Tuesday, August 27 2013
Erebus on day 1 pictured above
Emma Orth, (our junior that has been helping us out all summer) and I loaded up the four guys on Friday morning. (Jeremy would not be joining us, as he was going to do a big triathalon training weekend with his brother.) Emma and I were heading to the Mendocino Magic, 2 day ride. We took Kings Gold, aka Elvis and Erebus for the first day 50 and Gold Dust Rising aka Dust and Most Likley (this is how you really spell his name) aka Mo for the second day.
The drive was uneventful in the semi truck, although driving the big truck on the road from Willits to Ft Bragg, (hwy 20), was like trying to ride an elephant on a single track. We got there without any issues.
After setting up we checked in and then vetted and pre rode the day 1 horses. I would ride Erebus and Emma would be on Elvis. It was very foggy but not cold. Mendocino is very beautiful so I was really looking forward to the rides over the weekend. It would also be my first race with Emma who has been helping us ride all summer.
After the ride it was just about time for dinner. We headed over to the potluck, which had way too many great choices, and found familiar faces to eat with. It was great seeing all of my West Coast friends.
That night I hardly slept as our crew of horses found a talent in banging buckets on the side of the trailer and clanking the high ties around. At one point one of the dudes even starting rocking the trailer significantly by scratching his rear end on the side of the trailer. Oh well.
In the morning we got on and headed to the start. At this ride there are two ways to the start, one was going down the hill to the meadow the same way you will come out of the meadow when they let you start, the other was going around the back of the meadow and circling around to the start. We went down the way you come out on day 1 with the two seasoned horses. Erebus and Elvis warmed up like pros. Both were very well behaved. Looking professional in their Easyboot Glue Ons and Reactor Panel saddles. (There were a lot of people sliding around on the grassy slopes but the boots we had did awesome).
When it was time to start they both trotted smartly down the road and then up the first big climb. It is so nice being on horses that are relaxed. The day went by in a beautifully scenic way. The fog was heavy in the morning, my ride picture from the morning was so thick in fog you could make out my helmet and my smile and Erebus's star! Then the fog lifted to show you spectacular views of the ocean below. Also the forest was amazingly serene in the fog with the redwoods and ferns and even some Aspen with the sunbeams filtering through the fog. Very magestic.
At vet check one both horses vetted right through and we relaxed at the trailer, then on to loop 2 which had a tremendous climb which in turn gave us more stunning views. The lunch hold came and went. The ride provided lunch to the riders which is always a relaxing treat as it is one less thing that you, as a rider need to worry about.
The last loop was super fun. We were the 2nd and 3rd horse out of the vet gate. We caught up to the front runner shortly after leaving the check. Then there was another really long climb so we took advantage of our horses fresh feel and went up the hill rapidly, then for the rest of the loop we flew, passing LD riders, 50 mile riders and Ride And Tie Teams. The horses loved this, although Erebus was wondering how they had all gotten ahead of us! The trail on this loop was a single track of twisting, rolling tight trail, very fun. I would call out to Emma things like, "Watch your head", "Watch your Knees", "Watch your face!" Very exciting trail.
At the end of day 1 we were 1st and 2nd. When we weighed in Emma weighed as much with her tack as I do by myself, first thing in the morning!! We got the horses ready for BC and then showed them. They both looked great.
After taking care of the horses and showing for BC we saddled up for round two and pre rode the day 2 horses. Mo and Dust were very happy to be doing something. After the ride we headed to town with Emma's mom Giulia and brother Luca for some hand made ice cream at the local ice cream shop. I had, once again, the mushroom ice cream that they make. It is made from a candy cap mushroom and tastes a lot like maple.
Then it was dinner time and awards. Erebus ended up with BC but Elvis had only lost BC by 1/2 a point so he won the high vet score. Super day.
That night I slept much better as I was now pretty tired. In the morning we saddled up and took the round-about way to the start, and about 5 mins late to avoid getting Mo excited on his first 50. Emma was riding Mo as she has been riding him a lot this summer and really wanted to ride him.
Both horses started really nicely and we had yet another great day. This day was warmer and less foggy. The views were even better and the trail was amazing. Emma and I counted 12 different varieties of wild flowers on this day and we only started counting from the second loop onwards.
Mo was playing a game during the ride that each time we would get to a water bar he would tuck up and hop across, this was pretty funny considering we would be walking along, come to one and he would tuck up and hop and then go back to walking.
On our last loop we let the horses move out a bit and there were a number of small streams so Mo got to jump over them and have a great time, it was a game he liked even though he can walk across he had way more fun leaping at the canter over them.
At the end of day 2 we came in 10th and 11th. Pretty cool considering we were just out taking in the scenery and hiking a lot of the down hills. On Mo's final trot out, he trotted out and then cantered back. I guess he had a good time:)
Before dinner we took Roo, Merlin and Shasta (the Orth's dog) down to the pond for some fun. Roo and Luca went swimming while Shasta ran at top speed around the pond, falling in sometimes as she went. It was a super fun time. Roo was having a blast with his water frisbee too.
The final dinner was fun saying bye to everyone. Emma and I had a really fun time. If you get the chance to do the Mendocino Ride I would recommend it to anyone. It is very well run, well marked, beautiful, great food and great prizes.
The last night there was also a fire with a lot of story telling. That was fun as it was like the old endurance rides I remember as a junior.
Monday we drove home, stopping at Starbucks of course. When we got home all four of the horses rolled and then took off. They all looked great.
Hope to see you at the Quicksilver ride at Harvey Bear on Oct 5th.