Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finally a real endurance rider! - Full Story

July 17 2012
by Jillybean19

We completed our first 50 Saturday! It was completely unplanned, but that is just what we did!

Our first two rides were LD's at Owyhee Fandango and Eagle Spring Fling (both in Idaho), and this ride was our first where we planned to ride multiple days at the City of Rocks ride (on the Utah-Idaho border), a brand new ride this year. On Thursday, I rode with the same person I usually do, but, while we haven't had a ton of issues and no pulls, I wanted to go ahead and ride apart for Saturday's ride (we'd planned on another LD together) due to pacing. My solution? Ride the 50! It was beautiful country and I'd already ridden part of it on the previous ride, so why not? I checked with the vets and other people who know me and my horse, and we got lots of encouragement and confirmation that we should be good to go!

So Saturday I was up bright and early for a 6am start. I wanted to go slow since he's never gone more than maybe 30 miles within a week with conditioning and rides, and now I was asking him to do 75 miles within three days. I set the goal of turtleing and found a great group to ride with to take it slow and they have lots of experience. Snickers was losing his mind at the start since he was leaving his buddy, so we went ahead and rode out to the first trough. By then, he'd gotten over leaving his girlfriend and I got of and waited for my riding partners to catch up. I rode with them for the first loop, which was very steep but absolutely gorgeous! They get off and walk a lot, and I even learned to tail with them - WAY easier than trying to lead a horse uphill! It really makes a huge difference and I really recommend trying it if you have a horse that will do it ;) It saved a lot of energy for Snickers on quite a long climb, and I wasn't even winded even though I was exhausted after attempting to lead him for about 100 feet lol.

The vet check was an out vet check, which was new to me for these two rides. All you really need is horse snacks and hay, people snacks, and a re-supply of water. All packed neatly in a gear bag. Easy!...

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