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Gambler's Special, Day 2...the fat pony's turn!

Now mind you, Weaver has had four months of vacation.  His shoes were 
pulled for most of that and he basically was a pasture ornament.  I had 
been riding him regularly for the last few weeks though, and knew he was in 
good condition in spite of looking about ready to foal at any time 
<g>.  This horse tends to keep his weight even when worked, and after only 
4 weeks of time off last December he had promptly put on almost 200 I had to put him on a strict diet of grass hay -- only about 
40% of his normal ration at that, and we got most of that weight off.  (you 
guys shoulda seen him before the body clip!!)

The weather appeared to be a bit nicer on the 2nd day of the ride. Though I 
wouldn't go as far as to call it "nice".  We did see some blue sky in the 
morning though, but it was obvious that the winds were there to stay and it 
would probably get worse as the day progressed.

I was really looking forward to riding this horse--I have sure missed him 
(tho I do like riding the other one, it's just not the same).  I was filled 
with anticipation and the excitment of riding him washed away all the 
tiredness and achiness from the previous day.  :)

Since Weaver had previously been vetted and had even been numbered, I only 
had to get his vet card and have Barney watch him trot out on Sunday 
morning.  As I was tacking up Weaver I grabbed his vosal and noticed that I 
had forgotten to put the sheepskin nosecover back on it after I washed 
it.  Darn!!  Now I would have to ride him in his rope halter.  With him 
being body clipped, I couldn't ride him in a vosal or else I'd end up with 
a bald horse.  I said goodbye to Dave (who intentionally wasn't crewing 
today - he went into Vegas to check out all the sights) and headed out 
(well, sort of headed out, Weaver had other ideas about leaving Rocky!)

Within 2 minutes he had forgotten all about "what's-his-face in camp".  It 
was almost as if Weaver hit the trail at the edge of the casino property 
that we were propelled into a whole nother world.  I could feel his 
enthusiam with each stride.  He glided over the trail, carefully picking 
his way thru the rock and the dips and all the turns.  The trail was worn 
in a bit more than day 1 so was easier to follow.  It was a wonderful 
feeling to be back on my guy, feeling his eagerness and desire to go down 
the trail.  He truly loves his work and you can feel it from within.  I 
knew I must have been smiling an awful lot, because every so often my gums 
would start to go numb from the cool breeze, but I just couldn't help myself.

Was interesting that soon I was in a procession of nothing but chestnut and 
bay colored horses. Usually I get in a line of all greys so it was kinda 
neat to see such a large showing of the other colors :).  I kept Weaver at 
a nice steady pace, and a couple of times pulled him off the trail to let 
others pass when I wanted to walk a couple of times.  We pulled into the 
water stop (14 miles, Bird Springs--same 35 mile loop as Day 1)....and the 
horse actually behaved himself (meaning he didn't drag me out into the 
open) <g> while I found a bush.  Then he drank well, I e-lyted him and in 
the meantime we looked at how close the wild horses were to the 
water....ooooooh neat!   Many of the riders seemed to be mulling around 
waiting for their horses to drink still, so we hit the trail and were on 
our way.  I think I passed up a few riders here, then continued down the 
trail at a slightly faster rate than we had been going.  I knew after 14 
miles from the HR readings that all was well with the horse, and I could 
quit worrying about him.

As I continued down the trail, I realized that I had just missed a trail 
marker to go from the road onto a narrow I turned Weaver 
sharply and headed for the correct trail.  Well, some poor guy behind me 
had his horse follow mine and he didn't (follow his horse that 
is)....well...he sorta dragged along a ways (ripped his 
clothes) but managed to cling to the side of his horse.  He re-mounted and 
continued on.

We trotted at a nice comfortable pace in a group of five of us.  We got to 
see a really nice palomino mustang out on the trail--he was gorgeous!  One 
of the riders was on his first ride and was lacking shall we say...trail 
etiquette (Manners!!)  For the first time ever, Weaver fired off a warning 
kick he got so tired of being run into, and while it scared the person on 
the ramming horse it didn't completely teach him a lesson.  That kind of 
thing is most irritating, for the rest of the ride Weaver was apprehensive 
whenever another horse approached him from behind.  Hopefully he'll be his 
normal self and next time I won't be so tolerant and oblivious when my 
horse is pinning his ears, flashing dirty looks and turning sideways.  I 
was just having such a good time I didn't realize how irritated my horse 
was.  <sigh>

There was a bit of wind and cloud cover, but it was much nicer than the 
previous day.  We had gone 35 miles in approximately 4 hours.  Both the 
dogs (1 new pup) were quietly tied to the trailer (nobody had roasted them 
for running loose in the camp) <g>, and Dave was still off in 
Vegas.  During Weav's hour hold I watched in amazement as he devoured 
everything in sight.  Apparently having him go without for awhile had made 
quite an impression!  He ate a whole bucket of soaked beet pulp, not to 
mention a couple of pounds of LMF, some mash with COB in it, and a lot of 
hay.  Half a dozen carrots, two apples and some PCA......what a pig!  The 
hour went by quickly, and we headed out for the last 15 mile loop, which 
was the same 15 mile loop as the final loop on the 65 the day 
before.  Luckily, Weaver is a faster reader so he didn't have to stop to 
read all the graphitti <lol>.  Plus, this day I knew where all the turns 
were that we had missed on the previous day so I kept us all from getting 
temporarily misplaced.  :)

This day that rock riverbed section seemed a lot less long....I actually 
got to see the scenery....seemed like the loop just zipped on by.  (took 
about 1.5 hours to go 15 miles)  Most of the way there were four of us 
riding together - Patty, Shelli and I thru the underpasses then shortly 
after Kim caught up with us.  We rode the rest of the way in together.  By 
this time, with all the use the new trail was much easier to follow and it 
was a lot of fun trotting, turning, going up and down and left and right 
and over and around and thru all the obstacles :) we got into camp 
Shelly and I ended up racing in for first and she beat me...Dave said that 
"well what did you expect, Weaver couldn't possibly get that much weight 
going any faster" <bg>.  I vetted him right away, put all my stuff away and 
just then Dave pulled in and asked if I was on my hour hold.  I told him 
that I was already finished.  So he said let's go eat.....all that 
sightseeing had made him hungry.  So back to the buffet we went <oink>...I 
definitely gained weight on this ride!  Then went back and removed both 
horses easyboots and continued feeding them.  In two days they had drank 45 
gallons of water just out of my pen alone --- I think the wind really made 
them thirsty.  Camp cleared out fast that night, and not many of us were 
left.  We left the next morning and made the long trip home, and now 
they're both out standing in the snow watching it come down.....

Happy Trails,

in NV
& Weaver, 2,530 miles....2nd on Sunday
& Rocky, 1,295....2nd from LAST on Saturday :)))

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