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I just got back from the most miserable experience I have ever had on an
endurance ride! Someone removed all the ribbons from the first loop of the
ride and then misplaced enough of them so that the trail was impossible to
follow. The map that was provided to us at the ride was not bad, but there
are so many branches of trails in the area that it would be impossible to
follow the map without ribbons to indicate which turn to make. Instead of
just returning to camp as many did, Bruce, Carol, and I tried to find our
way around at least an approximation of the route. Trotting down the road
into camp, Roshani was perfectly sound, and when I saw the first trailer, I
got off and walked her in so we would be able to leave immediately from the
spot check. When the vet checked her, she was dead lame.
I suppose she had twisted her ankle in the rocks. The horses were all very
agitated from the constant frustration of starting up a trail, turning
back, encountering horses going the opposite way, milling around in
circles, riding some trails to dead ends, etc. It was really awful. Roshani
was sound by the time I was packed up, but her right hind was a little
puffy. I have never had a worse ride experience.
Now I'm not into bashing bicyclists; some of my best friends...BUT when I
finally found the trail to Watson Lake where all the ribbons had been
removed, the only marks on the trail were bike tracks. I am really quite
competent at reading maps, and I was confident of my ability to find my way
back to camp, but there were people on that ride who are cartographically
challenged to say the least, and could have been lost out there with no
clue as to how to get back because after the front runners came back, there
were tracks off in every direction. I hope everyone else on the ride had a
better experience than I.
I want to emphasize that I am not blaming ride management. Marion Arnold
was as frustrated and unhappy as I was. I would suggest though that in
areas where there is such heavy use of trails, that markings other than
ribbons be considered. Biodegradable paint spray would have been harder to
remove. I don't know if forest regulations in that area would have allowed
it to be used. Oh well, chaulk another one up to experience.
Dorothy & Roshani
Hi Tech Tack
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