Monday, March 29 2010
We just returned from a beautiful weekend at the Cuyama Oaks ride. Dave and Ann did another great ride. The flowers were out in full force. It was a yellow flower dominant year! There were all shades of yellow in every direction. There were also scatterings of purples and orange as well. It was like the hills were on fire with the color. Stunning. The ride was very well attended as usual.
Camp is great at this ride as you don't have to move until you pack up to go home. We camped in a nice corner tucked back behind two other rigs, which worked out great as our dogs were out of the way.
Jeremy rode ITA Chicashah Bey, who wore a 4 Sale sign on his rear all weekend. I rode Stratagem. The two camped really well and filled all of their spare time with chewing.
On Thursday we pre-rode the two. Strut was feeling the Spring time friskies. He was trying to find things to be silly about. Oh, the young stud!
After the ride I took the dogs for a hike and then got the crew gear ready. The ride meeting was brief and the start time was debated for a while, then it was decided that we would start at 7 am.
On Friday morning we had alarm clock issues. We woke up and got ready and then saw how dark it was. Apparently, our clock was on Mountain time and we were up an hour before we needed to be. Then our alarm didn't go off at 6 am for the second "wake up" of the day. We got up at 6:30 and hustled. We made it, without a problem, to the start on time.
110 riders all headed out on the usual day 1 trail, up over the mountain to lunch. There were great BB-Q hot dogs waiting there, I was actually craving one of these on the way down the mountain and I was hoping that they would have them on this day! After lunch (which was cold with a brisk breeze going) we headed up the Cottonwood canyon, which is always beautiful. After the canyon you go along a rolling single track on top of a ridge line. That was fun on the big horse, Strut! He does really look after his rider which helped tremendously. If he didn't parts of my legs would still be out there!
Strut and Bey finished looking great and tied for 1st.
On day two we again had timing issues. We missed the announcement that the start time had been changed to 7:30. We were the only ones there at 7 and we knew there was something going on. Damn. We went back to the trailer and had hot chocolate and then went back to the start line to try again. Amateurs!!
Day two had 99 riders start. Everything was going well except that we were having a few trail issues. We figured it out eventually but we lost some time and added 6 miles to our morning.
Lunch was waiting for us in camp as usual. I always enjoy not having to worry about this part. We vetted through, ate and relaxed. After lunch the trail was easy to follow. There was a lot of tight single track through very hilly terrain. It was really fun. Bey zips through all of this stuff and Strut discovered that it was easier for him to canter slowly than to trot. It took a bit of courage on my part as he is so large. The part I was not used to was being on a cantering horse through tight trail that was so rateable. It was really fun.
Bey and Strut tied again for 1st. We were very happy. We decided that we should head home that night as our mare Gem was looking very close to foaling. She still hasn't had it! Oh well, Strut and Bey did great. It was a really fun time.
If you haven't done this ride you should really mark it down for next year and then pray that the flowers are out in full force. It is really something.
Wednesday, March 03 2010
On Wednesday morning around 3 am we headed out on the road, towards New Mexico. We drove and then drove some more. We had 4 horses with us as well as two pitbull mixes and our 6 pound Chihuahua.
The horses we took were Ssamiam, TA Tiran, A Kutt Above and Makazin. Late in the day we decided to stop at Garret Ford's place to take a rest for the night. The horses were very happy to get to go out in the turnout for the night after 15 hours of being on the road. WE put all 4 boys out together as they live together at home. Sam was walking around exploring the place. He was standing on the cement were the feeders are when he discovered the electric fence. He tried to jump forward but his legs kind of slid out behind him. He got a small cut on him but seemed ok. We went to sleep and had no trouble with that at all!
In the morning Garret and Jeremy went for a run. After that Jeremy booted all of our guys while I clipped and then pulled manes. When we were both done we bathed them and then loaded up for the rest of the drive, 5 1/2 more hours.
We arrived around 4 pm to the race. It was a very small ride. We did know just about everyone though, so that was kind of cool. Mostly it was people trying to make the WEG team that were there.
On Thursday night we hung out at our trailer and I cooked up some food and then we watched The Hangover on our lap top. That was fun to see again. I fell asleep while watching it.
In the morning Jeremy went running again and I got up and fed the dogs and horses. When he got back we went out for two rides on the 4 horses. After that Jeremy glued boots on the Donley's horses, Mya and their other horse that I am drawing a blank on at the moment. Then we weighed in and vetted in. Then we went to town to get some feed and some carrots. It was really bazaar. It seemed like we were in Mexico when we were at the grocery store and when were were driving around the area. We were right on the border and you could tell from the looks of the store fronts.
On Friday night we went to dinner with the Donley's after the ride meeting. The ride is just on the other side of the Texas border, in New Mexico. We ate dinner in Texas at the Texas Roadhouse Grill. It was pretty fun. The steaks were great and the atmosphere is lively with the music and the peanut shells all over the ground.
On Saturday our ride went not so well. Tiran had been kicked earlier in the week and we thought we had it under control. At the second vet check Tiran passed the check but then Jeremy decided that it would be the right thing to withdraw.
Sam was doing great. He was all business and very chipper. He was in second place cruising along. We stopped at a water trough around 60 miles and he drank and then went to trot and it was like someone had removed his leg while he was drinking. Damn. I got off and walked him in and had to pull at the check as he didn't walk out of it. I think that between tweaking himself on the concrete and all of the deep sand he had a tight muscle.
One of Tracy and David's horses, Diamond, won the 75 and got BC as well. Dianne Woodard won the 50 and I do not know who got BC on the 50.
On Saturday Deborah Reich helped crew for us as she would be riding Makazin on the 75 for Sunday.
Saturday night we went to the awards and Tracy Kaden made homemade Stew for everyone. It was really good. We went to sleep and woke up to do another 75. I was on Kutt and Deborah was on Makazin and Jeremy was "Super Crew".
It was warmer in the morning but it did rain a bit and at one point it even hailed on us and boy it stung!! The wind was blowing it in our faces pelting us.
I decided that we were not going to take any risks since the Saturday ride went so poorly. Deborah needed the 2* finish for her qualifications and Kutt needed a 2 * as well. We finished 4th and 5th and we were about an hour behind the winner, Doug Swingley. Kutt and Makazin looked wonderful at the BC judging and Kutt won BC! Very cool for his first 75. It made up a little bit for Saturday's ride.
Tennesee Mahoney won the 50 and Doug Swingley won the 75. Not sure about the 50 mile BC for Sunday.
Karen Donley did her first 75 ever, on Saturday and her second one on Sunday. She was the only rider to do this. She is one tough cookie. She completed both rides and was in the FEI division on both.
Sunday night we all went to dinner one last time. We tried to get a reservation at a Mexican restaurant but it was an hour and a half wait and you had to be there physically to make a reservation. Txas Roadhouse Grill it was. Deborah, the Donley's and Jeremy and myself had a great time.
On Monday morning Jeremy and I headed over to the Bed and Breakfast the Deborah was staying at. We ate a great breakfast at the lovely B&B. If you are ever in Tracy and David's area ask them about the B&B. I don't recall the Spanish name for it but it translated to House of Dreams.
After breakfast we went back to the race site. Deborah and Jeremy helped me pack up. They were flying out to Florida for the Fun In The Sun Race while I would be driving home. When we were done they headed out. I followed the Donley's home so that I would not be alone on the road. Their son JJ drove most of the way with me. It was fun. Ron drove for me for a couple of hours so that I could get some rest too. It was really great traveling with them.
We drove about 13 hours on Monday and I spent the night at their house. My horses were out in a nice large area. We were all happy. Tuesday morning I headed back out on the road for my final leg, 9 more hours. I got home around 6:15 pm. I was really glad to be done with all of the driving. The horses and dogs were too!!
Sam and Tiran were both sound upon arrival. At least we have that.
While we were at this ride my brother in law, Tim, rode his first 100 at the 20 Mule Team ride. He rode Stratagem, it was the horse's first 100 as well. The two did very well. They finished in 3rd place! Riding across the finish line with them was Megan Robinson on her first 100 on her own horse Tanner. It was Tanner's first 100 as well. Very cool for the two horse/rider teams.
Well, I need to catch up on everything so I will go now.
Until next time,