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Cinder Lakes ride story (long)
Hi all -
Made my first attempt of a 50 & fell short - but learned a bunch & am by no
Left Fri. afternoon - warm in Phx, snow in Flagstaff (stomach starting to
tighten). Had a message on our mobile phone that was nothing but static & a
faint womans voice (is the ride cancelled? Stomach getting knotted). Get to
camp & there are a bunch of rigs & vetting going on so ride is on (gulp).
Unload & Packy starts shivering (glad I brought 2 blankets & a hood). Get
vetted in - all is fine other than the wind is freezing & it is alternating
between misty rain, snow & a pellet something or other that I wouldn't call
snow or hail. Get dinner - had to eat really fast so it didn't freeze (I
think it was pretty good).
We get to bed (well, sleeping bags in a tent with one heavy coated dog).
Of course I start waking up hourly from about 11:00 on to make sure I don't
oversleep. When I do this, I check my watch with a flash light. During one
of these checks (1 a.m. maybe) my husband asks what time is it & I of course
pick up the flash light again & flip it on to look. This time, I was on my
back, looking up & dropped the flashlight which hit my mouth, chipping a
front tooth!!! Screamed some obsenities (my husband is trying to keep me
quiet as he is afraid someone will think he's beating me - this became a
blackmail tool later). Needless to say I didn't sleep well - cold & hurting
just enough to piss me off.
Finally! 3:30 a.m. I can get up to feed & fire up our little heater & warm
up. Poke my head out of the tent & there is crunchy sleety stuff everywhere.
First thing on the agenda - heat some water to pour in Packy's water bucket.
Get him taken care of & some coffee started, so trek on over to the
porto-john. At least in cold weather, the porto-john doesn't smell as bad.
Get ready to leave that, reach in pocket for my polar fleece gloves, & find I
have only one. Hmmm - had two when I came in here, let's see.....BUMMER the
other fell out of my pocket into the john. It got to stay there too.
By now my stomach is tightening again - not liking my luck so far (my mother
had to mention it would be a full moon this weekend & that always means
trouble - at this point I keep shoving that out of my mind). Can't eat, at
least I got dressed in my riding gear while still in the sleeping bag. Lycra
tights under polar fleece tights worked super. BTW I vote for knee patches &
elastic on the bottom & top rather than draw string.
My husband requested a wake up call at 5:30 so I hollered at him & started
tacking up. Start time was 6:30, controlled start for the first mile. I
milled around as everyone left, Packy is improving here so started walking
out. Caught up to a couple of riders & he got jazzed, HR monitor went off
the chart, so I got off & walked till they were out of sight.
The ride begins. We start off at a powerful trot (OK with me HR is under 140
& it is starting to sleet or whatever that was). We canter, trot, canter,
trot & catch & pass maybe 6 riders I'm not sure as I am totally into the ride
even enjoying the sleet/snow. The footing is wonderful & the scenery is
awesome - just before the 1st vc, there is a flat area (cinder lake?) & there
was a mist rolling across it like clouds just thought that was breathtaking.
Packy didn't drink, but still scored Bs & As on hydration factors, ate &
vetted through with no problem.
Left for camp & lunch break with Bill Bohanan (some of you may know him as a
horsemanship judge for NATRC) nice man & his mare has this huge trot. He
trotted we cantered. All relaxed mind you not pushing it at all.
Get back to camp & Packy finally drinks. Had to untack for vet check so did
that, grabbed the sandwich I thankfully thought to put out the night before &
headed back offering water again & hay.
All went well (even the hydration) until we trotted out & I felt or rather
heard that awful uneven footfall (damn). Glanced to the side & sure enough -
head bob. We got the head vet (Jodi Peterson) & she thought the right front,
the other vet (can't remember his name) thought the rear end. I agreed with
Jodi & no more trail for us. He showed no lameness at the first vc, & I
didn't dectect any offness on the trail into camp. He did stumble twice
(tweaked an ankle?) but seemed OK. Maybe the adrenalin kept him from feeling
it until he let down a bit at camp. Also thought at Arivaca he picked up a
stone bruise although my shoer didn't find any evidence. At any rate that
was it for us. Boy am I glad this showed up at camp & not on the trail.
There is a definate difference in a horses attitude when you set your mind
that you will be going 50 miles not 25. It was as if Packy new we were going
to go out again - he was as eager mentally as when he started that morning.
I was thinking of that thread a while back when the discussion was on
elavator rides & how you might be better off deciding up front to do the
longer mileage rather than after you have completed a lesser distance. I was
ready to go on & I felt the same in Packy.
So I bundle him up & go back to the trailer & let him eat & rest. We decided
to go home that night rather than stay over, so Kent went back to the vc to
help out Joie who was cleared to go on & I stayed to pack up.
Sometimes it just never ends - I put wraps on Packy & just as I finish my
last wrap of the polo bandage, discover that when I washed them last, I
rolled them up backwards so my velcro is on the inside grrrr. Unwrap &
rewrap. Thank God I wasn't driving.
Got to see the 50's finish - Scott Samson won, James Brown second & BC & his
weight class. Scott also won his weight class, as did Adele Yeoman & I can't
remember the rest.
They had lots of great prizes - Bazy Tankersley donated a breeding to your
choice one of 5 of her stallions (high vet score I think), portable panels,
all sorts of things.
As usual, Susie & Alida did a super job.
Packy looks great today - no lameness at the walk anyway. Have to take Sky
in for an exam Teus., so will probably bring Packy & see if anything can be
detected before I decide on the Williams ride.
Lori, Sky & Packy
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