Monday, November 04 2013
Eagle pictured above
This weekend we went to the Boggy Creek CTR. This event is so cool. It is a benefit for the Camp Boggy Creek program. This is a camp for seriously ill children. The goal of Boggy Creek is "for you to forget what you have". It is a camp set up for kids to reallly DO things, sometimes for the first time, like a kid who has been hooked to oxygen for their whole lives can actually go swimming at this camp. There is a place for them to plug in their oxygen so they can remain on oxygen while they swim. There is also ziplining for kids in wheel chairs. The kids who have been stared at when they go out can relax and have a fun time with other similar kids, no one is staring or asking what's wrong with them. It is also a great relief for families who get to have their kids go to this camp as the camp is fully staffed with expert doctors who look after the campers. This camp is a non profit if any of you want to check it out, I'm sure any donations would be happily accepted.
I was reading the directions to the ride on Thursday night and realized that we didn't have to be there until Saturday, the ride would be Sunday. I'm so glad I read that! Jeremy would have killed me:)
That was a relief as we had only been in Florida since Tuesday evening and we had been super busy for the couple of days we had been home and this would give us another day to do things before going to the ride.
On Saturday we loaded up Eagle. Poor Eagle, we have only ridden him 3 times since we bought him. He was ridden one time and then did the Harvey Bear LD with our young rider, Emma. Then I rode him 1 time and drove coast to coast and now he would do this 27 mile CTR. I'm sure he thinks we just like to ride way too much.
We arrived at the camp just before 1 pm. We unloaded Eagle and then I had to head over to the judges meeting. I would be judging for my second year in a row and Jeremy would be riding for his second year in a row.
The meeting was brief and we went over details of the ride. A short while later the ride vet, Courtney and I started vetting in all of the competitors. CTR forms are a bit foreign to me but after I looked it over it started coming back to me. It rained off and on during the vet in. We vetted in the 48 horses and then got ready for the ride dinner and meeting.
Dinner was a potluck with the ride providing the meat and mac 'n cheese. The ride also has a HUGE raffle and auction that goes on throughout the weekend. The raffle started during dinner. SO many cool prizes.
Jeremy and I went to bed shortly after the meeting, not skipping the ice cream however! There is a cooler of ice cream at this ride that is self serve.
Sunday morning I headed up to the starting line to watch the competitors start. Eagle looked cool and calm. Very good considering he had been in Florida all of 4 days and then had to camp alone and warm up alone for the start.
The ride started at 6:30. The first one to start was Maris who was driving her horse, as in driving a cart. Then after a 10 min gap the rest of the field, in numeric order, started in 30 second increments. Very different from endurance. There is also a set time for when you should finish. The ride times for this 27 mile ride were between 4:15-5 hours.
The ride volunteers headed out to the out check after all the horses started. My job was to watch the horses trot out from the check after their hold was over. CTR's are different. The horses arrive at the check and exactly 10 mins later they get their pulse. It needed to be 60 or lower, otherwise you would get a point deduction. The goal is to keep all of your points without any deductions. You start with 100 points. After the pulse you get your metabolics checked. When 20 mins are up you leave the check and trot away for a soundness check.
All good, no one was pulled here. After the last horse left we went back to camp to see the finishers and do the judging. At the finish the horses must trot the last 1/4 mile. Then exactly 10 mins after they finish they get their pulse. While getting the pulse there is a CRI. Then they head over to the vet to get their metabolics looked at. Then an hour after they finish they get looked at very hard by us again. This is where we really score them on the score cards.
There's a lot of calculating in this sport as far as the paperwork on who will win the event. Kind of crazy:) I was not incharge of that part however, I was just judging the horses in the flesh, a much more fun job. I was trying to be as consistant as possible but it seemed so subjective even while trying really hard to be consistant.
After we judged all the horses we were done. Jeremy and Eagle finished and looked great. Jeremy was just riding for mileage only as I was a judge it wouldn't really be fair to be riding for a score.
After the ride we hung out and waited for the awards and the rest of the raffle. We won a few raffle items and had a great time. If any of you get the chance to support this event please do. I hope to be at this ride next year.
Jeremy is headed up to New Jersey this weekend. He is not too excited about getting back in the truck for another LONG drive but he is going. He will ride the 2* on Shai and Nicki Gilbert will ride her new horse Btash on the 1*.
Friday, November 01 2013
Shai Pictured above
We packed and packed our stuff from our 6 month stay in CA. We would be driving back to Florida and on the way we would hit up the FEI 2 day in Las Cruces, New Mexico. (The ride is actually a 3 day, but has 2 FEI days).
On Tuesday evening we loaded up 10 horses, (Cleo and our 9 horses): Honor, Stirgess, Chanses, Mo, Liger, Shai, Eagle, Dust and Nixon (Smitty would stay in CA). Liger was really cute, he hasn't ever been asked to go up a ramp before but he quickly got the hang of it and happily got in with his herd.
We also had our 3 dogs, Roo, Merlin and our new dog Poncho. Poncho is a 3 year old Cattle dog mix. He is a Border Collie, McNab, Queensland Heeler and Fox Terrier mix. He was Mike and Janet Shackelford's dog. They decided it would be good for Poncho to become super busy and live with us and I needed a good running dog so now we have Poncho. We got Poncho 3 days before our big road trip, that's one way to get to know your new dog.
After we said some tearful goodbyes to our young rider Emma we got in the truck and were ready to roll.
We started to put the truck into gear and realized that we didn't have any running lights! We hadn't even moved yet and already had a technical difficulty:) Our friend Karl who is at the CA ranch helped us and Jeremy figure out that we had a blown fuse. Ok, take two! More goodbyes, this time dry eyed and happier, and we were rolling.
About an hour and a half into our drive we heard a loud explosion. We had blown a tire on our trailer, which has big rig, semi truck tires. The tire Gods were with us tonight though! We could see the next exit and the exit had a big rig tire shop and repair. We limped over to the exit and pulled in. The lady guided us into the bay and then let us know that the tech was on his lunch break and would be back in 10.
I walked the dogs and a small stray came to say hi to us but was really too scared to get too close. After that we watered the horses and soon were ready to go. In all it took about 2 hours but we were never stranded so who cares.
We happily rolled down hwy 5 listening to the comedy selection on Pandora, very entertaining. At some point I went in back and fell asleep (our truck has a sleeper). Poncho and Merlin joined me. Around 4 am Jeremy was ready to sleep so it was my turn for a drive!
In doing these long trips I have discovered that this is my favorite time of day to drive. I am ggod from 4-7 or so then Jeremy is usually ready to go again. As I drove I tried to remember usless facts like what horses were in our trailer the last time we did this drive? And the time before that? And who was in the trailer in 2008 when we drove to Virginia. That was good for some mental work, then I found myself remembering a recap of our summer.
This past summer we had a really packed and exciting time. We started off with Jeremy running the Quicksilver 50 the first day we arrived, then going to Hawaii for Tim's wedding and the half Ironman Triathlon, we went on a houseboat trip to Lake Powell with the Redmond Salt company, went to New York to see friends and work on horses feet, my cousins wedding in Skytop Pennsylvania, Skyline to the Sea 30 mile hike with my family and Emma, Tevis, Jeremy did another half Ironman at Donner Lake, Volunteering at the Western States Run with my brothers, Ironman Tahoe, taking Liger to Monty Roberts for a one week clinic for young horses being started, Skyline to the Sea Trail race with Holly and Jeremy, flying to Illinois to pick out a horse for Emma, as well as riding a few other endurance rides, riding and hiking trails we love, riding on the beach in Salinas and having countless dinners with friends. We also got to live with Tim and his wife Jody all summer. So many fun times. This summer we got to know our young rider, Emma Orth and her mom Giulia. What a great summer, we already miss everyone.
As I was in the middle of this deep thought I popped a 5 hour energy...reality. Around 7:30 Jeremy was back to driving. The drive was an uneventful blur of driving and stopping to water the horses. 22 hours later we arrived in Las Cruces at the base camp. The ride manager had saved us two large pens to put the horses in, what a life saver!!
It was now Wed night. We ate some food and then hung out a bit. Becky and Judith had pulled in next to us and we saw a few other familiar faces. We visited a little and then fell asleep. The next day we got things organized and pre rode the horses. The first two we rode were Chanses and Mo. After that ride we were getting the next two when Nicki and Andy pulled up, perfect timing. Nicki could ride her own pre ride on Dust now, and Jeremy would ride Shai.
Andy and I went to check in while they rode. Skip arrived as well. After the ride meeting we went to town for showers and dinner.
Mark Dial had recommended a place called what we thought was "Grand Central Station". We looked around town a long while and found "Graham Central Station". We took a look and there was a cash register at the door, as in there was a cover charge! It was a night club, we wanted a restaurant so we kept looking. Nicole told us about a steak house near her hotel so we went for that. Nicole and Andre Ruggeri joined us as well as Emmett, Skip, Lynn Kennely and Marcia Hefker and her friend and her son Si. It was a boisterous group. Dinner was pretty good.
The next morning Jeremy rode Mo on the AERC 60. Skip, Lynn, Andy, Nicole and I crewed for Mo. It was great practice for him to have a mob of crew. He handled it very well. At the first vet check Skip and Lynn came from town with Starbucks and Skip thought he had missed Jeremy. Skip told me he had handed Jeremy his coffee to him as he rode by then Skip asked me how Jeremy was doing and I told him that I hadn't seen him yet! He was on a part of the course that came near the vet gate before the first check. Minutes later Jeremy arrived at the first vet check.
As the day progressed Mo had a tight hind end. Jeremy decided to run the last loop on foot. We met him at a road crew point and Mo looked great. We told Jeremy that Mo looked great and that he should get on. He did. He later regretted this as he was pulled at the finish for a sore hind end. Total bummer.
After we took care of Mo we pre rode Chanses, Shai and Dust. Chanses and I would be doing the FEI 100, Dust and Nicki would be doing the FEI 75 and Jeremy would be taking Shai through his first FEI ride doing the 50.
We went to the ride meeting. The trail colors made for a great acronym. I try to make something up at each ride so I can easily remember my loop colors. This one was: Pissed (pink) Off (orange) Yelling (yellow) Orangatans (orange) with (white) Pistol Whips (pink and white). How can you forget the trail with things like this to think about?
After the meeting we went to town again for showers and dinner.
The next morning I got up really early to feed the race horses, then I went back to bed. An hour and a half later I woke up and got ready. More Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Late, very seasonal and festive;)
Chanses had a great first loop. He felt great. The footing was pretty lumpy and rocky on this loop so I was really glad to have my Easyboot Glue Ons on Chanses. Another interesting thing was after a lot of lumpy, rocky sandy trail there was a section where you could be on flat level pavement or lumpy, sandy rocky terrain and Chanses chose the pavement with his boots on as it was not too concussive, he was enjoying the safe even footing. The day flew by and Chanses was recovering awesomely. I rode the first several loops with Sue Hedgecock and Gwen Hall, then I rode a couple loops with Mae Chase Dunn. The last loop I was on my own. Chanses prefers company but he was willing to go if I asked him. It was an out and back and we did see Sue and Gwen at some point.
Chanses won the 100 and looked great. I think our ride time was a bit over 9 hours. Dust had been pulled after 2 loops and Shai had come in 3rd on the FEI 50.
That night we went to town for showers. Dinner was fun. We ate with Andy, Nicki, Lynn, Skip and Emmett. Very fun time, lots of laughs. Great steakhouse with an awesome waiter.
The next day we did not have to ride. We just had a rest day before heading East. Dwight Hooten was available so he looked Dust over and it was decided after some blocks and icing the leg that Dust had more than likely hit himself on his old splint and had just made himeself sore, great news.
Skip, Lynn, Andy and Nicki headed off to the airport. Jeremy and I packed up all the crew stuff and hung out. We had dinner at the race and stole a shower. We were thinking we would stop over at Emmett's to lay over and check out the time trial trail for the next WEG on our way home. We decided that it would be best to load the herd in the daylight so we slept until it was very light out and then loaded up. Liger was ready to go and was pulling me up the ramp this time! He likes the rockstar life style. Part way down the road we decided we couldn't go to Emmett's as we had a client horse arriving and we needed to be home for that.
We started our drive at 8:30 am Monday morning. The rest of our drive was uneventful. Hurray!!! Around 3:30 am on Tuesday morning I drove and Jeremy slept. Hours and hours, watering after watering and reloading of hay bag after hay bag we arrived in Florida. We pulled into our house at 4 pm Tuesday. Jeremy took the quad out and drove around our fence line and then we unloaded and set everyone free. The horses were soooo happy and they all took off running and bucking, what a difference it makes having air ride and comfort floors in the trailer!
We have been home for a few days and we are headed off to the Boggy Creek CTR that is this Sunday. I will be a judge and Jeremy will ride Eagle. This ride benefits severly sick or disabled children. When I volunteered I thought we were returning to FL in the early part of Oct, oh well, it will be fun.
For the last 3 days we have been non stop getting our over grown place back in order and unpacking the trailer and truck.
Next weekend Jeremy, Nicki and Andy will be driving up to New Jersey for the Mustang Memorial FEI ride! No rest for the wicked:)