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Re: RC: Tevis for first 100

The Tevis was my first 100 also, in 89.  My horse, Raz had only completed one 
50 mile race.  We finished the Tevis in about 16th place.  We were just 
trying to complete.  Coming into Michigan Bluff, my Son was on the trail 
shouting "You're 20th."  What a shock that was, we had been giving time away 
at every vet check, never leaving at the check out time.  My big goal was a 
buckle.  I had gone on several 65 mile, all day training rides over hot, 
steep hills.  I had trained for the 2000-3000 foot elevation gains.  Luck, 
the Tevis requires good luck.  Knee knockers to bash the cannon bones, 
boulders which trap a hoof, I even had a slice of shale cut an artery on his 
fetlock on a training ride up out of Auburn.  I padded the front, and I am 
sure that helped my luck.  This horse likes to move out, so it was his choice 
of speed for most of the day.  Forest Hill is where he thought the trail 
should end.  I believe that it was reading Lew Hollanders (sp) book which 
helped me at that point.  "Second Wind" might be the term he used.  Remember, 
my goal was just to finish, I had lots of time left.  Well, the horse carried 
me to Forest Hill, it was my job to carry him the rest of the trail.  Very 
slow, put him behind reasonable horses, bonded and used that herd instinct to 
keep him moving along.  When he seemed tired, we slowed down, and picked up 
on the next horse.
Then came the big piece which created our success story.  I had heard from 
other riders that the part of the Tevis to pre-ride was the part from Forest 
Hill to Auburn, teach the horse where the end of the trail was.  Well, I had 
not done it all, that pesky bleeder from the shale had turned me back.  As 
soon as I got to the point of the trail that this horse had covered 3 weeks 
before, he became the lead horse again.  Instant energy!  Still not the horse 
he was in the first half of the trail.  Now I had to use him wisely, conserve 
that energy, ask for the trot only where it cost him little of that remaining 
gas in his tank.
I followed Julie Suhr through the dark portion of the trail, figured she 
would not get lost with 18 compleations at that time.  That helped too.
All of my reading, training and asking questions of endurance riders paid 
off, we got our buckle.  There is an anticlimax to the story.  I had never 
thought to ask about care of the horse after 100 miles.  The Tevis is tough 
on the legs.  A good crew helps greatly, and care of the horse after the ride 
really helps how he will look when trotted out for best conditioning judging. 
 I should have had a new crew member arrive at Auburn to care for the horse 
through the night.  Cool water on his legs, and an occasional walk around the 
The Tevis is a great ride, I was not tired till it was over, I fell asleep on 
the seat of my truck, did not even stay awake to take off my shoes.  Raz did 
great, and is still a great trail horse.


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