This was our first LD a year ago, and now our 3rd 50. Lippy, my Ara-Appy and I drove down Friday in 68 degree weather, light rain, and rising wind. We set up camp in the damp, waited out the rainstorm to vet in inside the covered arena, and the show was on. Just before out trot out, 2 pickups pulled in the side entrance, parked in the middle, and began unloading drums, cymbals and amps for the musical entertainment to come. 6 more horses came in to line the complete perimeter of the arena. Normally Lippy is pretty silly on our first vetting in, slinging his head and passing me by. I took a deep breath, and off we went between trucks and horses, past the open side door to the far end. He stretched out and kept his head by my shoulder, ears up, floating quietly on that soft footing. Down and back, good boy!
Storm passed by, sun went down, wind came up, and BRRRR! It didn't freeze overnight, but the wind was still there in the morning as I tacked up. I tried to join the last of the 50s as we went down the farm alleys toward the 1/2 mile open field at the start. Yes, it was thrilling. Someone had hounds in a kennel nearby, and their baying added to the excitement as we zipped across into the rising sun. Lip was less silly than the last few times, and we managed to link up pretty quickly with Sue Corr-Jackson, whose beautiful chestnut had the steadiest trot.
This ride has a good bit of road shoulder in the first loop, and we have no safe place to practice this at home, so thank goodness the ride mentality kept him thinking "trot down the road, don't worry about the odd vehicle zipping by".
Off the road, into the woods, out of the wind for a while, and around we went. We took turns leading, although Sue did the greater share, and got along great. Cold it was, occasionally we were simultaneously out of the wind and in the sun. My chin, forehead, and drippy nose suffered the most. Solved the, ahem, chafing problem with 2 pairs of cheap Wal-Mart tights.
The only casualty was my poor non-horsey husband crewing, who began to wonder why I was so happy trotting along at a moderate pace, when most everyone else was done earlier. We finished in about 7:30; he preferred the nearly out-of-control Hallelujah Ride time of 5:55. I was glad Lippy was able to relax, eat well and be ridden on a loose rein apart from the first hectic mile or two.
We'd love to try a couple of days of the Gator Run, but if Spouse cannot be persuaded, the Sandhills in March will probably be next, all things in order. Big thanks to Tim and Lara Worden for all their encouragement every time we meet at these SC rides. If you ever camp next to them, you'll be glad you did.
Deb Ambrose and Lippy, 150 miles!