink, and tanked up with
the other 2 horses.  We hit another water stop at the
25 mile point, and I realized this was the distance of
most LD's, and while we still had 5 miles to go, it
was pretty easy so far. It was the last 5 miles that I
had to encourage Whisper at bit, but she was still
ears up and seeming to enjoy herself.  We didn't trot
so fast by then, so Whisper hit her saddle rack which
I enjoyed!  We ambled down the road at this nice pace,
and I was glad to see Whisper had her head up, ears
up, and looking around with interest at her
surroundings!  We crossed the finish line at 2pm, 6
hours into our ride, but with only 5 hours on the
trail.  That gave us an average of 6mph for the ride.
We vetted in shortly thereafter, and Whisper got A's
on everything but a B on gut sounds.  I was told not
to worry about a B, as a lot of horses always get B's
on gut sounds and you don't have to be concerned
untill you get C's.

At this point, Whisper ate everything in sight and
drank well.  All was good!  We had dinner later and I
not only got my completion award, I came in 5th and
received the heavyweight 1st place award for the LD
riders!  This morning before we left for home, I took
Whisper for a walk and realized she looked and acted
as if she could do it again!

I have to say Ride Management was great and KUDOS go
to manager Nancy Upham and secretary Heidi Siegel.
Everyone was nice and very helpful to us couple of
newbies.  Special thanks to vet Jamie Kerr who went
out of his way to explain things and make sure our
horses were doing well.  This is definately a great
community as I expected it to be and I was NOT

All I can say is it was a GREAT experience and I am
definately HOOKED.  Of course, I owe my completion to
Mary Cook-Davis who mentored us for the ride and got
us (especially my friend) to realize what it takes to
complete and the pace one has to ride.  I tried
telling my friend before, but what do I know??  I
think she will be more ready to actually do "training
rides" rather than pokey rides.

Susan in NV

Happy High Desert Trails

Susan in NV
Nevermore Ranch http://users.oasisol.com/nevermore/

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[RC] My First Ride/ High Desert Classic, susan cooper