ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Re: Another Tevis crew experience <LONG>

[endurance] Re: Another Tevis crew experience <LONG>

Karen Chaton (karen@chaton.gardnerville.nv.us)
Thu, 1 Aug 1996 14:22:24 -0700 (PDT)

Overall we had a great time at the Tevis this year. I learned a lot. I met
a lot of nice people and saw some great horses! I met a few more people
from the list face to face. We went up to Robie Park on Friday. We brought
up a puppy for Pat (who is on the list), and another list person (Helen)
received the delivery of a nice 4 year old gelding that she purchased from a
friend of mine. He made it okay and all told had quite a trip, but handled
it quite well.

We met up with our rider and her other friend/crew person right on time.
Things were already not going well. The rider's horse was having a fit.
Apparently it's barn buddy was camped close by and the horse was screaming
and carrying on - even charging the fence at times. So the rider made the
decision to move camp. Only we didn't move far enough, because as soon as
it got dark and everything became quiet the two horses were still able to
hear each other and continued to cause quite a raucus. The poor rider
finally went outside and slept in front of the horses pen, and I am guessing
that all of us (horse, rider, crew) got maybe three hours of sleep that night.

Robinson Flat. Rider and horse arrived, vetted thru with no problems. The
rider however did not feel that her horse was his usual self. So she spent
an extra hour at Robinson's, almost until the cut-off time. By then the
horse had been eating and drinking really well and improved his hydration
and gut sounds. She was almost ready to pull, but we kept encouraging her
and talked her into at least trying to make it to the next vet stop. So she
went on.

At this point the temperature was 94 degrees with 20% humidity. On the way
out of Robinson's we passed the tow vehicle that lost it's breaks hauling
pulled horses. Luckily they were able to stop with the trailer breaks and
everybody was allright, though a little shaken up.

We went on to Michigan Bluff to wait. We kept checking with the radio
people to see if she had pulled at either of the other two stops along the
way, and she hadn't. She arrived at Michigan Bluff and the horse was
continuing to improve along the way. He came in and ate and drank rather
well. The rider was exhausted. She didn't know if she wanted to go on,
especially in the dark. So we told her she had to at least try to make it
to Forest Hill and then decide if she wanted to quit, that she had made it
this far, the horse was doing better and she would be upset later if she
quit now. So she went on. She made the cutoff at Michigan by less than
half an hour.

Forest Hill. It was already dark when she arrived there. She looked better
though, from having eaten and taken another Orutus at Michigan Bluff. Also,
I had spiked her gatorade with some of that rider supplement stuff they were
giving samples out of at the ride meeting (did anybody else try that
stuff?). She really did look better, and said she felt well enough to go
on! She left Foresthill at 9:29 p.m. The cuttoff was 9:30. We could only
hope she would make it to the finish. She made the decision to wait then
and go with another rider, who had been on this trail before and it turned
out to be a good move.

Finish Line!! Yay - she made it at 4:49 a.m. (#77) It was amazing how many
riders made it in the last few minutes. Her horse looked good. Though next
time I am going to tell our rider not to be wearing black tights, a white
t-shirt and a white helmet! At 4 a.m. all the riders (on grey Arabs too!)
look the same! :). We took the rider and her horse up to his stall and
tucked them in for the night (day?) and crawled back into our sleeping bags.
Our rider's friend was asleep in her truck and slept thru the finish (bummer!).

Here are a few things I learned.

Plan ahead. Put somebody in charge of the crew. Write things down. Make
it clear ahead of time who you want to do what. Separate your feed, etc.
for each vet stop. No use hauling 10x the stuff you need. You need to plan
the food for the rider just as carefully as the horses. For the riders:
Stop hovering! Let the crew do their job - take a break and REST while you
can. Don't be afraid to ask or tell people what to do, that is what your
crew is there for. And make sure your glow-bars work BEFORE you duct-tape
them to your horse!

All in all, a great experience. We had some problems with lack of planning,
but managed to pull it all together to get the rider thru this race. What a
way to learn!

Congratulations to all that finished the Tevis this year!!!!

in Gardnerville
& Dream Weaver (Tevis bound in '97!)
anybody else planning on going next year?