Fundersgoodidea Blog - Full Story
Sunday, July 31, 2011
My overall impression is: And now I know!
So, my original plan was to ride my friend's grey Arab mare in the 50. I've been helping to condition her for a month and she is a nonstop trotting machine. Aaaand Friday she was a three-legged trotting machine - she got kicked in the pasture Thursday night. Sigh. So I rode a green chestnut mare on her second LD. Fire's first endurance ride was last year or early this year, and she hasn't been ridden all that much since then. I thought a 50 would be iffy on her so I pushed to ride her LD - I think her owner would've been happy either way, and I think Fire could've done the 50, but I don't want to break somebody else's horse!
I knew Lake Almanor was an FEI* ride, and I knew that FEI rides are usually very flat, very fast, and precisely the correct distance. It didn't really sound like my cup of tea, but I'm a very openminded newbie, so off I went!
I drove by Lake Almanor... and kept right on going, a good 30 minutes away. It is a really pretty lake and I'd love to go back to see it!
Ridecamp is in a huge meadow. The tiny glints in the distance are rigs in the meadow. Most people parked back under the trees.
We set up our camps on the far edge of the meadow and took the Arabs down to vet in. Fire vetted in with all A's, and she behaved pretty well. We let the horses graze and listened to the ride meeting and looked over our packets.
I had three different sheets of paper detailing the 25. A color map showing all the loops (numbered phases), with my two loops written on the bottom - red white & blue and pink & pink checkered. A sheet showing all the out times and phases for each distance - again, rw&b and p&p. And a written description of my two loops - really handy, except it said rw&b and green & green polka dots. I did ask at the RM, but I asked at the wrong time, they said they'd address it, and I never heard them answer the question. (Neither did two other people on the LD.) I decided I'd go with my time-honored system of following everybody else, because I usually forget what loop I'm supposed to be on anyway. I figure if you're gonna get lost you might as well have company.
At the RM, they changed the start times. They were originally supposed to be staggered every 30 minutes (100s at 5:30, 75s at 6, etc) but management changed it to one hour intervals. As a lowly LD, I got to leave at the scorching hour of 8:30 am. Yippie.
The horses ate and drank well overnight, and the owner and I managed to cram four Gloves on Fire before she headed out on her 50. She warned me that at Fire's first LD, she had to get Karen Rabow, endurance mom extraordinare, to hold Fire to get mounted. I've lived through all of Dixie's meltdowns so I wasn't too worried about it.
Fire lost her mind when her buddy Spirit left without her...
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