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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 
means discouraged.

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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