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Kathy's Notes

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Fri, 26 Oct 2007

Hi everyone

It's Friday at 2pm - we had a late lunch - Steph Teeter arrived and was here at the Sutra Beach Resort when we got back from the stables, so we all went swimming and then ate...we'll catch the later shuttle for the stables since all horses got ridden this morning.

VERY hot today - in the 90s and humidity is keeping about 75% - I rode Sonny for John and he rode Heraldic - we did the 18.7 miles (that's our total exercise/training loop) then I decided to take Theatric out for half that loop before the stables closed at noon - Heather had taken Cal out for a short ride. Bad idea to ride at 10:30 am here - it is the hottest time of the day between 10-2 - we temped horses after riding, and Tee's was the highest at 102.5 - Heraldic was 101.9 and Sonny was 100.8 - the difference was that H & S were ridden between 8:30 and 10, I rode T as the heat started to build. I waited a half hour to temp him again after cooling him out, and he was back to 99.9, so we really need to ride with the onboard temp monitors over here. Glad that Troy is bringing them with her so we can have them earlier.

Everyone is still eating well - we kept asking for alfalfa, and today Zulu said they have gotten some in for us all. As I mentioned earlier, the hay quality is excellent.

Tonight we have the BBQ with the grooms at the Gem Beach resort - highway robbery - we had to pay 40 ringits for this meal, and grooms only had to pay 10 ringits - because they live there. And this was supposed to be all meal inclusive - we have found that it doesn't include soft drinks, fruit juices - today, after being here almost a full week, we find out that whatever we eat/order over 25 ringits (lunch) or 35 ringits (supper) we have to pay - and of course, when you start adding in 4 ringits for tea and 10 ringits for coke and 12.50 ringits for fruit drinks, you start adding up - so be forewarned

tomorrow is a play day - the hotel coordinators at the Gem Beach (Mimie and Feia) have organized a picnic and boat trip out to an island to snorkel and sunbathe - we will go to stables and feed, turn horses out for the day (7am) and we won't be back until 4pm.

that's about it for now - we are all settling into a routine and are now waiting for all of you to join us.


Fri, 30 Oct 2007

Selamat Petang, (good evening) U.S. friends!

it is now 6:30 pm in Malaysia on Tuesday and we are just back from the stables ....we now have our 4wd pickup truck, and I drove it tonight ...left handed shifting is a trip....John was brave and went with me when I drove.

Horses are well today - very very hot...30.6 degrees but low humidity - only around 62%. bright hot sun after the torrential rains of last evening. We went to stables early, since we have the vehicle now, and took 3 horses out for a ride: John on Heraldic, Heather on Cal and I rode Sonny. We did the long loop - mostly trotting at various speeds and then redid the loop backwards at a canter. After the last water stop, we walked the rest of the way in - so we were out about 1 1/2 hours, for the 18.7 km course. I gave Theatric the day off, since he was ridden yesterday and none of the others got out yesterday. Tee spent the day under Heather's canopy in the turnout paddock. After we came back from riding, and the horses were hosed down, everyone was turned out for the remainder of the day. Cameo (the mare who joined our group on Sunday, ridden by Mr. Hasumi) is settling in and is now part of the pack..she has her own turnout on the other side of the stables.

After the ride, Mimie and Feida came by at 11am to say they were taking us to the Batik factory/store. Heather and I needed to clean up a bit so we went back to the Sutra Beach resort and grabbed clean clothes - Mercedes, Steph and Jeremy joined us for the trip into Terengganu. We were only there for an hour, returned (with our purchases...very inexpensive silk clothing and everyone on my list is getting a batik piece of cloth to make tablecloths - be forewarned.

we went back to the stables around 4pm and finished up - I took Tee out for an hour walk around the block, white John finished clipping Heraldic. Tee gets the rest of his shave tomorrow. Here we are, back at the resort with John and Jeremy playing ping pong while Heather and I sit here in front of the computer.

Oh! there is a government group here on some retreat, and we were amused watching them all jazzercise around the pool this morning. Loud blaring disco music at 7:00 am.

Horses temp are staying in the 36.4-9 range in the mornings, and 37.1-37.8 in the afternoons after being out in the hot sun all day.

that's it for the day - now Heather and Jeremy are playing ping pong. Tomorrow we will attempt to do the night training, if the weather holds.


Fri, 31 Oct 2007

Ok, so it sounds like a good by-line, but there is no Halloween in Malaysia - Happy one to you all, anyway.

Another beautiful day in Malaysia - temps around 85 degrees, higher humidity today (79%) - we will have rain again tonight by the looks of the skies tonight. It is now 7:15 pm on Wed. night, and it's been a very busy day.

We went to stables around 8am, John and Roger fed John's horses, then headed to the airport to pick up Troy. I decided to try to finish clipping Theatric, but my spare blades turned out to be duller than the other set, so didn't accomplish much there. The veterinarians arrived to check temperature charts, and I asked one of them if they had clippers in the vet clinic - and they did, so I asked if I could borrow them - and was told all I have to do is walk down to the clinic and pick them up whenever I want them - except they are the big Oster full-body clippers, and Theatric freaks at the noise of those things, so I am back to square one. - Temps all ok on all horses - everything is normal. They will draw more blood on Saturday if we want - again, chemistries we will be charged for, but hemoglobin (RBC, WBC, etc) are on the house.

Heather decided to run back to the resort, and I went out for a two hour ride - leisurely ride, mostly walking, some trotting, lots of circle work - just a nice time out with my horse. Got back to the stables hot and sweaty and just hosed off Theatric ( and cooled him down with ice water to see how well he tolerates that method of cooling) when Zulu arrives to say the local television station is on its way to do a live shoot - was I the only one there? Mr. Hasumi had just gotten back from his ride on Cameo, so the two of us cleaned our horses up and we were asked to stand the horses in the middle of the stable walkway and just hold them, while a reported talked about the horses and stables and the upcoming Sultan's Cup, then they all patted the horses, and the reported asked if she could parade one of the horses around the walkway while the camera rolled...she took Cameo - I think Theatric's size scared her a bit - Cameo is much smaller - of course, the whole time the interview/camera shoot was taking place, Theatric as yawning and looking as bored as a horse can look....

after they all left, I turned Tee out in the paddock with Cal, and it was noon - when the barns close for two hours. I sat waiting for a shuttle, which never came, so one of the stable guards/security offered to drive me back to the hotel - got back, ate lunch, then dozed by the pool for an hour - Troy had arrived, and it was good to see another American. I left for the stables and spent the afternoon taking Theatric out for a power walk ( a good hour) and some grazing (if you can call the grass here grazing material....Tee picks and chooses one blade at a time - I think it must be bitter tasting). When I got back from that, John, Troy, Heather and Jeremy had gotten to the stables, ready to walk their horses, so I took Tee out for another stroll with them. We we finished up that walk, Tim and Matty (the rest of Heather's crew) had arrived, and now we are all back to the hotel ready for dinner.

what was different about today? saw my first SNAKE....a bright green poisonous viper - about 6 feet long - thankfully, dead - this type of snake, so Jeremy and John tell me, are tree snakes and very poisonous...well, Happy Halloween to you, too! just what I want to know - a green tree snake, that is the same color as all the leaves here....

Tomorrow Tom leaves the U.S. to join me - I am looking forward to his arrival.


November 1 2007

Another day that started with a threat of rain, and ended with a night ride - with a trip into "town" and a drive up the coast thrown in for good measure.

Damp, humid and overcast with 95% humidity early in the day. I took Theatric our for a walk around the block, and decided to go all the way out to the road crossing just for good measure after breakfast. Heather had Cal out for a shorter walk, and Sasaki took Cameo out for a stroll, then all 5 horses were turned out for the day. Plan was for a night ride, so we all decided to take the day off and let the horses stay out all day. The earlier weather burned off and the early afternoon was hot but with a very nice ocean breeze. I went into "town" with Heather, Jeremy, Tim and Maddy (translate that into a 45 minute drive into Terengganu) to pick up some apples and carrots (we have yet to see the promised daily supply delivered to the barns) and a few crewing items (scoops, some sponges to replace the ones that some insect or rodent seems to enjoy eating during the night - we have had 4 sponges - between Heather and I - shredded so far). Joined Zulu, Troy and John for lunch, and John suggested we drive up the coast a bit to see the sights on the other side of our resort. Maddy went with us, as Heather, Jeremy and Tim were having massages. Just 5-6 km from our resort is a small inlet that provide ferry/boat service to a larger island off the coast - where it is the off-season, we wondered if the service was still open - seems it is, and we may try to get a boat ride out the the island later in the weekend. Drove by a University with a large observatory, and we detoured up the steep drive to get a private tour (they were most gracious to us, and quite amazed that we found them - they took us up to the top of the observatory to get a panoramic view of the coastline, the islands off shore and the area we presume we will be riding in on Nov. 10).

Back to the stables at 5pm to walk the horses again - the skies were looking ominous and it was sprinkling, so we pretty much decided that the night training ride was going to be cancelled - after walking the horses until 6pm, we fed up and left the barns, fully anticipating having an early evenng at the resort. Dinner came and went (and btw, it was the best food yet - buffet always means many spicy selections, a few squid dishes, chicken and lamb dishes, plenty of rice - tonight was a fish theme, and the lemon butter fish dish is to die for -along with my new favorite dessert, lentil beans in a coconut milk sauce....it sounds terrible, but is very tasty) and so do the threat of rain - so we gathered our riding clothes and off to the stables to be there promptly at 8pm. The Major was there to escort us out to the road crossing - Roger rode Sonny, John on Heraldic, Heather on Cal, Tee and me, and Mr. Hasumi on Cameo. Troy, Jeremy, Tim, Yagucci and Sasaki were to meet us at the water stops to practice crewing and Steph Teeter rode with the Major to take photos. An excellent training session - and although there is no moon right now, we had absolutely no trouble following the trail without any lights (except Mr. Hasumi had a head lamp). The crews practiced using scoops for the water stops, and everything pretty much went on schedule. We ended the night around 10pm and here I am writing to you all.

Horses temps still staying in the 36.1-36.9 range in the am, and jump a bit into the 37.4-37.9 range in the evenings. We temped the horses after our ride tonight, and the highest temp was 101. Theatric was 100 on the nose. We brought them in cool - walked pretty much the last 2 km back to the stables - Theatric's pulse when we hit his stall was 48.

BTW - Monkeys are VERY noisy at night. as well as the tree frogs.

what was new about today? saw our first cobra - thankfully dead in the middle of the paved road on our way into Terengganu - it stretched out the length of two lanes...and the Malaysian racing team arrived with much fanfare. Heather, Maddy and I walked to the venue and looked over the observation walkway overlooking the ingate and crewing/vetting areas. We peeked into the hospitality bungalows, and visited the vet clinic & stables, and were given a tour of the facility by one of the vets on duty. They have an operating table, xray machines, ultrasound, and everything you can imagine for supplies. We thanked the vet and assured him we would not be seeing the facility again.

Two French riders arrived today. Leonard (from Belgium) arrive this evening - and more crews arrived today - so we are growing in numbers -

Did I mention how much I liked dinner tonight? Right now it is coolish - around 75 degrees out, and the humidity is in the 70s....it was a very nice night to ride.

John will probably reshoe Theatric's hind feet tomorrow or Sunday - Saturday everyone is going to the National park (with the man-made lake and waterfalls), but Tom is arriving on Saturday so I will miss the outing.

That's it for today - Tom is somewhere in the air right now, on his way here.


November 2 2007

Rain, rain, rain...all day - pouring rain most of day - we had a brief time we could turn horses out in paddocks before noon, then 2 hours later it was back to pouring rain. We have finally seen what the weather may very well be the day of the ride.

Tim (Jeremy's twin) and I walked Cal and Tee early in morning and John went to the South American stable to shoe Mercedes' mare. We were done with chores by 9am and Roger and I stayed at the stable until 11:00, waiting for John and cleaning stalls.

Since the weather was pretty much uncooperative, we spent the remainder of the day sitting around the hotel patio talking. Other than rushing back to the stables around 2:30 to put the horses in as it restarted to rain in buckets, we spent an uneventful day. Heather, Tim and Jeremy took night-duty and went to feed all our horses. Dinner is over, and the "band" has started on the patio (if I haven't mentioned this before, the "band" is a duo of local Malaysians, who actually work here in the hotel during the day - the guitar player is our breakfast roti canai maker (roti canai is a grilled flat bread that we put honey on - a most excellent breakfast).

Troy and I did treat ourselves to a massage here at the hotel, so that would probably explain why I feel so relaxed today. Tomorrow we will not be able to ride during the day - there is a boar shoot going on - why you ask? well, they (the boar) seem to be too plentiful and pose a hazard to us - so they will have to go. We are not even allowed to hand walk our horses tomorrow between 7:00 am - 5pm, so Zulu has arranged for us to do another night ride for those who want to get out tomorrow with their horses.

Tom comes in tomorrow, and the rest of the "residents" here at the resort will go to the National park and waterfalls. Mimie and I will go into Terengganu to pick up Tom and we will go (again) to the Batik place - since so many were not able to go before, Mimie and Feida planned this second trip.

What was new about today? Our stable security guards are teaching us Malay words/phrases on a daily basis. Today we were met with the words for colors, trail markers and directions: arah = arrow, kiri = left, kanan = right, belakang = behind (which our security informs us we must say a lot to the other riders - "stay behind"!!)kuda = horse, penunggang = rider, bendera = flag, merah = red, putih = white, biru = blue, kuning = yellow, hijau = green ....and we were told today that the "i" in Malay has the "ee" sound, and the "au" has the "ow" sound...

selamat malam (good night) and jumpa lagi (see you later) Kathy

November 3 2007

Tom has arrived - with the vet from Brazil and the Chef and rider from Portugal....Mimie and I went into Terengganu to pick them up. Mimie with a sign to help locate the Vet from Brazil (described to her as a "very large man with a very big head - bigger than me (who is Zulu)"...I think that Zulu was pulling her leg and she didn't realize he was making a joke - because it is Henricque Garcia - and he is certainly smaller than Zulu).

In any event, we all went to the stables early to feed and turn horses out - everyone else was going to the National Park (the large man-made lake with volcano and waterfalls and hiking trails) but I was staying behind to meet Tom. About 24 people were going on this outing but Mercedes, Luis, Steph, John Teeter and I stayed behind. I promised I would put horses in if it stormed (and the morning started off looking as if we would have more rain).

Got back to the stables around 11am and checked water and hay for everyone, and Tom and I walked Cal and Theatric around the complex (the boar hunt was going on, so no riding or walking on the exercise track - only around our parking lot or the stable complex). Left the stables and took Tom to the hotel (yes, I had the keys to the 4wd - and I LIKE driving on the left hand side of the road and shifting with my left hand) and after swimming Tom experienced "our" buffet lunch - Sutra beach resort style. John Teeter and I laughed at Tom, after his second helping of everything - Tom will soon learn how to eat in moderation here! Zulu gave Tom his security clearance to get into the stables, then I drove Tom out on our exercise track so he could see the footing and water stop set-ups (since Zulu was at the resort, the boar hunt was halted until after the lunch siesta, so we could drive around the track). After driving the 9km part of the track, we drove by the stables just to check on the boys. Good thing - I decided Cal and Theatric needed more hay and I sent Tom around to check Heraldic and Sunny's paddock - Theatric was turned away from me, and when I walked around to his front, I almost had a heart attack. The right side of his face was wet, and his right eye area was swollen as big as a soft ball - and honest-to-god, I thought he had lost an eye: the upper lid was turned over with all the membranes exposed and red, the lower lid was pulled out and all I could see was this pulpy red mass and no eyeball - I yelled to the security guard to call a vet, and threw a lead rope around his neck and led him into the barn. I tried to clean the area up with a bottled water, and some sterile gauze pads I had, and realized he had an eye - but I could not get near enough to do something about the "inside out" eyelid...the vets were there in 5 minutes, and after flushing the eye through the tear ducts (tube up the nose, into the nasal cavity and saline solution syringed up into the duct, flusing from the inside-out) twice, a large clump of dirt was cleaned out of his eye - the vets stained his eye, looking for any corneal scratches, abrasions - but it was clear - so they gave him an anti-inflammatory (after clearing with Dr. Bala) and antibiotic eye ointment - which we will apply 3 times a day for the next 5 days. I was told he had to keep his face mask on all the time - not turn him out at all for 3 days, but I could ride him as I wanted.

what an afternoon - not 5 minutes after the vets left, the sky opened up, and we rushed around catching horses and putting them in. We went back to the resort and I had a beer -

The tour bus was back by 5:30, so we headed back to the stables and fed up, anticipating a night ride - boar hunt was officially over. I was undecided about riding so soon after Theatric's eye episode -

8pm the stables reopened and it was beginning the mist heavily - Mr. Hasumi had decided not to ride, anticipating rain. I looked at Tee's face, and his eye was so much better, that I decided to just saddle him up and ride him around the short block we have - just to give him some exercise. Troy and John were riding, as well as Jeremy - Heather, Tim, Roger and Maddy were off to crew for the lot - to meet them at the water stops. Tom was going to stay at the stables and clean up stalls, etc. The Major arrived to escort the riders to the road crossing, and off we went....I peeled off from the others when they turned to head to the road, and I followed our short track back around to complete the "square" - as I made the last right turn to head toward the stables, it started to rain - around here, you get no warning - clear with stars one moment, next moment you are soaking wet. I was back at the stables and untacked when Troy and John arrived back - they had decided to cut their ride short when the rain started...but Jeremy toughed it out and went around the 9 km track on his own.

we closed up the stables around 9:45, the shuttle came to take Roger, Tim and Maddy back to the Gem resort, and we drove back to the Sutra. We discovered as we were leaving the stables that two of our security guards were leaving for KL in the morning, and would not be back (they are with the mounted police division in KL - and were only assigned to us for two weeks). Tom and I went back to the Sutra and picked up US tee-shirts and flag pins, and drove back to the stables in order to give these guys the shirts and pins - they have been wonderful - and they are the ones who have been teaching us the Malaysian phrases and words these past two weeks.

Tom was fading fast, so we went back to the bungalow.

What was different about today? other than almost having a heart attack, I rode into the stables in the morning on the shuttle with the French riders - I met Virginie Atiger, who is very very nice - the Italian rider is very nice, and the Portugese - well - ! they could be anyone in the U.S. - open, friendly and full of fun....

Selamat malam, jumpa lagi!

November 4 2007

Sunday in Malaysia - this is the first day of their work week, so usually a busy day in Terengganu. We did our stable duties, and I received word that Dr. Bala wanted to see Theatric at the vet clinic/stables at 10:00 am....he wanted to look at his eye under a different light and with a scope...which scared the heck out of me - his eye was significantly better this morning, and I iced it and applied the ointment as instructed - the edema was down and he could actually blink his eye....but...

while waiting for 10 am, John reset Theatric's front shoes and replaced his hind shoes. Received permission to walk Theatric out of our quarantine area to the clinic, and off we trudged. Once in the clinic, Dr. Bala explained that he had been concerned when he reviewed the photos that the other vets had taken of his eye - even though the initial stain was negative for corneal damage, he wanted to make sure - so he examined him under different lighting and with different instruments, and declared that his eye was fine - decided to change the ointment the other vet had prescribed, and I had to sign and file papers that will go to the vet commission for the ride notifying them of his treatment.

As we were walking back to our North American stables, a group of military trucks went by us, and for some reason Tee took exception to their jake brakes, and I had a bucking, lunging and otherwise unmanageable 16 hand 1100 lb horse on the end of my line....After stopping traffic (Tee that is) we got him out of the line of trucks and we paraded past the Malaysian stables with all the Malasian grooms and riders watching him snorting and stomping with his tail flagging - quite impressive. I asked Tom to take him for a long walk to get him settled.

John, Troy, Tom and I went into Terengganu around 11:30 to try to find the Batik shop and give Tom a tour of Terengganu. We did find the shop, after much trepidation on the mens' part that I had the correct directions (I had written them down from my bus seat when we went a week ago by Tour bus)...then off to see the signts of Terengganu - ended up finding the large open market down by the bus terminal and waterway....LARGE open market we had heard about, and is only open on Sunday and Monday each week. Off we went exploring - soon to realize this was every type of produce, fish, meat, household goods, junk jewelry, tee-shirt outlet you could imagine. I was halfway down the fish stalls when I realized I was walking blithely down the dirtest, fishiest aisle you could imagine IN FLIP FLOPS...talk about being totally grossed out! By the time I hit the squid and octupus stands, I turned tail and headed into the heart of the produce section - feet wet and me imagining all sorts of wonderful things attached to the crevices of my feet....argghh and ugghhh

We bought dates, apples, carrots, cashews and took lots of pictures of the place....left there and walked aorund the area looking for a sidewalk cafe/cafeteria to eat the local foods...Tom bought pineapple sticks at a street vendor's cart...and we found the most charming place called Sofinas Restorant...the proprietor treated us to samples of teh lunch specialties and we left having tasted range chicken (fried to jerky-like consistency) and vegetables with a hot chili sauce, rice, potato and chicken patties, spicey beef and cans of coke.

Returned to the stables and John left immediately to attend a pony club meeting to talk about US endurance riding. We had been told that John would be the guest speaker (earlier in the week) so we all went about our busines of shutting up the barns, after walking the horses around the block again and I treated Tee's eye with the ointment. While still at the stables, we received word that the Major expected ALL U.S. riders and grooms to attend the pony club session - it was 4:45 and we had to leave at 5:00 to get there by 6:00 - weeellll - that meant rushing back to the resort, cleaning up and being ready for our drivers in just 15 minutes. Talk about quick showers...it didn't matter at all that I didn't have hot water - I didn't have enough time to even think about it.

Met Heather, Jeremy, Tim and Maddy at the drive to the resort - Tom and Troy decided not to join us - and we were driven to the brand new Sports Complex in Terengganu - we had a good time talking to the pony club members, some who had done at least one 80 km endurance ride. Most were dressage or jumping students. After our talk, we were invited to a dinner by the Major, and off we went back into town, ending up at a Chinese restaurant just two blocks from the huge open market John and I had been in earlier in the day - talk about deja vu!

We are back at the resort now, and it's 10:30 pm - took a little longer to get back because the driver made a beer run for Jeremy and Tim in China Town (the only place around you can purchase beer) - I felt as if we were on a clandestine mission the way we went into back streets to find this place...

Tomorrow the rest of our crews arrive (Ann, Yancey, Debbie, our Chef and team vet - Vonita and Todd) and we have a busy day of riding, clipping and John will finish resetting his own horses. Days are now numbered, and with the final personnel, riders, grooms and staff on board, we will be down to business.

What did I learn today - not a smart idea to go for a drive around here in flip flops - especially when you go for a tourism tour. I am still grossed out about what may have (and probably did) touch my feet today. I threw away the flip flops when we got back to the barn...In fact, I stepped in the disinfectant solution we use when we enter the barn, and rubbed the hand sanitizer all over my feet afterwards - I'm not too freaked out about it at all ( yeah, right)


November 5 2007

Debbie Bullis, Todd Holbrook and Vonita Bowers, along with Ann Crandall and Yancey, Carolyn Hock and Linda Glazier are now here in Malaysia - all we need is Meg Sleeper to round out our U.S. Contingency.

While waiting for everyone to fly in this morning, we hit the stables early and I finished clipping Theatric and John reset his horses' feet - the vets stopped by to look at Theatric's eye, and afterwards I took him out to ride the 9 km track. With face mask on. His eye looks so much better this morning, and I think by Wednesday you won't even be able to tell anything was wrong. We scared up a bunch of monkeys, but otherwise an uneventful ride - Jeremy and Cal met me out on trail, and we rode together for a brief time, but they had their full crew out practicing the water stop routines, so I soon left them behind.

Tom left the stables early while I was out riding, to meet Debbie as she arrived at the resort, and after I cleaned Tee up and put him away for the 2-hour mandatory rest period from 12-2pm, I sat and waiting for the shuttle which never came. At 1pm, I picked up my bag and started walking the 1 1/2 miles to the resort - hot blazing sun, black riding tights, flip flops and Kathy steaming out of her ears (both ears), muttering the whole way. I had the security guys call 4 times for the shuttle, and they kept telling me "10 minutes and transport will be here" - I arrived at the Sutra in a foul mood, hot, sweaty and ready to spit nails ....met Todd and Vonita and Debbie, and went in to lunch - still in my riding clothes - after lunch we swam, and off to the stables again for Debbie and me - to find Zulu for the security passes and to get myself weighed with tack to see how close I will be. I'm right on the money as of this moment (75 kg) with bridle and without my helmet.

Debbie and I took Tee out for a walk, after treating his eye. Monkeys chattering away in the trees, and swinging from the tree tops. When we got back to the stables, everyone had arrived and Zulu was there to authorize the security bands. We hung around and talked for a while, and I suggested I take Vonita, Debbie and Carolyn out on our training track so that they could see the typical footing and signage. The OC has put up the trail markers for the red, blue, gold, brown and black loops. Off we went 4-wheeling it on trail, and we took the 9 km track, then I drove them up to the Petronas station to use the ATM and then back to the stables. I'm getting pretty good with the left handed driving.

After feeding up and putting the barn to bed, we all gathered in Vonita's room (btw - she has the premo room - second story with balcony on the beach...way to go!) for wine and crackers pre-dinner. At dinner tonight we were entertained by a local Terengganu dancing troupe (Malaysian dances) - and at the very end of the performance, the dancers came out into the dining room and grabbed "partners" to dance with them - our whole table, the Portugese, French and Belgiums all got out on the floor and were shown foot patterns and had a good time - you should see John Crandell grooving to the local music! The only problem was that since we were all up there dancing, no one was taking pictures!

So, an early night - everyone is tired - very hot today and we had a shower in the middle of the afternoon which left everything sticky.

Tomorrow we will ride early and try to take everyone into either Khota Bharu or Terengganu. We are told there will be some organizational meeting in the next day or so and a rider's briefing won't happen until Thursday. First exam won't be until Friday (since we don't start until 5pm on Saturday).

Selamat Malam, everyone


( our stable lessons for today are weather words - Malaysian words for hot, rain, sunny, etc)

oh! what did I/we learn today? It's Todd's birthday! There was cake ( luckily it was on the menu tonight - and the Belgians had brought a cake to dinner to celebrate a birthday in their camp - so they were gracious and shared their cake.

November 6 2007

Things are really ramping up around here...more and more signage is appearing around the stables, the trails and even the towns...the stable areas are being spruced up with potted plants and trees, and security is now being provided by a military contingent from Nepal (we did have mounted police officers from Kuala Lumpur performing guard duty (not on horses - which they were sorely missing according to our main stable security). The KL guards have now left, and we said goodbye with USA pins and t-shirts (that Tom brought with him to use for "trades" )

I had lunch today with Zulu and the TD for the Sultan's Cup - I was waiting for Tom, but he was a no-show for lunch, so Zulu and John joined me. Everyone is doing last minute sight-seeing and purchasing. This morning Tom rode Tee for me, while Debbie and I cleaned up around the stables - then I took the truck out to meet Tom at some of the water stops on our exercise loop, and to get diesel for the truck - hit the ATM machine and buy some chocolate for the crew. I stopped off at the vet clinic to pick up extension cords to use to do the final clipping on the horses. We finally have the correct transformers, power adapters.

Todd and Vonita were at the stables most of the morning, Todd inspecting the horses and meeting with the vets. Linda and Roger discovered some mold growing on items in the tack rooms, so a thorough cleaning was done of hay bags and duffle bags - we ended up throwing out a whole bale of alfalfa because it had started to mold. Vonita supervised inspection of the hay and grain supplies to make sure we didn't have any other mold growing, and we took the grain we have remaining and placed it in tupperware-type containers.

Theatric's eye look great - almost back to normal. I'm hoping the vets will give the green light for me to start putting him out in the paddock tomorrow. He is definitely getting stir crazy in his stall...

John and his crew, along with Debbie, spent the early afternoon touring around Terengganu and hitting the open market and more batik places/shops...Vonita, Todd and Carolyn Hock went into Terengganu, also. Troy, Roger and I booked massages and Tom hung out at the pool with the Portugese and French (and one Italian thrown in for good measure). Then he, Jeremy and Tim played an hour of ping pong. A tack shop from Kuala Lumpur has set up a small vendor area here at the Sutra Beach Resort, and I bought a couple of small items...then back to the stables to walk the horses and do the evening chores. It all sounds leisurely, I'm sure - but you can feel the difference around here...it's a bit more intense and tonight we got the trail maps and crewing directions/stops. So this is getting real, now.

Zulu has planned a meeting tomorow evening (7pm) with just riders and Chefs...no grooms, no vets, no "others" - just riders and Chefs. Then Thursday we will have our formal briefings and meetings, and first inspection of horses will take place on Friday.

We just finished a really nice dinner, all of us sitting around and talking. The dance troupe from Terengganu performed again tonight, and we actually got Todd up there dancing with them...we tried to get photos, but Todd seems to be behind the potted palms in all the shots...hmmmm - anyway, it is officially Todd's birthday back in the States today, and it's the team vet from Portugal's birthday today, so there was cake and music and singing after dinner, and now everyone is drifting off to either listen to the little band for a while before bed, or actually hitting the sack early - if you want to call 10:00 pm early.

Mr. Hasumi gave us a demonstration on acupuncture today, we watched Todd demonstrate breathing measures with a garbage bag....and more labs were drawn by Todd on the horses - just because he can! Anyway, I have been informed that I have to get off the computer because John has a guitar and is singing with the band...so good night -


November 7 2007

Another nice day to begin with, weather near perfect and low humidity, to end with hot sticky rainy weather. Tom, Todd, Vonita, Debbie and I drove to Kota Baru today - it is only about 25 miles from the Thailand border, but we were told that we could not go to southern Thailand right now due to some border problems (bombs, gunfire, unrest - you know, regular unfriendly stuff) so we stopped at Kota Baru to visit the famous bizarre (8 stories of vendors - bigger than the outdoor market we visited in Terengganu) and see the sights of an almost Thailand visit! Kota Baru is truly inter-racial with Indians, Malaysians, Chinese, Indonesians, etc...still Muslim, but more unvieled women than we have seen thus far.

Started the morning by going to the stables and taking care of the horses - Debbie walked Theatric while I started cleaning the stall and getting his food ready for the day. His eye looks great. Hallelujah. I heard the horses whinnying and I looked up to see Debbie and Theatric walking towards the stable from the opposite direction than we are supposed to go. I asked her where she went and she took a stroll past South America and Malaysia (my,my - Tee is getting around!) -that's pretty funny because it takes him out of the quarantine area ....so we got that straightened out, and we were ready for the rest of the US people to arrive...the vets last evening said he could be turned out in the paddock today for one hour in the am and one hour in the afternoon, with his face mask on, so we put him out....John said he would put him back in for me and let him out again later in the day...so with that we headed off to Kota Baru...

Tom had gotten us a car from the Organizing Committee for the day, and Salim commented that it wasn't going to be a good start when Tom got in the wrong side of the car...! we all laughed about that, and off we drove. We saw water buffalo, a zillion roaming cattle, free-range chickens everywhere (mostly dodging traffic) and we got to watch farmers cultivating their rice paddies...with wooden paddle-wheel type machines they ride like bicycles. Very cool. Took lots of pictures.

After going in wrong directions a couple of times (road signage here isn't always helpful) we finally found our destination and spent several hours exploring the city. We got back to the stables around 6pm in time to walk Tee again and close the stables up. Meg is now here, and now we have our full US team.

Meg and John rode today, as John said "in between rain showers" and Troy had walked Tee inside the stables when it was really raining out. If you all have viewed the pictures on www. endurance.net, you know how huge our stables are, so plenty of area to walk inside.

We are all (all the countries' riders) planning on a poster signing session this evening - tomorrow we have our first "organized" meetings and planning sessions.

What did we learn today? a couple of interesting things: probably the reason Sunny has been coughing is the cement dust - not the pine shavings. Tomorrow Sunny will move into another stall after everything has been cloroxed in the new stall. AND squatty-potties do exist - in petrol stations across Malaysia...we stopped on our way back to Merang (where the Sutra Beach resort is) at a Mobil Mart (yes, Mobil - just like at home) and asked to use the rest room. The only toilet was a hole in the cement with a bucket of water sitting next to it and a hose....not a raised hole, either - a hole in the cement floor. Good thing Debbie had her hand sanitizer with her...! Of course I thought you flushed by using the bucket of water or hose....I didn't find out until we were all back in the car what that bucket and hose was really for....!

Early night tonight...tomorrow will be busy organizing our crew areas and stuff, and shopping for something I think I can tolerate to eat at the holds...that will be a challenge from what I've seen available so far...


November 8 2007

Things are really happening around here now....inspection of the course, water stops and crewing areas; The Chief Steward (Zulu), TD (John Robertson of the UK) and Dr. Salleh (CFO and Exec Dir of the Foundation) met with all the riders (riders only) to go over the next 24 hour protocols, opening ceremony and how we will be presented to His Majesty, what is expected of us for dress, etc.; we received our official credentials today, and our vehicles now sport gaudy decals all over them - we are billboards on wheels. Horses all got their final haircuts and were pretty much turned out all day (even Theatric) and hand walked numerous times. I even got a nap in at noon!

our meals (except breakfast, which is still at the resort) are all now being held at the venue in the VIP tent. It is very fancy, with linen table cloths and napkins, air conditioning and wait staff in formal attire. We have brunch, lunch, high tea and dinner there now.

Tomorrow we have our registration at 10:00 am, then the scales are open to see where we are with our weight - formal weighing takes place at the time of vet-in, which (for us) begins at 4pm - USA stable is first to vet. Rider's briefing is at 8:30 pm.

Opening ceremony is at 8:00 pm, where riders and our Chef & Vet will be presented ot the King - grooms are part of the audience. We will be presented in alphabetical order, so USA will be next-to-last (Malaysia , hosting this event, will be last).

All U.S. horses are looking great still - Theatric's eye is 100%. John moved his horses into new stalls, because they found some mold growing in Sonny's stall...we stripped our stalls, but they were fine....Heraldic moved just to be near Sonny. So our side of the stables looks odd with two less horses.

Jeremy and Heather planned a trip out to Redang Island today, but cancelled when we found out the scheduled venue events....evidently a schedule was posted yesterday at each barn, but it was posted in an odd place, so no one saw it. This morning over breakfast, Mercedes was telling me how busy it was going to be and it was the first we (USA) knew about it.

Todd, Vonita and Debbie drove into Terengganu to pick up race day supples - food for the riders, more bottled water and drinks. They made it back without getting lost.

I hope to be able to get some time tomorrow evening to relay all the activities for the day, but in case I don't get to a computer until Sunday (after the race), please be sure and check out the activities/live coverage on www.endurance. net


November 9 2007

It's Friday night, and festivities are still going strong - I just rode back from the Opening Ceremonies with Heather and Jeremy - Tom, Debbie, John, Ann, Meg and all the rest are still partying at the venue - I left just after His Majesty left the venue.

The day started with giving horses baths and starting to organize our crew area. It rained all morning, so we walked horses inside the stables...shortly before noon, the rain stopped so we were able to walk horses for a brief period outside. I went back to the resort with Debbie to take a short nap, and returned to the VIP tent around 2:15 for lunch - finally saw Val and Larry - they were there for the big riders' briefing. We had a 2:30 riders' briefing with crews and our Chefs and vets in attendance - sharply at 4:15 we marched the horses down to the vetting area for our first inspection then what they call a "trot up" and we call vetting in. Inspections went fast...as Vonita said, she thought later that she and Todd had not even looked at our horses' passports prior to this, and what if there was something "wrong" with any of them? But everything went smoothly, and all 4 U.S. horses vetted through first and we all looked great...directly after the "trot up" riders and tack were weighed, and everyone made weight (Heather and I were the lightest, but still made the minimum 75 kg (I was 76)...so we are all good to go. Grooms walked the horses back while we weighed and I guess Theatric gave Debbie a hard time (Debbie is just an itty-bitty thing, and Tee was tossing her around) so Jeremy took him and he was fine once Jeremy took the lead.

We got back to the stables for the picture taking sessions. Walked horses once again and then closed the barns up after feeding. We all returned to the resort to wait for the 8pm opening ceremonies. John, Ann, Tom, Debbie and I sat around and drank a bottle of wine, and when it was time to go to the venue, we all piled into the various vehicles. We were seated according to countries, alphabetically, and were given the last instructions for how we were to be presented to His Majesty. Riders, team vet and chef only. The King and Queen arrived by a 20 police car escort and after introductions by the OC, the countries marched in (alphabetically) - 13 countires. We were led by a Malaysian in traditional garb, carrying our flag. After we walked down the long aisle and took our bows, backing out so we were never back-to the King, we left the area and came in through a back door to be seated. The meal was every type of food imaginable and we all ate way too much.

The King left around 10:20 pm, and here I am writing to you all.

Tomorrow we will finish our last preparations, and the race begins at 4:30 pm.


November 11 2007

Hi everyone sorry I didn't email yesterday - but I needed to sleep and then the grand finale was last night and we didn't get home until after midnight from there. What a grand finale it was - live music, both traditional, a real Malaysian Idol winner and then a fantastic band from Bali - they were a huge hit.

The awards presentation was formal and it was so thrilling to walk to the front of the King's table to receive our 5th place check and prizes...yes, we got the $5000.00 completion money and then a trophy, framed batik with gold leaf, buckle (bronze) and a hay net full of horse supplies - mainly horse-type boots, so I guess I got the "bootie" !

Today we take the day to disinfect all our equipment with bleach and try to get things dry before packing them up to come home. We leave the 14th for home. John and I will fly with the horses as we did on the way here.

Theatric looks great today - he did yesterday, too...his BC trot out was clean and crisp and he looked like a greyhound floating around the circles. Tom presented him and he did the best job of any of the handlers.

What about the ride? can you spell monsson>>>?? how about torrential downpours that lasted hours? how about there was so much water dripping off the front of my helmet visor I could hardly see...I have the most awesome red raw hamburg quality grade A looking spots on the inside of both my knees and thighs - it truly is picture-taking quality. I've had rubs before, but man this takes the prize. Cia, you will understand from Spain what I'm talking about. And then to add insult to injury, I have a nice shin splint on my right shin - it stands up and is almost purple....I'm sure it will be by the end of the week. No bathing suits or shorts for me in the near future. But hey, While I was riding it only hurt a little bit (No, really it hurt like hell) but I kept saying I could tough it out...I wasn't there for me, I was there for Theatric and all the people supporting us, so who cared if I couldn't walk or stand the pain. There is always advil and desitin...do you suppose I could get them to sponsor me???

One really funny thing on trail while Heather and I were still together was when we were trotting down a paced section and the trail split a little bit for a stand of trees...well, the arrow pointed straight (remember, we are in the dark and in the pouring rain) so we continued on the tarred section and all of a sudden Theatric is airborn and we land about 5 feet down still at the trot and I turned around and hollered at Heather, That wasn't right! evidently we were supposed to take the dirt track around the road that just ended - the drop off was really something because I got to see it in the daylight on the next-to-last loop - I'm sure glad I didn't see it the first time! Tee didn't even break stride, although my teeth slammed up into the top of my mouth when we landed.

I will give a more detailed account of the ride and loops after I've gone to the stables and used the bleach. I guess I could try that on my legs, too - what the heck, they burn anyway! It's the screaming I make in the shower that is impressive, too....

thank you everyone for being there for us. We are now anxious to come home and tell you all in person about our fantastic trip. Theatric was 100% all day, and you just can't ask for anything better than that.


November 12 2007

this is not exactly how I envisioned spending my last day in Malaysia ....we originally were booked to leave the 14th, and early this afternoon we were told that our flights (and those of the horses) were changed to leave tomorrow - the 13th, in the morning no less - which meant that our afternoon of relaxation turned into an afternoon of sweating and rushing, disinfecting and packing everything to load on the pallets tomorrow....

So - with that, I am just back from the stables and it's time for dinner -

It is pouring rain out right now - pouring, with thunder and lightning - just like race day! I feel like I'm on course again....Heather and I were out just about 5 miles on the first loop, when we could see the rain coming across the palm oil plantation...Heather asked me how long I thought it would be before it rained, and I said about 2 minutes - I was really sorry to be right about that one. When it started, it just would not end - here we are out in the open palm oil tree fields, with loghtning flashing off the ground - I told Heather not to worry, she was safe with her plastic shoes, I was the one who would be electrocuted because Tee had steel shoes on...and I was the tallest target out there. The dry course soon turned into swamp and knee deep water everywhere...the canals over flowed, the streams flooded and the red clay mud areas were, well, red clay mud areas....I haven't ridden in rain like that since I did the Kanasa ride in 2002....and it just wouldn't stop. At one of the holds the King's grooms came running out of the pulse gate with umbrellas to shield His Highness...who just waved them off because, well, he was wet already. Good old Theatric, who hates water in his ears, sure did get, well - his ears full....he kept shaking water our of his eyes, and his ears were sideways for most the ride.

I rode with Heather for the first two loops, then we were separated on the third loop when she decided to pull back a bit because Cal was having more difficulty with the humidity than Tee was...we had done the grey and yellow loops together ( and the yellow loop was the one with the "water" on it we were told during the pre-ride...what a joke - they all had water on them after the downpour) and were on the green loop when we parted. I picked up my speed knowing that John and Meg were about 12 minutes ahead of me...and caught them mid-way through the loop - John and I did the Blue loop together, and as we were leaving the hold (Meg was waiting to see if Sonny was going to start eating better - he passed the vet gate, but wasn't eating very well) we were told to be careful because the blue loop was flooded - again, what a joke! it was all flooded... So we did the Blue loop, wading through swamps that had been dry roads and trying to find the middle of the trail when we were travelling through areas that had canals on either side...again, it all looked the same because it was all flooded. The confidence lanterns didn't work - they were oil or kerosene and there was too much water...so intersections and turns were challenges in the rain and dark. The colored reflector lights were good, you could see them from way off, but they didn't seem to be at corners or intersections.

Anyway, John and I got through the loop, and it was a long one - I thought it would never end. We had to walk so much of it, that it did go on for ever. After the blue loop, we had just 16 miles left to go, the brown and black loops - and we were heading into daylight...the French were hot on our tails....the UAE and Brazil were just ahead (well, about 30 minutes ahead) so we had to protect our back door, because as we were leaving on the Brown loop, Tom overheard the French talking about the "Americanos" and talking strategy...so off we went like our tails were on fire...and we did the 10 miles in 45 minutes. We had just 6 miles left to go....and the French were still just 6 min. behind us - so off we go and galloped the whole 6 miles, except for the two water stops where we quickly hosed the horses off and when we stopped to help Mr. Hasumi, who we passed and then heard a noise, and John looked back and Mr. Hasumi was falling off his horse...so we turned back to help him, but he yelled for us to "go on, go on" and as we left, he was walking toward the checkpoint men (who were standing on that corner where we passed Mr. Hasumi, and I think that they spooked Cameo because they were hidden behind some trees in their little army tent...

anyway, off we went and did the 6 miles in 30 min. and we crossed the finish line holding hands, with Theatric pushing his long neck and nose out in front (that's why I was 5th, because Tee stuck his nose out) and John was 6th....

Both horses vetted through and looked great, and we hung around for the BC judging - both Heraldic and Theatric looked terrific - again, Tom did a fantastic job trotting Tee out. But the UAE winner won BC. That mare was beautiful and very athletic, btw...

so, Debbie walked Tee back to the stables, and I hung around the finish line and crew area waiting for Heather to finish...I almost fell asleep twice...but we were there to help Heather cool Cal down and we all were done.

Heather rode a smart smart ride, and by slowing down when she did, she was able to get Cal through it. I was lucky that Tee handled the wet and mud well...and was able to move out in that stuff...but then, he did that at the Biltmore, so I shouldn't have been surprised.

So, that's my story and we are now just waiting to leave Malaysia...Happy for the trip but happy to be coming home soon. Hope to see you all soon and I hope you enjoyed my reports.


November 13 2007

We were in the Royal transport (they call the horse trailers here "floats") to the airport, with police escort and flashing lights...very nice to be able to just drive right through all those red lights (yikes) - anyway, when we got to the airport, we had been told that we would not be able to get access to the horses - but, since we are blonde and women and we were, afterall, in the Royal transport, we got security passes and off we went to unload our horses and load them into the crates which were then put on the Military "Charlie" - took lots of pictures, and it was very cool to see this all happen. The horses are now in Kuala Lumpur, and we are back at the resport (again - seems like I've left this place a dozen times already since 6am today) and just had a nice lunch with Troy Ball and we are going to just veg out at the pool and get the relaxing day we had hoped to have yesterday.

We leave at 9:15 tonight...I will be in New York tomorrow (Wed) at around 4pm. Theatric and the other US horses will be in Amsterdam until the 18th, then another 7 days in quarantine in the US...I won't see Tee agian until Thanksgiving.

Heather was offered to sell Cal to the Malaysian Junior team, and she decided to leave Cal here in Malaysia. We are sad to not have him with us, since Heather and Jeremy will be moving to Virginia as soon as they get back to LA....we thought we would be seeing him on the East coast again...but we will have Heather and Jeremy - go USA East!

We presented the Sultan with our gift of thanks as he was leaving the awards gala - he was most appreciative of our consideration and thoughtfulness, and shook our hands in front of the press and dignitaries. We also presented him with a signed poster from all the riders participating in this event, and he was very happy with this gift also.

See you all soon - and thank you all for your support and thoughts and kind words while we have been here.


Back Home!

Hello, all

well, it's a week now since we basked in the sun (and drowned in the rain) of Malaysia - it doesn't seem possible that we are back in Maine, in the frigid temps of near-Winter and I still have a nice little tan going on to head into these winter months...

Theatric, Heraldic and Sonny are still in NY in quarantine - hopefully we will have them home on the 25th of Nov. No news is, I guess, good news. I spoke with John when he landed at JFK and he saw the horses one last time before they headed up to Newburg. He said they traveled well - drank a lot and ate a lot of hay. They also managed very well in Amsterdam for the three day stay there - they ate all the grain we had left (brought from Malaysia) and he had to go out and get some "local" feed to supplement the remainder of their stay in Amsterdam. Since he had about 20lb of feed left in his container, and I had done up about 15 ziploc bags of feed with all the supplements/vitamins and electrolytes in my container that shipped with the horses, I guess I can rest assured they aren't losing any weight!!!

In re-reading some of the posts that Heather and I had done during our trip/stay in Malaysia, I can't believe we both forgot one very funny item that happened on loop one of the course....it had started to rain (that's an understatement of course - it was torrential with accompanying thunder and lightning) and it is just beginning to get dusky out...still daylight, but diminished visibility due to the rain, etc...and Heather looks down at herself and says, "What the heck?? I'm foaming!" - I looked over at her, and sure enough, Heather has white foam around her thighs and rear-end...she is squishing in white foam. We watched this for a while, and Heather asked me if I thought it was soap from the laundry? I guessed that was probably right - but we got laughing so hard - here we are, in the middle of Malaysia, on course, with all these well-known international riders all around us, and Heather is foaming - and it didn't go away. She "foamed" the whole loop...it was just one of those priceless occurrences that you had to be there to appreciate - but it gave us a good laugh, anyway.

Some things I would like to share with you all, in hindsight:

1. I rode with no lights - just a little flashlight around my neck under my number bib - I could watch all the other countries bobbing around the course with their big headlamps on, and know where they were, but they didn't know where I was - as my friend Stephanie later commented, Theatric was like a stealth bomber, coming up on riders in the dark and then blowing by them and gone, with no trace. I wish you could all have seen the look on the French riders' faces when I came up behind them on the green loop - I rode behind them for about 1/2 mile, and as we came into a water stop (not a crew stop) I checked my on-board temp monitor and my pulse, saw that we were in good shape, and decided to bypass that water stop and keep hunting Meg and John - as I cantered on by them, when they didn't even know I was there with them, is a memory imprinted in my brain.

2. The ambient lighting was good enough with just my little flashlight - I only had to use it at intersections to check the markers - even in the rain. During the organizational post-meeting with riders, chefs and team vets, we asked the OC to better mark the intersections with different lighting for next year - 3. once again I managed to do a 100 without being sick - as many of you know, that is a huge thing for me. The "magic" pills I have really work, even if they are on the expensive side. I was able to eat a SPAGHETTI dinner at the second hold for heaven's sake! how cool is that? For those of you without any problems eating during a ride, you have no idea how liberating it is not to have to think about barfing your guts out

4. I have been asked many times since I've been home if I could have gone faster? my quick answer is "yes" - I probably could have gone faster - BUT (isn't there always a "but"??) would I have done as well by my horse as we did if I had gone faster? The rain was on our side temp-wise, but the water on the course made it difficult at times to move out - Perhaps John is correct in stating that the headlamps made the difference in knowing how fast to go at some points on the course - I'm happy with the way we did things. I really didn't do anything other than what Tee and I usually do - we go moderately at the beginning, to set his mind and our ride-plan, and then we incrementally move up as the course progresses. That is our modus operandi, and it has worked well for us in the past. Theatric is a horse who knows his job, he just needs a bit of time to work his mind into it - he will go until he drops, he is very stoic, and I know he will give me as much at the end as he will at the beginning - he's pretty consistent with that. I'm just there to make sure he gets that space to "wrap his mind around his job"

5. what's next? well, Tee gets a nice little rest - his shoes are off and he'll get to play horse for the next month - 6 weeks, then he'll go into the arena and to the beach to get ready for winter riding/spring training - we probably won't do anything ride-wise until we hit Florida in February - unless we are selected to go to the President's Cup in February, then he'll get back up to speed in late December early January (again by going into the arena and hitting the beach)

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and see you all soon Kathy