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[RC] Testing the youth & Pony - Laura Peck

Well, with fueling up running $150 per tank now - I'm only transporting to the park I train in, when I'm going 24+ miles or more. Preferrring to train on the roads/gasline for lower distances... So while I can't afford many AERC rides - my horses/backups (since I'm usually ponying a backup) are doing 2-3 'training LDs' per month... Keeps 'em in shape!
So, my coming 9-year-old daughter has announced with conviction that she wants to do a 50 at BSF in June. (I'd rather do a 50 anyways... my preferred distance!)... So I decided I'd better 'test' the kid and her pony before I send the check. (I've found my horses have done so much better since I started training to the distance I'll ask them to go...)
So, yesterday we headed off to Percy Warner Park. Taking my new 'main mount'; Hope and Katie's mount; Cherokee.... The plan: two 16 mile loop-de-loops, with a 45minute break and 'VC', in between, followed by the final 8.. First 16 would be completely barefoot - final 24 with boots on their front.. We'd let the two horses decide on pace..
Pace??? Holy h****! After getting on them, we wondered if someone had swapped their brains out for pure arabs!! We flew down the trail for the first 16 - the two mounts only slowing down for the rough areas and road crossing they knew! But coming into the 'break' - neither one was above 52 BPM or even breathing hard.... So after spending an extra 15 minutes struggling with the epics (yet another one goes down in 100 use miles with broken cables! Makes three needing new cables. Had to cut yet another shredding gator off..sigh.. Time to call easycare and purchase longer-lasting 'keepers' and more cables.... Thankgod I only have 6 boots per horse!)  We headed on down the trail.. or shall I say - the mounts decided to fly down the trail again.... OK, 2 miles down - another cable snaps.. return to trailer for the last of my spare boots... Back on trail..... Trying to keep the two from continuing 'their race' - we fall into single file..
This works, slows the pace down a bit.. Then between mile 32 & 34, Katie starts to 'hit the wall' that so many of us experience at the higher distance.. But by mile 35 she pulls out of it - with the help of making up a very funny 'ol McDonald song. (sorry Jackie - if you heard my horrible singing!)
Came back to trailer, mounts at 53 BPM - full of gusto and drinking/eating like it's going out of style... Katie decided she could handle the final 'small lap' of 4 miles. Mounts still wanted to try and race each other!  Ended the ride with a 5:45 riding time and 7:15 hour total time (includes breaks)
Well, looks like I've got some good 50 mile prospects here!! and I'm giving Katie till this evening to decide if she still wants to do a 50.. Not as easy as 30! If she still wants to, we'll be back at Percy Warner doing a training 50 in around 2 weeks or so.... Beware of my singing!!
BTW - wouldn't be my typical day without the Ford showing it's glory... Decided to suddenly not realise the trailer was hooked up.. Then coming back, it forgot it had turn signals.. Guess 3 months away from my mechanic has made it lonely?? LOL..
- Laura Peck

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