Pictured above: Jeremy and Dust, Heather and Surprise
On Thursday we went to the airport and picked up our Floridian friend Lisanne Dorion. Her plane was delayed and she landed at 12:30 am. Long day for her...we had been celebrating Jody, our new sister-in-laws birthday so we were up late anyhow.
On Friday morning we headed to the ranch and fed and then grabbed our 4 horses to head out to the Almanor Hustle FEI 2* 75/120. We were looking forward to this ride as all of the horses were looking well and we knew we would have fun and see the beautiful trail enjoying the company of our two riders and good friends, Mae Chase Dunn and Lisanne Dorion. The goal was to get the horses around and get a qualifiction checked off of the list of required rides for our horses. (I just have to share that I think I set a personal record with Surprise's passport. I received the passport on a Wed night, had it filled out and stamped by my vet on Thursday, back in the mail on that same Thursday and had it back in my hand, 2 days later, on Saturday approved!)
The pairs were, Dust and Jeremy, Erebus and Lisanne, Elvis and Mae and Surprise and myself. It would be Surprise's first time going over 50 miles. For the other 3 it would be their second 2*.
On our way to the ride we had one tire detread. We think it is because this trailer we are using has been sitting for awhile, dormant. Oh well. We went right away to Les Scwab and replaced the spare in case we had another mishap.
We got to the ride about 3 pm. Mae and her mom Carolyn were there as well as their friend Cathy. Carolyn and Cathy would crew, LUCKY US!!
After the horses were settled we went out on a pre ride to make sure everyones tack was squared away. Then we vetted in and went to the ride dinner. It was fun to see everyone that we haven't seen in a while. Michele is healing up but her smile is pretty adorable at the moment.
Saturday morning we got on and warmed up the horses and had an uneventful start. All 4 horses worked well together. The only issue I was having was that Surprise hasn't been in our program very long at all and was having trouble cantering slowly when the group would canter. He would do a big trot and then I would slow him down to canter and he would not understand why we would slow to canter... He will get it:)
This ride was rockier than I remembered it being so we were REALLY happy to have our glue ons on all of our horses, it really makes a huge difference in their performance at every race. It is especially apparent in really hard, rocky footing. (You will also see a difference the day after the race in your horses legs. There is way less filling in the legs, if any at all after you race hard in Glue on Easyboots.)
The 4 horses vetted quickly at each check. We were just going to go around but as the day went on we did each loop a bit faster than the last. By the last loop our 4 were in 3-6 place. We left the last check and cantered around the last loop. We passed a rider and were now 2-5. The leader, Andre Ruggeri had a 3 min lead on us when we had left the last check. About 2 miles from the finish we could see him ahead. We decided we would sneak up on him and see if we could take hime by surprise. At the final water trough he was there and as we galloped towards him he saw us and took off. It was fun scaring him. All good fun. Andre is a great friend of ours. As we had 4 horses and all of them needed this race we weren't in a position to go hog wild as that wasn't the goal. We did keep some pressure on him in case there was an opportunity to pass. At the very final part Jeremy did try one more time to get him as Andre had started trotting but once again he was able to stay ahead.
After the race I told Andre we were just keeping him on his toes. I have recently been coaching Andre so I think he got a good laugh from it.
It was a great race and the horses did well. After the race I was very happy with how all 4 looked. Actually how all 5 of the top horses looked, Andre's horse looked good as well.
At the 1 hour mark we showed all 4 for BC. They looked like a proud bunch, we were all very happy. In the end it was Dust who would win the Best Condition award.
The weekend was pure fun and the scenery was spectacular. The ride camp is in a beautiful green high meadow with a crystal clear creek running through the middle of it. The stars at night were amazing as well, there is no light pollution so it is truely stunning.
See you all at Tevis.