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[RC] Carolina Ride , First ride - Kathy Klenk

What a great ride this weekend. It was cold but who cares, it warmed up just fine. It was not my first ride but it was Ramsys first and my first one where I was alone. I have had him since he was 3 months so this has been in the works for 7 years now. Thanks to some great mentoring, Jim Holland who I did a conditioning ride with and who literally got Ramsy trained to load into a trailer in one afternoon and has Not regressed since and who has given me hours and hours of priceless advice and more recently Kathy Sherman who got me to realize I could push him a bit more then I was.
So, the good news for people who have not done an endurance ride yet, people are awesome. Complete strangers willing to help and concerned when you even look like you might be in trouble, the offering of help in camp, so many people just so so nice. The trails were marked great and everything was just so organized and smooth. The main reason I am doing this post though is to not only brag (and take blame when he did bad) about how good Ramsy did but also to let new riders know and some of the veteran riders know that cantering past without a single warning you are coming up on a rider is soooooo very bad. Not only for me but for another couple ladies I did ride with on the first loop who were also riding horses who hadn't done a ride yet. The first thing they said to me when I got with them is so "How did you survive the freight train" and we all knew they were talking about all the 50 milers who would just blow past us. Not only canter past without warning but it was along a stretch of 60 mph highway with semis on a very windy day. yes, I'm not to proud to admit I hang on to the saddle during those times. It was not just 1 or 2 people, more often then not horses would just come cantering up and past us.
That is my ONLY complaint. Unfortunately one of these 50 milers got kicked square in her leg because of it and part of me feels bad but I had a ribbon in his tail and every time someone was behind me and LET me KNOW they wanted to pass I had time to get out of their way and warn them that he can spin and kick faster then anything. I am making him sound awful but literally he only kicked at other horses 2x and both times I had no warning. YES, I KNOW it is MY neglect to train him. I fully understand that. I had no idea the problem was going to be as bad as it was but in my defense, I did put the red ribbon in his tail and when possible I did everything I could to get him out of peoples way.
BUT groups of 50 milers coming up on a person riding by herself and cantering past on both sides without even warning in my opinion is not necessary.

To end on a great note, Ramsy did fantastic. He is a race brain, I know that now. I know now he need more training regarding kicking and regarding paying attention to me and I also think I need to try either an s-hack or other bit because mine was useless. Jim H. warned me about having a very fit but untrained horse. I did some work with him but not nearly enough. Jim H. You were right, I will say it loud and clear. He did things this weekend I had no idea he would do, bit avoidance, stretching his head to the ground (oh good, he is relaxing) just to find out it was to get more rein to go faster etc etc. I also had no idea he would pulse down to below 60 within 5 minutes of getting my In time. I had no idea he would not only be stronger on the second loop but pulse down just as fast and get straight A's on every check.
I guess another point to make for folks getting into this sport, training is as important in my opinion as conditioning. I lost sight of that and Thank Goodness for very very kind and understanding vets (esp. Kerry Ridgeway) for not DQ'ing me (or whatever a vet could do due to bad behavior) due to him even kicking out during the vet exam.

Thanks to Jodi for letting me ride Aries in a 50 (and showing me I WANT to do 50's) and thanks to these 50 milers who made it not so fun to be in an LD I guess after I get him trained and a little more conditioned I should just start doing 50's! :-)


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