Also here is my short Desert Gold story:
I really wanted to do at least one day of this ride but was short of horses due to problems with my mares. So I decided to ride minimally conditioned Orion, 24 -1/2 years old, on the LD on Sunday--I was in luck with the weather and the direction of the trail--we went down a bunch of shortish, steep hills--up is definitely not a favorite at his age. Our first loop was perfect--the best ride I have ever had on him--we didn't see any other horses so I was able to let him set the pace. At the lunch break he pulsed right down even with a heavy winter coat and he ate and drank at the trailer--with age comes wisdom--he used to hardly eat or drink during a ride. He was pokey at first on the second loop until a friend of a friend who was looking for someone to ride with caught up with us. That brought him back to life and we trotted most of the loop with O wanting to be in front like the old days. I had to throw some water on him at the end to get his pulse down but it only took a few minutes. He vetted out OK and I breathed a sigh of relief--we did it!
Have to say LDs have their charms--I am not as sore and tired as after a 50 and I didn't really worry about how O was doing because the pace was not nearly so fast as an endurance ride. Today his legs are tight and he doesn't look like he did anything special yesterday which makes me even happier.
Thanks to Scott, Susie and all the volunteers who made the ride possible:):)