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[RC] ANCER Travels with Spanky Part 3 last installment .. I promise! - Lucie Hess

I got up at 5 am to a chilly morning and FOG, it was really neat, but kinda thick.. I was worried about how I would see the ribbons.  Fed the horse, first things first, ate, walked the dog and saddled up.  We started at 7 am, the Fog was lifting just as we started.
Spanky was very quiet at the start.. I know some of you won't believe that!   Anyway, no bucking, no airs above the ground. He stood and ate grass and ignored all the folks trotting around warming up.  The timers said "go" and everyone was OFF.. except me.. Since I'm a confirmed and dedicated turtle I walked out of camp and plans were that I would ride by myself and walk and trot and "just get around the course" however Spanky had other plans..  
Spanky  wanted to GO, so we had some arguments, but still no bucks or big shies..
I had looked for Bonnie and Bill as I knew they rode about my speed, but didn't see them with the fog and figured that they had gone out with the middle of the pack.

 I rode with a few people now and then when folks passed me, I dropped in behind them until they went faster than I wanted to. Let me tell you folks were really moving.. going pretty fast.

I caught up with Carol Ann Beckner when she was walking on the road, she wasn't having the best time. I asked her if she wanted to stay with me.. I was looking for a riding partner, but she was concerned that she had gotten behind the other  appy riders so she  said she wanted to catch up and cantered on. 
So we rode on by ourselves.  Got to the first vet check we were to ride through it, make a loop and then be checked.   Did that but Spanky was frantic because he was alone. I got really tired of him going down the hills stiff legged.. A fast Jig I guess you would call it.
 At the vet check,  his Pulse took a long time to come down. They were using a pulse of 60 and I'm used to 64, but oh well, do as the locals do.  Vickie Smith's Husband Doug was a great help, he let me sponge out of his bucket and let Spanky try to drink.
Finally he pulses down and I vet him in,.. To my great distress his CRI is  not good.. 54/60, and all of his Parameters are B's Except on gait that was an A.. He would not settle down. The vet was worried he would cramp in the rear as he was tight on exam.  So I was to feed and walk him and keep him out of  the shade. But I was lucky they didn't keep my vet card so I was cleared to go, Several folks had to represent.  
Finally he calmed down, he ate, drank and wanted to eat other horse's food.  All a good sign. I turned around and saw Bonnie and Bill, I asked if I could ride with them once I found out they were behind me. Bonnie had to represent and unfortunately she was pulled for lameness I think. So it was Bill and I.. Before we left to go around the loop a second time I saw  the front runners, Cat, Dianna, some non Appy folks and I think Vickie came by a few minutes later.. They all looked great.
Bill and I went out, did the loop again  and headed for camp to the 2nd vet check. On our way back we saw Cat and Diana and the eventual 2nd place rider.  All cantering and looking like they were out for a short ride, they came by us on their way back to camp, It was the last time we would see them.   No problems with the 2nd check for me. Spanky was back to all A's and his CRI was 48/48. My slowing down had worked. Bill had to represent, but he was cleared to go.
So off we go on the 3rd loop.  I'm still confused about which way we go.. So is Bill.
We keep refering to the map and make our way around.  We get back to camp and I'm not sure if we went the correct way, but Management said we did, so I guess they knew better than we did.
 Spanky was good on the final check and was tired but sound. I think he wouldn't have been near as tired if he hadn't wasted so much energy fighting with me. He doesn't seem to understand that concept very well.

We thought we were the turtles, but there were a few riders behind us. There was a dinner for the riders and then awards. I was pretty pooped by then. All I can remember was that Cat  Carter was first appy and first over all and BC for both rides. The other guy, whose name I don't remember, was 2nd and Diana McDonald was 3rd, but 2nd Appy.  I believe there were 5 Appys in the top 10 in the regular ride. I was 19th in the regular ride and 10th in the Appaloosa Championship.  That was pretty cool.  The trail was good, We did some things that aren't very usual in our area, rode through a covered Bridge, rode, over a bridge with traffic going across, rode over a metal bridge, rode along/on a paved road and crossed an active RR track.  There were some pretty good climbs, like we have here, so nothing surprising there.  There were plent of flat places to really move out on. I was glad it hadn't rained in awhile. If it had rained it looked like the trail could have gotten slick. Management did a good job, lot's of spotters and help at the vet check.  I had a great time and would like to ride there again. It was great fun.. Thanks to all who put the ride on.

 I left for home on Sunday, drove all the way, it was rainy in places, but I made good time. I got home, watched my horse trot out to the pasture and drop and roll, then trot off. 
That's what I like to see after a long ride and an equally long haul.  
The End!   (Probably entirely too long)

Columbia, Missouri
NATRC Region 6
AERC # 65
AERC Central Region
OCER member