Today is packing day! Usually I am dithering around getting things prepared a couple of days before we leave for a ride but as I am getting the hang of things I am less anxious and as of last night hadn't prepared a single thing. While each ride is its own challenge, especially doing all these rides I've never done before, I am beginning to feel more confident about the 25 milers, as in hey, I just did a 20 mile training ride the other day, no big deal, so this ride is just another trail ride. That is my mantra for keeping calm about a ride: Hey, its just another trail ride. I've completed a fair number of 25/30 milers with success over the years of getting in and out of endurance (selling horse to go off to college, getting another, starting over, horse gets injured, rehab, then getting another, horse doesn't want to do it, sell it, get another, do a race, break my leg, out for a year..you get the picture). I've even top 10'd a couple back when I was trail guiding on the beach with my mare 6 days a week and she was scary fit. Ah, memories, she trotted that 30 mile race like it as nothing, came in 2nd place, and could have kept going. Now I know that 25/30s are technically training rides and not even "endurance" so to speak, but its the level I am at now and as such I treat the distance with respect and its an endurance ride to me. That said, I am getting more comfortable with it all. I will get all nice and comfy with 25s this year and then (hopefully) get to be all nervous trying 50s for the first time next year! That's the beauty of endurance though, there is always another challenge, a new trail, a triumph, or another set back to over come. If it was easy and you just went and won a race and had reached the pinnacle, well, that would be no fun.
As for packing, I started at it this morning. I am guilty of not cleaning the residual hay out of the back of my truck from getting hay at the feed store. Now, did you know that old hay scraps+rain=scary mold scum stuck to the truck bedliner? Well, now you do. And so do I. It was, well, scary. I got the broom thinking I could just sweep the truck bed out but I grossly (literally, gross) underestimated the gunk in there, so now I am waiting for the hubby to be done filling his feeding tank so I can get my hose back and spray the bed out. I always know summer is here when the battle for the long hose starts. At the hot/cold wash rack (yay! I love it) I have two hoses hooked together so they are long enough to drag to the farthest paddock to fill waterers, but the husband of course knows its also long enough to drag and fill his feeding tank for the garden. He is a major green thumb and mixes up "feed" for his plants like a mad scientist. We sure benefit from it though, vegetables and fruit galore every summer. This year we scaled back on the zucchini (we've been using baseball bat sized Zs for target practice the last few falls, planted too many of those things) and way up on the melons. We planted melons everywhere and I can't WAIT to gobble some up. Delicious! Here I am rambling again..back to packing..my current status is: tack washed, trailer cleaned out, feed prepared to travel, camping stuff organized and ready to load. I just need to hose out the truck bed and put all the camping goods and hay bale in it, check all the truck fluids, and load my tack when it dries. And its not even 9 am yet! See, no need to stress and pack days early.
Blaze seems fit and in fine fettle for the race. I rode him yesterday early, just 4 or 5 miles to keep him loose. I am trying a new method in my interference mark wrapping, which is taping the non-stick pad I put over the cut to his leg before wrapping, so that when and if the vet wrap starts sliding down, the pad should hopefully stay in place and keep protecting it. The mark itself is getting smaller and is healing but I just can't take any chances letting him re-clip himself and start the process over again. I should have splint booted him in the hind as soon as I got hind shoes, I could have avoided this whole scenario! But live and learn, Clarabell, as my granny would say. Speaking of, I have recently convinced her to read her first (this) blog, and I am very glad she is so that she can keep up on our excitement over here in horsey land. If you are reading this granny, see you soon and love you!
The husband has relinquished the hose, I must be off to continue packing!
Oh, and a reminder to myself, should I look at this again before I go: DON'T FORGET THE MASH PAN! Last race we ended up feeding Blaze out of a plastic bucket lid...