Thursday, June 5, 2014

In which we give a Klickitat ride report, and I RODE FIFTY MILES!

Astonishingly, out of all the Usual Suspects, I was almost the only one who had Time, Inclination and a Sound Horse to ride at the Klickitat Trek ride last weekend. 

But that doesn't mean I went to the ride by myself.  Au contraire!
Follow the flags to Good Fun and Great Food!

Patty and I went on Thursday before the ride so we'd have plenty of time to set up stuff for the Endurance 101 clinic.

Do you have your Green Bean tail ribbon yet?

Pretty soon, all kinds of friends were rolling in.

Monica got to ride Cathy's horse Danny on the LD.
Danny is for sale, so every ride with him is a treasure.

My Klickitat crew:  Crystal, Sirie, and Patty.

Fee and I took a quick "shake-down ride" before the vet-in.

Beautiful trails, beautiful day.

Somebody on Facebook said this trail looks scary,
but seriously, the water is 3 inches deep with a gravel bottom.

Uh-oh.  Dr. Jenn noticed some asymmetrical soreness on Fee's back at the vet-in.

Yeah, because somebody has been riding crooked for the past year, ya think?

She wasn't sore enough to keep us in camp, but in true Dr. Jenn fashion, my favorite vet wanted to be sure I knew about it so I would lose plenty of sleep fretting about it all night before the ride.


I wasn't the only one "shaking down" on Friday--Crystal got to ride Laser!

After a !surprise! thunder-and-lightning show in the middle of Friday night, we saddled up to enjoy a beautiful ride day.

I admit that I was, for the first time in a long time, scared.

50 miles is a long way, and my surgery wasn't even three months prior to ride day.  How many kinds of stupid am I, anyhow?

The kind of stupid that wants to ride 50 miles, apparently. And it really wasn't a problem.

The horse stayed sound.  The rider was sound all through ride day
but after that, not so much!

Once again, my big mare surprised me:  for the first time ever, she chose to go down the trail with another horse.  Not even a horse she knew prior to the ride, either.  But about 4 miles into the day, after leapfrogging with several groups, she settled in behind a nice, sturdy brown gelding, and we stayed together for the rest of the day.

Was she still babysitting me a little bit, and making sure I had some human company on the trail?  Maybe.

Sometimes I think my horse is secretly very nice.  Shhhh.

Terrie and her horse Montana hail from Ladner, British Columbia

We covered 11 miles in the first 90 minutes.  Too fast, but the day was still cool and was going to be hot later.

We slowed down to our target pace (5-6 mph).  Montana and Fee have the same big-horse-dark-muscle cooling issues, so our strategy was to walk up all the long hills, and trot steadily on the flat.

We arrived at the vetcheck about 20 minutes after the crew expected us, but as soon as the tack was off, Montana and the Dragon were pulsed down.

Standing in the shade.  Fee ate really well at both vet checks, except for
the few minutes that she saw zombies and had to pay attention to them.

The day was hot, the world is dusty.  A combination of dirt + sunscreen =
thicker sunscreen, right?

Fiddle absolutely fell in love with Crystal,

Crystal is getting shipped out to Afghanistan soon, so we are filling her
up with happy memories before she hits the Sandbox.

and even did portions of her trot-outs with ears un-pinned.  Amazing.

Back out on the trail.

The "ditch loop" was gorgeous

At the second vetcheck, Montana was deemed a bit off on one foot, but allowed to continue.

We went forward even more slowly and carefully than before, trying to get him a completion for this ride.

This was the worst bit of trail--soft, but rutted.  And not very long.
Overall, the footing on this ride was outstanding.

We finished in 9 hours and 30 minutes, which is probably Fiddle's slowest time ever on a 50.

Happy happy, joy joy.

Given the heat and her residual fluffiness (from time-off while I was recuperating from surgery), it was a reasonable pace, and I was very pleased.  Unfortunately, Montana didn't pass the final vet check, but we had such a great day--Fiddle and I would happily ride with him and Terrie again!

I wasn't any more sore and tired at the end of the 50-miler than I was at the end of the 30-miler two weeks ago...until the next day.  Sunday (and Monday, and Tuesday, and part of Wednesday) I was distinctly tired, sore, and quite lame.  But hey:  totally worth it.

And check out the scores for that formerly-sore back:

Thank you, Dory:  I practiced laterals and bending all day
and Fee's scores show it.

Riding is good.

My horse is good.

Life. Is. Good!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

In which we attend a Heavenly endurance ride (and invite YOU!)

 Fiddle and I had so much fun doing the 50-miler at Klickitat Trek that she and I got to talking after.

50 miles, not quite 3 months post-surgery.  Yes, I am crazy.  But happy!

Okay, so maybe I was actually talking to Patty.  But Fiddle has a way of contributing to conversations about really great rides.  Imagine that.

Anyhow, as one does, somehow we got to talking about the endurance rides they must hold in Heaven.

And I got to wondering what those rides would be like for all y'all.

So, I figured I'd ask.  Here's the gig: 

Everybody is dead, and everybody went to Heaven.  

As we all come through the gate, Saint Peter hands us the welcome packet with a free water bottle, a coupon for beginning harp lessons, and a ride flyer for the endurance ride to be held in the morning.

Faithful Readers, please share.  

*  Who will you see when you get to ridecamp?

Since we're in Heaven, you can meet up with anybody there, living or dead, or even fictional!  These flags mark the camp where I want to be.

*  What will the trails be like?  Will they remind you of a trail you loved on Earth, or a trail you never got to ride while you were alive?  Or both?
Fiddle chooses: soft footing, plenty of water, blue sky overhead

*  Who is your Heavenly Vet Dream Team?

Mike Foss is the first ride vet I ever met--and he's on my Vet Dream Team.  I also include two other vets who were at Klickitat last weekend: Dr. Jenn and Mike VanZwol. 

*   Who will crew for you?

My Klickitat crew: Crystal, Sirie and Patty. In Heaven, they'll be riding and Jerry Pulju will crew for all of us.

*   Will you ride alone, or do you have a ride partner picked out in Heaven?

Julie Suhr?  Genghis Khan?  You can have whoever you want alongside.  I choose Santa Jim and Madeline.

How far will you ride on your Heavenly ride?  50 miles?  100?  Maybe a multi-day?

And of course...

*  What horse will you ride?
You could choose any horse in the world, but I want to ride the Dragon in Heaven.
The comment box is open, so leave your remarks and share the link with your friends!