Wild West LD, Day 1
Wild West LD, Day 3
To begin at the beginning, here's Blaze and I, ready to head out for ride camp on Thursday morning:
$5 olive barrel+spigot+length of hose= this simple camper doesn't haul water buckets! Love it.
We vetted in Thursday afternoon with all A's and J got this nice shot of us trotting out, thanks J! I was wearing my Reeses shirt on Thursday and got more people groaning and saying, "Aww, now I want one!" when they read it, including ride manager/vet Melissa Ribley. Pretty funny how many people it gets.
I slept great Thursday night and had hope I might be creating a new ride camp sleep pattern, but no, only that one night. Still, that 9 pm-4 am hard sleep Thursday night was glorious! I was super toasty in my tent under a blanket and sleeping bag with my little gremlin crew dog on my feet. There were rigs arriving and departing until midnight every single night of this ride, which wasn't exactly peaceful, but I generally sleep like crap at rides anyway, so oh wells!
Friday morning the 30 miler started at 7:30, and having been wide awake since 5 am and with the shorter distance I had plenty of time to get ready with what little I needed. The one vet check was about halfway through and was back in camp so I only grabbed a few saddle bag snacks that I never ended up eating, but did bring my bottle of Redmond electrolyte capsules and did my best to take one every hour, in my continuing search to balance my hydration and eating and avoid headaches and feeling crappy as I'm prone to at any ride, LD or otherwise.
Blaze ready, Friday morning
Heading out, Day 1 LD
We came into the lunch vet check in good form and timing, where Blaze took a few minutes to pulse down as usual, we had a clear A's and no worries vet check, and then headed back to the trailers to take care of whatever quick things we could in a 1/2 hr hold. J's niece was super helpful and had a turkey/veggie wrap all made up for me to eat when I got there--score!
drinking at the Finish, Day 1
N gone to help
Sunday's LD didn't start until 9:30 and the morning dawned grey with a promise of rain to come. I was awake early as usual and after another night of crappy sleep I decided to get everything packed before the ride started so I could head home after the ride. By the time I needed to tack up my tent was down and the only thing left to pack was Blaze's buckets.
Tacked up and ready
Walking down to the vet check
being ADD at the Finish line with his ADD buddy Willow
Leave me alone Human. seriously.
Blaze is barely 14 hands tall and now 17 years old +/-, with no papers, and almost zero info on his history before I bought him for a few hundred dollars 4 years ago. He doesn't eat or drink well without serious intervention and is a very tiring ride with his lofty trot and clumsy feet. But more than that he is lovable, incredibly zen, and just Good. He was the first horse I ever transitioned from steel shod to barefoot, so it's exciting to see him completing challenging rides with bare hind feet and booted fronts! Blaze and I have gotten ribbons at gymkhanas, team sorted cows under the 3 minute time limit, given many kids and a few adults their first ever horseback rides,and spent many many hours and miles on the trail together. We now have 190 AERC LD miles and while that may not be grand or impressive to many, it means the world to me. We'll never win or dazzle, but we'll always have fun and have each other's backs. I just love the silly, picky, dusty little bugger.