Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Whiskeytown Chaser 2012: Trust Your Instincts & Wear Fleece-Lined Britches

Redheaded Endurance Blog - Full Story

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It was an inauspicious beginning. It poured all Thursday night and hadn’t let up a bit when I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep at 4 am. We had waited to pack the truck hoping for better weather in the morning but it hadn’t come, so when it got light I put on head to toe rain gear and got seriously soggy feeding all the critters and getting ready. The husband and I got it all wrangled into place eventually, waterproof stuff in the back of the truck, sleeping bags, clothes, etc in contractor grade trash bags and stuffed into the empty hay manger in the trailer. I stored the hay bale in the trailer up in the corner out of Desire's way, even with the divider open, and that worked fine. Finally we were ready to load the horse and get on the road around 9:30 am.

It was still raining lightly as I pulled Desire, threw a polar fleece on her, and loaded her into the trailer already waiting outside the gate. She was all gung-ho to leave her screaming baby and come with me in the rain to hop in the trailer, trooper that she is. As she hopped in the trailer her right hind skidded forward on the black mats and as she slid forward her left hind still on the ground clipped the edge of the trailer pretty hard as she went in. J and I both had small internal heart attacks as she held her hind leg up for a minute but she put it back down and assumed her usual shifty, ready to go position so we decided to drive the 5 miles down to the Bangor feed store, see if they had shavings to help with the slippery floor, and re-check her leg. I alternately swore and prayed the whole 5 miles and when we pulled her out there was a dime sized bloody spot on her hind leg from the hit but she walked, trotted out, and circled sound and I finally started breathing again. I gooped some of Trail-Rite's Magical Ointment onto it right away. The feed store didn’t have shavings (argh!) but did have sand and I decided to not risk the further 10 miles into town for shavings; we spread a bag of sand in the back of the trailer stall where it was slippery and it made Desire’s reloading much smoother, not to mention peace of mind for me. She is a clever one, when she loaded again she did a nifty hop up in with the dinged leg so there was no way it could hit again.

A brief stop at Wal-mart for a new air mattress pump and, mercifully, some nice new camp chairs to replace our crippling $9.99 Home Depot specials from last year, and we were on the road. It was about a 3 hour haul plus a stop for gas and the rain was off and on until we reached Redding when it finally actually quit.

We got a primo camping spot up on the hill and A and a riding buddy ended up pulling in and camping right next to us again, with C and F, the folks that put on Cooley ranch and Mendo Magic and old friends from the coast, camped just across from us. They didn’t bring Desire’s brother to this ride so no sibling photo opportunity this time. N pulled in in the afternoon and nosed her truck in next to ours so we were camping neighbors which was awesome...

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Monday, April 09, 2012

USA Time Trial, Mt Pleasant Texas - Heather Reynolds

Reynolds Racing - Full Story

Saturday, 07 April 2012
The USA Time Trail was held last weekend, on the 31st of March, in Mt Pleasant Texas. On Monday the 26th around 5 pm the caravan pulled out of Florida to head West to Texas. Jeremy and Ellen Olson, Melody and Jeff Blittersdorf and Jeremy and myself. In our road circus we had 13 horses, a Great Dane, 4 Chihuahuas, 2 Pit bull mixes and Jeremy O's hunting dog which I forgot the breed of!

The circus was making great headway. We had decided to keep each other company as well as keeping motivated to drive straight through the night to get to the camp as quickly as possible while the weather would be at its coolest. Around 2 am we got a phone call from the Olson's who were in the back of the caravan. They had blown a trailer tire. The Blittersdorf's and us pulled off at the next stop, which was almost 10 miles up the hwy. As luck would have it the stop we made had a live tiger in a cage for exhibit! It was the weirdest gas station hole in the wall place. We waited for a long while. Jeremy O was trying to get his wheel jack (plastic ramp thing for trailer tire changing) to work but it was slipping on the asphalt and when he tried pulling into the grass more, the trailer sat too low to get the tire off... you can imagine the frustration. When the jack snapped into pieces it really topped it off! It was early am and sleep deprived fun was in full action!

At this point we headed back to them so we could try to help out. Mel and Jeff went ahead to find food. We had another plastic wheel jack. With a team effort we got the tire changed. We were rolling again! Hurray! It took about an hour and a half.

We caught up to Mel and Jeff and carried on. I think we were all more energized than normal as we were headed to the race we had all been looking forward to the entire winter training session in Florida...

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