As a "novice" crew member for Susie Hayes, #3 on the Tevis 1996, I thought I would share a few things I learned to other Novices. I know this list has a lot of experienced endurance riders out there who already know this stuff, so this is directed at some of the new endurance people, like me!
1. Write down what that rider wants you to do, where he/she wants you to be at what times. This includes meeting them on the trail with buckets of water, where to set up equipment to cool and feed the horse, (ie: near the in-time P&R or out-time) exactly what assignments you are to do for the rider/horse. By writing it down the information is there in case you or anyone else can`t remember it. During sleep deprevation and excitment it is very easy to forget details.
Cooling the Horse
1. Buckets of water with a scraper. Meet your rider and he/she rides in and start cooling immediately. Crew members can ensure the water is not too cold by drawing it ahead of time and putting the buckets in the sun. Ask first before putting any water on the flanks.
2. Ice boots. Put in cooler of ice and water as preparation.
3. Cooling "dowel" ?? on horses head. I never saw one of these before and if anyone on the list can help me with what it is really called and where I can buy one, I would be most grateful... :)
Feeding the horse
1. Find out what the horse is to be fed ahead of time and prepare it accordingly before the horse gets there. Give him/her some time without fusing over him/her to just enjoy eating and relaxing. This, of course, applies to the one hour holds.
2. Have the electrolite mixture ready and waiting before the rider comes in.
We also rubbed the horse`s muscles to keep them loose and relaxed. Checked his feet and shoes. Checked heart rate and gut sounds throughout the holds.
I thought this was a great experienced. My thanks to Susie Hayes for letting me crew for her. Her mother Ann was simply wonderful with her stories, sense of humor and energy. Thank you to Sue Flagg (who is not a novice, just says she is!). Its been a long time since I stayed awake 26 hours in a row but well worth the experience. Congratulations to Susie and Kootie her Morab. He is a wonderful well behaved horse and in excellent shape from Susie`s deligent care. You are all an inspiration to me!
Kimberly (&Mystery The Morab)