Sunday, February 15, 2009

Freeze R Burn endurance ride (LD)

WOW...What a fun ride!

Thursday night Tracey and I packed her trailer to get ready to leave as soon as I got to the barn from work Friday night. We left the barn around 6:30ish. We stopped and ate before we got on I35. We got on the road about 7pm ish. At about 8:30 or so, we made it to the grasslands for my first AERC LD.

I have never seen TADRA that full before. I crewed for a 100 mile rider a few years ago, I think there were 150 riders at that ride. I may be wrong, but I just don't remember ever seeing it so full. I believe there were almost 180 riders at this ride. We of course, had to park on the hill. Luckily we were next to and near some folks we know. Mary Fields, Robbin Timmons, Roger Garlitz and a couple of other folks that Tracey knew. We sat up camp then went down and paid our entries and got our cards. I was 301 and Tracey was 302.

We went to bed about 10:30 but I can't tell you what time I finally got to sleep. It was SO cold. I wasn't prepared for it to be as cold as it was. I slept some, but froze most of the night. My toes hurt so bad most of the night I swear I was going to come down with frost bite on them.

We got up around 6:30am to feed the girls and start moving around as we had to vet them in at 7:30. Summer checked in with all A's and a 40 on her pulse. About 8:00 Becky showed up and we all got our feed, hay bags, snacks and drinks ready to take to the break area for after the first loop. After that we looked at a couple of vendors items then headed back to our trailers to tack up. Our time out was 9:30. Tracey and I timed out at 9:33. At about 1/2 mile into our first loop, I told Tracey that I had forgotten to raise my stirrups as I wanted to make sure that I could really stay off Summer's back for this ride as I knew we were going to be moving out faster and longer than I ever had on Summer. I tell you, everyone that passed us asked if we were okay. No one was rude at all. After I adjusted my tack, we took off. It was great, we did more cantering than I have ever done in one ride with Summer and she has really learned how to use those legs of hers. She did various gaits all day. Racking, step pacing, dog walk, flat walk, running walk, cantering, and the dreaded hard pace, which I let her do only if I could get way off of her back. I think we finished the first loop (15 miles) in 2hrs and 45 minutes.

Once we got back into TADRA, we stopped at the tank to let the girls drink. Sarah Nelzen came up to say hi and give a hug. Her hubby, Justin, was doing the 75 mile ride and she was crewing for him. We talked about electrolytes and she told me to give Summer some right then. Tracey gave Summer a full dose for me. I am real nervous about electrolytes. When I should or shouldn't use them. How much, which type. It all really confuses me. Anyway, Sarah took Summer and Amira's pulses for us and I think Summer was at a 10, so we were ready to pulse in with the checkers. I think Summer checked in at a 10 with him too. I was so happy, as I knew that meant she was not in pain. This I learned from NATRC. Anyway, we go to the vets and Amira goes to one vet and they put Summer at the opposite end with another vet. Of course this makes Summer act like a twit cause she is away from Amira and her pulse shoots up to a 16. Three of her scores goes down to a B and one down to an A-. However, I trot her out and back and her pulse drops to a 13, which Tracey said was fabulous. That meant Summer was in good condition. So I was happy about that.

After that, we take the girls up to their snacks and feed and take our break. We rode out at 1pm for our second loop. I swear, it flew by. I think we finished somewhere between 2:45 to 3:00. Summer drank pretty good during the second loop and real good when we got back to TADRA. So I gave her another dose of electrolytes per Sarah and Tracey. Since there was a long line to vet out and the girls weren't huffing and puffing, we pulsed and Summer was at a 13. Figured by the time we got to the vets it would drop further. This time Tracey said that we would go to the same vet as they would let you do that if your horses were herd bound to one another, and they did. She wished she had thought of that after the first loop but she just didn't think about it. But I didn't mind because I guess that tested Summer's CRI and she did good. Anyway, all of Summer's metabolics went back up to A's or A minues, so I was real proud of her conditioning scores.

I don't know where we came in, I know we didn't come in any where near the front but we weren't last. LOL I also know I did have fun. And I know what the motto of AERC truly means now, "To Finish Is To Win", and I am ready to do another one.

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