Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Just Coe Crazy Ride, Henry Coe Park, Gilroy - Linda Cowles


I’m still trying to ride 50’s and only getting 25 miles, but I’m having a great time anyway. The older I get (I’m 58) the less important the destination becomes and the more important the journey is.

25’s may be my thing, or Gabby’s thing. My heart wants to do 50’s, but my horse seems to be better at 25’s so thank you to everyone that holds them. I really want to ride the Grand Canyon ride in September, so…. I’m still trying. Would love multiday LD’s… I heard a rumor that someone I admire called them the Luxury Distance and… that really appeals to me!

Recap: my 19YO Gavilan (aka Gabby) and I took a 12 year vacation from endurance following our successful completion of the 2000 Swanton 100. I was laid off from my cushy high tech business development gig and essentially reinvented myself so that I didn’t need to work in that world; I now trim horses for a living and love it. Earlier this year I started getting back into endurance with > 1000 miles (mostly 50’s) behind me and it’s been a journey in itself.

We rode Lost Padres, day 1, it was hot and humid, and Gabby was determined to Top Ten (he forgot how hard 50’s were), so we pulled at the lunch vet. John Park was a wonderful riding companion on Remington for this first half of the ride, Gabby took in Remington’s sage advice, the ride was beautiful, camp was great and Ann Nicholson cooked a great meal for us, so we had a blast in spite of the lunch pull.  We rode the LD the next day, Gab was very good and finished well.

Cache Creek LD  was another extremely well planned & managed ride, and it was also extremely hot,  but we had a great ride and again, Gab finished well.

So for Henry Coe State Park ? I knew that tough park intimately and so did Gabby…. We used to live 10 miles away and, when he was a colt, I would ride Shatirr there and either pony Gab or turn him loose to follow along behind us. I was also a member of their Mounted Patrol for several years. I had essentially 3 25 rides behind me and quite a bit of conditioning, so I opted to ride the 50 because it went through Los Cruceros, a junction of creeks deep in the park that is one of my favorite places on earth…. This huge park has almost been closed several times and part of the reason Lori was offering the ride was as a fund raiser to help keep it open. I am a huge fan of Coe Park and want to try and host a few camping trips there if I can pull it off.

Henry Coe Park is a great ride even if you only ride the LD for conditioning and take your time to enjoy the views!. This is one of the few times we have access to the park for horse camping out of this location…. It is WONDERFUL conditioning…

Gab did something to his right hind somewhere between the 1st vet and lunch, and while it was minor, there was no question about me pulling him. He looked great when he was turned out in his pasture yesterday, but he’s 19 and I don’t want to screw him up….

The Barbeque was great – delicious tri tip steak and salad. Thanks Lori for a great ride! I hope you offer it again next year because I’ll be back. Thanks to Maryben for making me laugh at the lunch vet check… always great to see friends!

My hero’s are ride managers….
Linda Cowles

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