ridecamp@endurance.net: Witchdance ride

Witchdance ride

tina hicks (hickst@puzzler.nichols.com)
Mon, 17 Mar 1997 08:49:40 -0600

Well, the first ride of my season has come and gone - what do I have to show
for it?? Some lessons I brought home with me.....

Chapped lips - be sure you know where your chapstick is at all times - if
you can't find it you need more containers.

Snake lights are wonderful!

Sore muscles - I tried the Advil routine but obviously didn't take enough
since I could hardly get out of the truck after the 41/2 hr ride home yesterday.

Trying to put down a ground cloth and pitch at tent on a windy day is not
amusing :-)

A new theory about mud - there must be a speed where you just go *over* the
mud instead of going slurp-slurp-slurp like one of those garfields with
suction feet you see in car windows. I am sure that's how the front runners
were able to cover the muddy 20 mile loop (done twice) so fast.

A realization of exactly how cold "freezing temps" really are - to know it's
32 or less while at home in your warm bed and to know it's 32 or less and be
sleeping in a tent are two entirely different things. (Actually I was plenty
warm while in the sleeping bag - it was getting out and feeding/tacking up,
etc that was a little chilly <g>).

If you want attention at the vet-in just put Equithotics on your horse :-)

The rubber lip that goes over the zipper on a half-bale bag *must* be down
-all- the way around (duh!) or the sleeping bags you have stuffed inside
will not stay dry thru the rain on the way over :-< (yes they dried out
before I had to crawl in them).

I think I have finally learned how to pack for one of these things - a
revamped list and a determination not to be in a tizzy or at Wal-Mart at 10
p.m. on Thursday nite will do wonders.

A realization that maybe when your horse tells you "I can safely do
downhills faster than a walk" you should let him. Tony likes better to
maintain a trot and just change gears than to come to a walk which is what I
normally do on downhills. However, what I do at home and what I am able to
do at a ride are not always the same thing.

I finally got to see the comet - that would have never happened at home as I
never get up at 4:30 unless I'm at a ride :-)

I don't have to mess with applesauce for elect - put the elec. in the
syringe (holding finger over tip). Turn up and push plunger so all air is
out and powder is squeezed to bottom. Put finger back over tip and stick in
bucket of water. Pull plunger up quickly - this brings water into the
syringe. Shake and administer.

A true appreciation for the traits which makes Arabs (okay not all but this
one anyway) a pain to ride for the first 30 miles but a joy for the last 25.
Those same traits allow you to cross the finish line of a not-so-easy 55
(with lots of sucking mud and slipping and sliding) with enough horse to shy
at nothing coming in at an easy canter.

30 minute holds and minimal PR staff do not mix well - boy did that food
taste good when I finally had time to eat it -after- the ride!

Thank goodness for folks like Samm and Angie McGhee and Kathy Bauer who come
to rides to help whomever needs it - without Angie who knows when I would
have gotten to go to the bathroom!!!

Introducing someone new to this sport is neat and an eye opener. Things I
take for granted - for instance, that you do spend a lot of time alone on
the trails in this sport - may not be to everyone's liking.

I am so glad man discovered how to rub two sticks together and make fire!
Tony and I came thru the Witchdance 55 fine with a ride time of about 7
hours - a little faster than I intended actually - this will be a year of
7-9 hour 50s on Tony as I try to put a base on him. It's a great trail but
with all the rain the SE has had lately that 20 mile loop was kind of messy.
Camp is nice b/c you can set up essentially by your rig since it's on the
way to the vet check - makes it nice when you don't have a crew. This is a
relaxed, small ride where most folks know each other and come back year
after year. There is always a big fire and someone to help you out if you
need it.

Tina - moving slowly today but already planning on how to better pack for
the next one!

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