June 19 2011
I like to give a big thank you to the Daniel Boone Distance Riders for putting on such a nice very well run ride even though Mother Nature has not been real cooperative. The campground is great we had hook-ups, showers, picket lines already strung and the most greatest thing of all hose hook-ups! Hoses are a Morgans friend. For all this we pay a very reasonable fee (cheap actually). The campground also sold ice another yep very Morgan friendly. This is the 2nd year the ride was held we supported it again but turnout was poor both years so not sure DBDR will be willing to lose money and try for a third. But if they do I highly recommend it.
The best way to convince Charles to take me and my girlfriend also named Mary to a ride is to go visiting along the way. Kentucky was not exactly that but it was a good excuse to see my sisters farm and visit with her and her husband. Charles thinks I should be more family oriented so Tuesday night we headed southwest. My sister events so she has paddocks to put horses in and they could rest overnight than we head to the ride Thursday which would only be three hours from her farm. In tow was Hawks replacement (probably the 12th one by now) named Justice and Possum Marys 3/4 Arabian whom our goal this year is to finish out his ECTRA 1,000 miles. I had forewarned my sister that Justice like Hawk can not be turned out with other horses including one he spent 10 hours with in the back of a trailer. In that respect he is like Hawk. We arrived 6 a.m. Wednesday put the horses in seperate paddocks. When you pull an all nighter like that it is just best to stay up and give up on that lost sleep.
This was Justices first long trailer trip and his fourth ride in four different states but the others were not 10 hours away. He handled everything fine thus far. But Justice has 2 issues(other than the turn out alone thing) one is he will not back out of the slant load trailer so he goes in first and turns around the other is he balks. This one has been the big issue by balking I mean not moving forward when you mount in fact I have seen the rafters in my barn one too many times. I think this trip proved this issue finally got fixed. I had been getting on him every day even if we just rode 50 yards but I never use my legs and ask him to move I just sit there and let him go when he wants go figure! We did go for a short ride to see how Justice would do and he was fine new places and starts of rides have not been pretty on him.
Onto the ride game plan 25/25 for both horses Possum for the miles Justice for the mind. At the briefing maps were limited but were handed out if you wanted them and I could read a map just fine when I had good eyes but alas the eyes along with numerous other body parts are fading fast. Since Marys are not any better than mine and since the trail was marked to death last year we did not bother to take a map. Mistake number one. It is warming up rapidly so the start times were moved up to 6 and 6:10 for the LDs. We left on the 16+ yellow loop (50s did blue first) in a control start Justice was an angel. Got to the gravel road suppose to be a mile of it but it went on and on forgot to pad Possum mistake number 2 than the whole herd came galloping back realizing the trail had been sabotaged. Luckily while the main bunch kept on running another rider(younger with good eyes) had her map and she saw where the turn was missed ribbons were on the ground. The turn was the only part of that trail down but we had lost time and now had to hustle since we had a 50 minute hold and another 10 mile loop. Might I mention that it was hot and humid and Justice is full Morgan and bigger than Hawk. I was not worrying to much cause I had a hose. Mistake number 3 I should have worried more. It always helps right?
Anyhow we got in even with the hose it took 24 minutes to reach 60 (see I told you I should have worried more). Justice had all As but Possum was being called stiff right front so yet another worry. Management shortened the 10 mile loop it had some issues but we got around just fine. Justice cooled down better after this loop cause now we were walking the gravel road worrying about Possum whom was now Grade 2 at the finish right front. Justice was all As day one done.