Monday, July 21, 2014

For the Newbies / Green Beans

Endurancegranny Blog - Full Story

July 20 2014

I wanted to reflect a bit today on this long process I've gone through called Endurance Riding. The beginnings if you will--- were quite painful and difficult. A group of slow to mid pack endurance riders mentored me well through a mild winter of legging up with a goal of spring ride. We even pre-rode the last loop of the trail that would be half of my horse's first LD. That very first ride was nearly tragic for me. I probably rode a bit faster than I should have, but nothing that we had not done and built up to in training. Let me tell you the mistakes I made that day so that perhaps I can prevent you from the errors I made that day. Don't be fearful though...just be smart.

My horse lacked mental maturity.
She was in heat.
The horse had five days off prior to the ride.
I brought a bale of alfalfa.
We left at the start with the pack.
The first five miles were way too fast.
I was unable to read my horse (due to lack of overall distance experience).
It was unseasonably warm / I did not have electrolytes.
My horse had an underlying medical issue of which I was unaware.

Talk about a perfect storm for sure was. Learn from me. Don't repeat my mistakes. My first time LD resulted in my horse urinating BLACK, and veterinary intervention to save her life...

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Fireworks - Heather Reynolds - Full Story

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

We recently went on a great trip to CA. During this trip Jeremy ran the Western States 100 mile run, but that is another story, (he did finish it in 21:32). After the run Jeremy flew back to FL to care for the herd, Emma Orth flew back with him to lend a hand. I, on the otherhand, was able to stay and visit all of my family and friends that I have been missing dearly.

The first several days after the run I spent with my parents and siblings in my hometown of Los Gatos. It was great to be back in CA, even if there is static electricity! I especially enjoyed that the temperature actually cools off to a chilly temp in the evening.

On Wed evening my friend Hillorie Bachmann drove 2 hours to come get me and take me back to her place. We stayed up way too late catching up, it was great. The next day I went running and hung out at her house in Vaccaville while she worked from home. Later in the day we drove up to Auburn so that I could ride her horse, French Open aka Hadeia (which means gift). I had only met Hadeia a couple of times before and I had never ridden him. Hillorie was going to let me ride him at Tevis.

When we got to the overlook in Auburn, Mark Shurman and his brother Tom were already there saddled and ready. Hadeia was also saddled. Hadeia is a short muscular bay, probably somewhere between 14.2 and 14.3 He had a very successful career as a race horse during his previous employment. He has 89 starts on the flat track and his legs look amazing. He also did Tevis with Mark in 2012 and 2013...

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2014 Big Horn 100 - Roxi Welling

12 July 2014

Three for three at Big Horn 100 and increasing our time each year!!!

Hope Misner, Sondra Roberts, and myself left Thursday morning for Shell, WY to meet up with Teresa Johnston and Rod Johnston. Hope was riding GDE Sweete Legacy (Tulip), Sondra was aboard her horse Shareef, Teresa on the mighty Nickel and I rode big Al (Alamo CA). Rod was the poor man in charge of crewing for us all . After a yummy dinner and super informative ride meeting we were off to bed. Ah yes, this is also when i think Andy Brown told me he'd be passing me at the slick rock again! Past two years he's off and running by me on the dreaded slick rock!, To the slick rock before dark was our motto this year!!!

Start time is 4am for the lucky 100 milers. I believe there were 28 of us starting. So excited to see the enrollment growing!!

The morning was exciting! A great controlled start up the road to out turn in the gate to start up the mountain. Trails were marked incredibly with lights then as the sun came up ribbons. Up, up, up to the first check. Spectacular views!!! Fields of gorgeous wildflowers! Fabulous company with my girls and best buddy Teresa! I guess rain made it tricky for crews to get into the first check and Rod was nervous about making it to the next one so Paschal E Karl was kind enough to let us pile crew stuff for 4 horses and riders on top of Hannah Pruss stuff - THANKS! Then Rod dropped the truck at the base of the hill and caught a ride up. The roads dried out enough that he was able to go ahead and bring our truck up. So grateful for his crewing!

I had gotten altitude sickness for the first time ever (embarrassing being an Oregon raised girl) and Rod took fantastic care of ALL the horses. Keeping them fed and legs cooled and all us crazy ladies hydrated. Be careful Rod - great crew is always asked back.

At this point Suzy Hayes and her group snuck past us. We caught her and i teased her that finally!! I passed her at The Big Big-Horn Rides. Of course that was short lived as they chugged past as on the climb. Next time Suzy!! This was the Shag-Nasty loop. 25 miles of beautiful mountain lakes, gorgeous rock sculptures and great river crossings.

Four hours or more later we return to the vet check. Teresa said one loop left! We can do it!! I swear if she hadn't been there (my mentor) I would have quit, I was so ill with that stupid altitude sickness. But never say QUUT!!! If Teresa with 7 knee surgeries and a knee replacement can ride Big Horn after just traveling to Alaska, California, doing a 35 mile bike race then flying to Big Horn can do it then by goodness I can suck it up!!! To the slick rock before dark!!!!

Last 25 miles we go!!! Down down down down up down around a corner to the dreaded slick rock before dark!!!! We did it!!! Off the horses we jump to navigate the rock.....not so dreaded anymore...what seemed like 6 miles in the dark is maybe a half mile in the daylight with only a couple tricky places.

Farther down the trail and into a point was the most spectacular sunset. The reds and oranges were amazing! As we are traveling on down coming up the road was a great sight. The man with water for horses. So odd to see this truck creeping up the road stopping to give water. Perfect timing! Then down we go to cross the highway where we met Rod for more horse goodies. The last 6 miles to camp! Up another climb then along the ridge and down following fabulous marker lights to the highway crossing and up to the road to camp. About a mile or mile and a half to the finish line!!!

Just as we slow to walk across the concrete bridge Teresa looks back and says Oh CRAP! Someone is coming. RUN!! My instant thought was its ANDY and BILL!! "Don't run across the concrete" i yell! We get across the bridge and take off!!! Teresa says ok slow down they arent chasing then she yells again yes they are!!! We all take off!!! Im yelling RUN HOPEE RUN!! Crap!! Here they come! Through the corners, to the straight! RUN HOPEE RUN!! Andy's coming up beside me! Gooooo Alamo!!! Across the finish line!!!

CRAP!!!! Stop Alamo WHOAAAA. So exciting to have so much horse left in all 3 of my horses!

Spectacular company, horsemen, trails, ride management. thanks Big Horn Rides for a third time of pure fun and excitement!

Oh! The breakfast was perfect!!! And we love our photo and top 10 horse coolers!!! Already have the buckle! Maybe next year Suzy I will pass you and maybe next year Andy and Bill you will get us on the slick rock .

2014 Big Horn 100 - Dennis Summers

12 July 2014

Bighorn 100 - That's what I'm talkin about! I been whining here on 4th gear about the wimpy direction I feel endurance racing is going in the good old USA. Turns out, Maybe I just been going to the wrong races! Bighorn 100 has around 15,000 feet of climb and descent thru some of the most scenic, and rocky country I have ever seen. The riders brought tuf and fit horses ready to handle whatever the race threw at them. Every rider I saw was well prepared mentally and physically too.

The front pack raced smart and hard. There was even a bit of a runoff for top ten at the end to get one of those cool top ten blankets. A tuf trail with tuf competition will make u tuffer, or send u home talkin to yerself. At any pace this trail presents huge challenges. Anybody who reaches the finish line knows they are a serious endurance rider aboard a serious endurance horse.

Ride staff and trail marking was top notch. All in all a really great race. Only downside for me is Hannah brought a great horse that had a great day and we just couldn't reel her in to win. Great for them, it was a hard earned and well deserved win. The upside, is she's a 4th gear follower so in a way we contributed. Even still, really proud of the way our Peach and Bogart handled the challenges. Bogart got hiself a hard earned BC out of the deal.

We got the Bighorn monkey off our back the first time, whew. Wait a minute, on the way home Sue found a free entry attached to the BC sheet!. Maybe we not done with Bighorn!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

My 24,000 mile Ride at Eagle - Karen Bumgarner

Karenshorsetales Blog - Full Story

July 6 2014

There is truly nothing like a good ride with great friends on fine horses!! It just doesn't get much better than that to this endurance junkie. Plus on this ride upon my wonderful Blue, I surpassed the AERC milestone of 24,000 AERC miles!

Steve Bradley got a great capture of the three of us at Eagle Extreme. All photos in this segment by Steve Bradley Photography.

Eagle Extreme was late going on the ride schedule and was held June 14 this year. Ride management did a wonderful job of putting together two nice loops through the Eagle hills for the 50 mile ride which is what we chose...

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