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Re: [RC] Rude Awakening - Barbara McCrary

Another helpful devise is a Cool-Off bandana around the neck.  Not sure if they are still being made by a friend here in Santa Cruz County, CA, but they are made of synthetic chamois lining a regular western bandana.  You dip it in water, tie it around your neck, and even on the hottest day, it will keep you cooler for about 2 hours.  Then re-dip.  She also made "cookies" of the same chamois to put inside your helmet.  That helped, too.  We've saved heat-stricken riders a couple of times by sitting them down and putting a sopping wet towel over the head.  The head really needs the cooling.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2008 5:07 PM
Subject: [RC] Rude Awakening

Okay, so I have been slowly bringing my mare, Valentina, along to do endurance!  I have been spoiled by nice COOL, temperatures all winter.  Well, imagine my rude awakening today, with 101-103 degree temps, that I am not iron woman!  Ranelle met me in Cool to do a 15 mile ride.  Well, a conditioning ride for me, and exercise ride for Ranelle and Fellow!  I have been riding off and on all winter with some wonderful people.  I haven't had to push Valentina or myself to the next level of ANY kind because most of these riders are not into endurance and have no desire to go much more than a walk/trot/walk! 
I figured if I wanted to get Valentina up to another level I would need to ride with someone that a) knows endurance; b) is GOOD at endurance, and c) is highly knowledgeable about endurance!  Riding with Ranelle on a couple of occasions and crewing for her at Washoe Lake, was testament that I needed to  get a little more serious.  Well, today, kicked my butt from one end of the trail to the other.  I was doing okay until about mile 8.5.  We stopped for a bit and all of a sudden the heat of the day washed over me and I felt like I was going to pass out!  I sat down for a bit and got back up.  Rode another couple of miles had to dismount for a guy doing weed eating!  I couldn't get back up.  The heat got to me so badly all I could do is walk over to a tree and sit down.  Ranelle went up to get water from the Auburn Lakes Trail pool.  She poured water over my back, neck and head!  Then she pulled rank and said the ride was over and she was going to get a ride to pick up her truck and trailer.  Which she did.  I sat with Valentina and Fellow!  They stood so still!  They knew something was very wrong and they were THE BEST horses ever!  Valentina at one point nudged my shoulder with her muzzle.  Then surprisingly, Fellow nudged my neck with his muzzle!  More testament to how well horses are in tune with humans. 
So, we got back to Cool, Ranelle gave me more water and some chips.  We hosed off the horses.  And headed home. 
Here is my conclusion of today!  One I have been drinking far too much tea and coffee lately!  My muscles dehydrated far too fast.  I didn't hydrate well enough from last night to this morning.  I had a snack bar for breakfast!  Bad idea when you are going to do lots of posting!  Listen to the experienced endurance person!  If anyone thinks they can get ready for endurance, training themselves and their horses, without a coach, is INSANE!  I am not the type of person to leave my health and well being in the hands of any one else.  Today, I learned how to be humble, and what humility is all about! 
I am back home.  It's been a few hours.  My daughter, Chris, was here to pick up Raquel for the weekend.   She stayed with me for about an hour to make sure I was okay.  Made sure I had lots of water.  And left me with some small bottle to freeze and put in my saddle pack for next time!   And yes, there will be a next time.  Even though at one point today I wanted to drop to the ground, cry, and swear off of even thinking about doing endurance.  I will continue.  However, not without a complete revamp of my training schedule, diet and exercise programs!
Thank you, Ranelle, and your ever so patient Fellow, for the person you are and the stand you take in life!  I would have been in serious trouble today if it had not been for your professionalism. 

D'Arcy L. Demianoff-Thompson

[RC] Rude Awakening, D'Arcy Demianoff-Thompson