I have never written a ride story before and am a little leery about posting
one, only because there are so many other people who are a heck of a lot more
eloquent than I!
This ride was to be my 3rd 50 miler. We had completed Hickory Creek 50 and Ride Between the Rivers 50 earlier and had started out with the Hornswaggle doing a 25, and then Michaux Madness 30.
We arrived at base camp on Friday morning. This ride is right in my back yard
more or less! Only 42 miles away!
We get vetted in for the Saturday 50, no problem.
We (my 10 yo Morgan gelding Ivan and I) started about mid way in the pack.
Trotting along and having a good old time.
Now?.. just to let you know?. I do BAREFOOT (we DON?T have to go into any type of discussion on this now?.PLEASE!)
And I was booting all around for my 50?s. Epics in the front
And Bares on the back. Now? we completed our two previous 50?s with this set
up?. And let me tell you, those two rides were muddy, sloppy, miry, and messy?.
The four boots stayed on with no problems?
THIS ride was dry! Really a very barefoot friendly ride, but doing the 50
miles I don?t want to take chances.
As we are trotting along with about 4 or 5 other riders, I hear a boot flopping
around on the back (kind of sounds like a flat tire!)... So I ask everyone if
they mind holding up a bit so that I can reapply said boot?.. No problem?. So I
get off and put the boot back on, and say a prayer.
I don?t think that prayer was heard (it was very foggy you know!) and the SAME
boot comes undone AGAIN a little bit further up trail!!!!
SO?.I get off the horse to just take the darn thing off, and to remove the
other one as well... I tell everyone else to continue on, that I would be fine?
I get the near side boot off, and like a FOOL I drop my reins as I go to remove
the off side boot. Well now? my partner, compadre, buddy old pal decides that
he would rather continue on
with the other horses, AND LEAVES ME OUT THERE ON THE TRAIL ALL ALONE!!!!!!!!
Oops! Now what?
I had to walk my sorry A_ _ back to camp hoping in the mean time someone
would catch my BAD horse and tie him.
It must have been about 6 miles I had to walk! No found/caught horse tied
along the way!
So I arrive back at camp, and they were already aware that there was a
loose/lost horse out there. The other 50 milers that had to do a lollipop
passed me WALKING in, my helmet in one hand, and the one boot that I had
managed to get off the horse in the other.
I can?t tell you HOW MANY PEOPLE asked me ?Did you find your horse yet?)
So?? I figured I wouldn?t panic yet (not until dark anyway!) and proceeded to
help pulse in in-coming riders, help riders cool their horses etc?.
What could I do? There was time to worry later.
Some one on the Ride Management team gets a phone call from other members out
on trail that said MISSING/LOST/LOOSE horse was found and they were about 8
miles into the orange loop at the creek. Yeah! (We had been riding the White
loop when Ivan decided to leave me.)
So, off I go with the Ride Managers son Tyler on the back of a 4 wheeler to go
retrieve my errant horse!
It was a BLAST!
Up over logs, bending around trees, up hills, down hills, yippee! This was fun!
Get to the creek that said horse was supposed to be at ?. But no horse!?
BUT there were about 5 or 6 riders that were trying to pick up the trail and
couldn?t find ribbons?So Tyler calls the Trail Master (his dad!) to let him
know that there was vandalism AND that the horse was not there!!!!!!
His dad lets him know that the horse was at the NEXT creek crossing (someone
had ponied him further up the trail) and to proceed there and that the ribbons
should be strung to the left after coming out of the creek.
So, as Tyler and I are 4 wheeling down the trail, I?m re-hanging
Orange ribbon (Tyler just happened to have orange ribbon in a basket on the 4
wheeler- how convenient!)
Finally! We get to the second creek crossing and there?s my guy!
Standing there, firmly held by the PHOTOGRAPHER Matt Jenkins! Poor guy was
busy holding my horse, rather than taking
his photos!!!!! What a guy! THANKS Matt!!!!!
So I retighten the saddle and climb on board and ride that NON- remorseful
horse back to camp! He?s justa? prancing and dancing the whole 2 ½ miles
back?(the road was just a little ways up the trail and we took that back to
Everyone is saying that the horse wanted an HO (horse option)
Rather than an RO! Ha ha ha?
No way I say! I wasn?t about to let that horse think that he could get away
with this now, could I?
I asked the vets Art King and Nick Kohut if I could
change my ride to the next day.
So, both Vets agreed, as well as the ride manager Laura Riddle, that I could.
Now you see, Laura had some revenge in mind for my horse!
Her Trail Master (Tyler?s dad, remember him?) had dropped her on trail to
search for my horse while he went to gas up the 4 wheeler. THEN he got the
call about the trail vandalism. He had to take care of that before he could
get back to her
and she walked almost TEN MILES back to camp!!!!!!!
She was NOT a happy Ride Manager, oh no!
So, Laura, Vengeance was served!
Ivan (the Terrible) had his sorry A_ _ ridden on Sunday!
Sundays ride wasn?t quite as eventful now?thank goodness!
EVERY TIME we came in off our loops, EVERYONE would say?? Hey, I see you
haven?t lost your horse yet!?
He pulled and pulled the first two loops?. Made me work!
The loops were WHITE 11 miles, ORANGE 14, ORANGE 14, and WHITE 11.
Heading back out on that second 14 mile loop, he was a DOG!
I had to push him and prod him! We only had 2 other riders behind us, and
everyone else that was in front of us were WAY
ahead! So we were in a pocket which was fine by me! No pulling anyway! But a
lot of pushing!
The last loop I ended up riding with Wendy Mancini and her 25 year old QH
gelding Old Meadow Jim.
Now? Wendy and Jim had done a 50 the day before! And my guy who is more than
HALF of Jim?s age was sucking wind!
Wendy and I came in together to share the Turtle award.
I know that we had maybe less than a half an hour to go before our cut off
Yeah!!!!! Another 50, albeit SLOW, under Ivan?s hooves.