Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hallelujah 100---My first !!!!

Well here it goes. My first one day 100 mile endurance ride!

It was a quite interesting few weeks prior to the 100. First, I could
*NOT* sleep! Every night when I would lay down for bed, I would lay
awake for hours!!! I could just not fall asleep! I would think about
every possible thing that could go wrong and what if this and what
about that, etc. I was going INSANE!

I also kept thinking that Rika was *off* and I kept thinking she was
lame. Had the vet come out and he said she was fine. Ok. So perhaps I
have gone ***INSANE***.

Ok. So the day came for me to leave at 3:30 a.m. with my uncle to
meet Wendy by 5 a.m. to head down for South Carolina. We arrive in
ample time with Wendy arriving shortly after. We load Rika in the
trailer with Danza and move all my stuff into Wendy's new diesel
truck which she ADORES.

We arrive in South Carolina some time in the afternoon. Plenty of
time to set up camp and get the horses all settled in on their Hi-
ties. Luckily, Becke Grams saved us a spot next to her which was
great. Becke is the woman who sold Rika to me. She assured me that
Rika and I were **READY** for the distance. She was a great
confidence builder.

The following day we register for the ride, set up vet check area,
vet the horses and take the horses out for a short spin. All seemed
fresh and more than ready for the 100. Unexpectedly, Danza begins to
sniff the ground with wendy on top. He tried to ROLL! OMG It was
extremely funny! Luckily she hopped off as he began the act and made
him stop before he got the saddle and her new wool pad completely
full of sand. I wish I had my camera!

Ok so back to camp. Visit Running bear. Becke hops on her computer
checking emails. I was going to bring my computer so I could do
schoolwork as I go to an online charter school. But, I figured I
would be quite busy and too psyched to even think about school! Which
was most certainly true!

We attend the ride meeting and I get to visit with Angie and Josie
McGhee. Got to say hi to Jody. They were rubbing it in that they were
at a ride and that she was at *HOME*. Angie kept telling me to go to
bed, but I told her I wouldn't be falling asleep anyway. So Josie and
I talked for a while. I got to meet her horse Cade. I also helped
them set up their pop up canopy at the vet check. I get back to the
tent and fall asleep about 11 pm.


Get up and feed the horses. I get dressed and make sure I have
everything set up at the vet check. Before I knew it we were in the
saddle and following behind a 4 wheeler! YEEEHAW! Here we go.

We were moving at a pretty fast pace and right before the train track
crossing, our group decides to let a bunch of folks past and then we
will proceed down the trail. It began to get light out and we could
see! YEAH! A few miles from coming in to camp for the fly by some of
our group had to take a potty break. It was at this point where Susan
lost her horse. She let go of the reins and he continued on down the
trail with out her!! Becke went after him. There was nothing more we
could do so we continued after about 10 minutes of hanging out to
proceed to camp. Luckily, her horse was caught not much later and
returned to her by Josie. Susan caught back up with us on the 2nd

We come into camp after 10 miles and let the horses eat and cool off
a little bit. This was not a mandatory vet check but a fly by. We
spent probably a good 10-15 minutes resting here. Then we went out
again on another 10 miles.

Return to camp for a 50 minute vet check. Rika is eating really good.
All A's on her card and we're set to go. I was worried about the 25
mile mark because her 2 pulls this season were both at the first
check doing less than 25 miles. So I felt if we made it past this
point I could stop worring so much. (NOT)

We're out again after a nice long hold. Rika is feeling great. Next
time we come in and we're at the 40 mile mark! YEAH. Some of the sand
is getting very deep with so many horses going through. I believe
there was about 120-140 horses on trail that day between all the
distances! That's a lot of horses!!!!

It's getting quite hot as well. It was sunny and in the 80's. It's a
good thing I clipped Rika. I'm sure it helped her cope with the heat.

Next thing we're at 50 miles! It didn't really feel like we had done
anything. We did the first 50 in about 6 1/2 hrs. That's pretty good
especially since we're going another 50 miles. We wanted to conserve
the horses and keep em' fresh all day. It worked out very well. I
never remember a time any of the horses getting tired. It was a group
of 5 and we stayed together the whole day. From 6:30 a.m. to nearly 1
a.m. the following morning!

I believe we got to the 75 mile mark before it was dark. I had to go
for a recheck at this point :( Otis said he thinks he saw somthing in
the hind end. OH NO. I was so SAD at this point. So I gave her some
elytes and massaged. Went back. I got Angie McGhee to trot her out
for me so I could watch. I'm watching and I thought she looked
completely fine! YEAH! Otis quickly handed the card and I was sooo
thrilled! Ok. 25 miles more to go! We can do this thing rika! Next
loop felt pretty long. Got back in at the 90 mile mark. I couldn't
believe it! 90 miles!!!! Horses vetting through.
Eating/drinking/peeing/pooping. All is well!!!

Getting in the saddle for that last 10 mile loop was HARD! At this
point I was getting tired. It's exactly what I was told by other
riders. You have a different mindset when going 100 miles. I know I
did. I didn't get tired until that last loop and I just wanted to get
done!! We trotted out of camp in the dark on the road to complete
that 100 miles! WAHOO! Rika was not tired. On the last loop, she
didn't really want to lead. All day, she was taking her turn bringing
up the lead and then would zoom up and lead our pack for a while. She
had a great time. It was so nice to see camp coming across the finish
line at 12:53 a.m.! I could not stop smiling!

All day, Becke's trail husband "Dick" crewed for us and met us at the
5 mile mark of every loop. He would have been out there more for us
but that was the only spot he was allowed. He met us the whole 100
miles with water/grain/snacks and jugs to dump water on the horse's
necks. He was truly a savior! Angie and Josie also helped me
througout the day which was great. Josie rode the 50 and then crewed
for me when she was done! HOW NICE :) They were both there for the
finsh. THANKS!

And I did the whole ride on eating pretzels, chocolate pudding,
Quaker chewy granola bars, Kool Aid Gelz, Propel and water. I felt
awesome the whole day!

All 5 of us got our completions that we wanted! Horses did great! I
never knew horses could have so much energy and would do so much for
us! I have a whole new respect for these amazing animals and will
never *EVER* doubt my horse again.

Before we went to bed I had a nice hot bowl of chicken soup and then
finally fell asleep. I woke up the next morning with a smile still on
my face!

Kyle and Rika Pony

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