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Re: RC: Washoe Valley Ride

Fred and I completed our first ride.  What a GREAT
experience!  Things did not start out well for us (more on
that later), but KUDOS to Connie Creech and all her helpers,
ride-vets etc.  They did a wonderful job.  I am IMPRESSED!

Now I just have to get my hands healed up.  My normally
sane, level-headed gelding decided that he WAS NOT going to
let those other horses out of his sight.  He is not in the
condition necessary to go very fast yet and we had intended
to slow trot and walk the whole thing.  Fred decided he'd
prefer to canter as it was the only way to keep up with
everyone.  We did more miles in circles than straight ahead
during the first 8 miles or so and I discovered that Fred
can run through my mechanical hack when he really wants to. 
He finally settled down once we let *everyone* pass and get
out of sight.  We also joined up with another riding buddy
who wanted to go really slow (that helped a lot).  We walked
as much as I could get him to walk as he had really worked
himself up early on.

We were able to trot the last five miles or so of the first
loop, but then ended up in a small group again.  He wanted
to keep up.  Fortunately the group let me go in front and
set the pace so I was able to keep things somewhat slow. 
None-the-less, the first 8 or 10 crazy miles caught up with
him and his pulse took a while to come down.  I waited to
get my official P&R until my 30 minutes was nearly up. 
Ooops.  When we walked back among all the other horses, his
pulse must have gone up again (I had checked him at the
trailer before we went back to the vet area) because the P&R
person got an 80 and since we only had another minute or so
to meet criteria, I had her pull him. I then immediately
went to one of the vets to have him checked out, within that
30 seconds... he had calmed down and his pulse was back
below 60, plus he vetted through with all A's on everything
else.  The vet said he'd pass me... just to go real slow on
the last loop (which was only about 4 miles).  I asked if he
was SURE, as I'd rather pull than take a chance on Fred
having problems. He said "he's fine, just go slow... walk
the whole thing if you can".

So, Fred and I went off to get more hay and water (he ate
and drank *really* well... I was very pleased as I have had
trouble getting him to drink on training/conditioning
rides).  When we headed out on the last loop, one of the 50
milers came with us.  She offered to let us pass and I
declined explaining I was intending to go really slow, even
if it meant we didn't make time.  She said she wanted to go
really slow too as her horse hadn't come down as quickly as
usual.  So off we went.  We walked the first three miles and
slow trotted the last one.  It was GREAT. It helped so
much.  Fred was calm, but still perky when we finished. 
Turned out the 50-miler top-tenned so I got to hi-five her
when we moseyed across the finish line.  The other good news
is that Fred's pulse came down much faster although he
didn't get all A's on his final vet check (he had a B on gut
sounds and an A- or B+ on tail tension... everything else
was As).  We made it with just four minutes remaining on the
clock, LAST place in the 25.  I don't think I ever been so
happy to finish last in my life.

Boy did we learn a lot.  Next time, we're not starting with
the pack.  Next time Fred's going back in his curb bit
(which he what he usually wears, but I discovered missing
screws when I was tacking up in the morning and switched to
the hackamore as a backup).  Next time, we're going to be in
even better condition and will do a nice steady pace instead
of a Derby. Next time..... there will definitely be a next
time.  I had a wonderful ride, despite our problems.

I'm hooked.


Kirsten (Price) Foruria (and Fred)
Vermilion Desert Ranch
Reno, Nevada

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