Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Back From My First 50! - Nat Nelson

by Nat Nelson

Friday morning I got up around 3 am to feed my mare, so she would have a full belly for the long trailer ride to the Paso Del Norte, held at Tee Pee Ranch outside of Columbus, NM. Paso Del Norte is managed by Randy Eiland.

Once my mare finished most of her hay I loaded her up and was on the road by 4 am. I cut my mileage to Tee Pee by 20 miles by cutting through the Indian Reservation which bypassed the Phoenix - and arrived to basecamp with 509 miles on my odometor at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Upon pulling into camp I was welcomed by a freind from a pervious ride - she had helped me get my truck unstuck at the Jaguar Ride. She invited me to come park next to her rig, so I did. We had a blast being nieghbors for the weekend!

I hung Moah's haynet and water bucket, then tied her to the side of the trailer. Then I made her some sloppy beet pulp (pelleted). Once my mare was cared for I set up camp - which consists of a tent cot, with a leapord throw rug (just to class up the place) and a
fold up chair in the back of my stock trailer. Once my chores were done I went visiting
folks around base camp and paid in my entry.

My horse vetted in with all A's a great relief - at her last two rides she had gotten B's and C's in gut sounds. After vetting Moah in I made her another sloppy beet pulp.

Prior to the ride I had solicited for someone to
ride with me on my first 50. Nancy Zehetner gracefully voulenteered. She had attempeted a 50 previously but pulled due to lameness - so we were going for the same goal - to complete our first 50 together!

Things always happen for a reason - and for some reason we were paired to pull this feat together. We hit it off right away and our MARES got along with each other famously!

Our ride started at 7:30 Saturday morning, with our first loop being 16 miles. The loop went cross country on the base of the mountians, so there was some washes and light arroyos. There were three watering
stops on the loop - to my dismay my mare turned her nose up at the green water! Thank goodness she finished both of her beet pulps the night before!!

Nancy and I arrived to the vet check at 9:52 am - both our horses vetted in with all A's. I told the vet that my mare turned her nose up
at the waters on the trail but drank well at the vet check; Barney told my mare she couldn't be picky anymore! We had a 45 minute hold. I
searched out Jene's vet bag, and left a note "I made it thru my 1st vet check, see you back at camp!" and signed it and zipped it into her bag sticking out.

When our 45 minutes were up Nancy and I mounted up and rode over to the out timer. He gave us the go ahead and Randy pointed
us in the right direction. The second loop was 20 miles. My mare felt good, and was
anxious to finish the loop as she thought we would be done. I had to rein her in several times. We loped a bit on the loop, and were weaving in and out of bushes. At one bush my mare insisted on going one way,
and I insisted the other. I thought I won the
discussion, but she verred the opposite way - throwing me forward hanging around her neck! I tweaked my back and my knee as I struggled back into my saddle (which I probaly wouldn't of made if she hadn't ducked back underneath me)- I screamed some obsenity - which Nancy immeadiatly
reined up her horse and said "Hey, I know that distress call!" We both giggled at that

We arrived to our second vet check at 1:31 pm. Both our horses vetted in with all A's. I was happy to report to the vet that my mare drank on the loop! The vet check had another 45 minute hold. My mare was eating doing great, but I wasn't! I started to feel dizzy and grabbed my stool out of my gear bag. Nancy immeadiatly handed me some pinneapple and
asked if I'd like some, and told me to pour some water over my neck. I did what she said and started to feel better. Good thing I was riding with Nancy, because she's a nurse! She shared her protien bar with me
and gave me some lemon-lime EmergenC to put into my water. She really save my butt, because I most certiantly couldn't ride like that!

I was much better by time we left for our thrid and final loop. It was 15 miles and back tracked over about 90% of the first loop. Which was REALLY nice because you knew where you were going! Nancy and I compared
pains we were experiencing - both of our upper rib cages ached, along with our shoulders and inner upper thighs. Her horse, Aieral and mine felt good and still had alot of go in them. We only had 15 more miles to go.

We arrived to basecamp at 4:30 pm! Both to our amazment as we felt we would take the full 12 hours to complete!!! My horse was still a little high in pulse when we finished so vet told me to come back in at little bit. I noticed that Moah had lost a shoe and I fretted that she might favor it. When I took her to her final vet check I worried until the trot back. The vet said "You've completed" and my eyes swelled up with tears and had to turn away real fast and say THANK YOU!


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