Thursday, January 23 2014
Eagle pictured above at vet check one.
On Wed Jeremy and I booted Mo and Eagle for the 50 with Easyboot Glue ons. They love getting the boots on, every time after they get them they go tearing around!
On Thursday night we celebrated Jeremy's birthday with friends at a sushi place in Ocala. It was a really fun time, Lynn Kennelly even brought him a "Birthday Boy" party hat! After dinner we drove home and I looked in the side mirror of the Olson's truck (we had borrowed to pick up Jeremy's birthday present, a Nordic Trac treadmill that goes up to a steep grade for uphill but does downhill as well. It is his Western States training buddy!) and I noticed something flapping in the wind. I looked harder in the dark and saw that my Smith sunglasses were hanging out there in the wind as we drove on the freeway! Lynn reached out and grabbed them. I guess that I had dropped them when I got out of the truck before dinner and some nice person had hung them so I would find them. I found them!
Late that night a rider from Berkeley, CA was flying in and would be riding Eagle on his first 50 at the Gator Run ride. Her name is Betsy Aden. Betsy is trying to get her 300 miles so that she can do the Tevis this summer. Betsy arrived at our house around 11:30 pm.
Friday (I forgot to mention that I started getting sick on Wed) Jeremy, Betsy and I went riding. We rode Mo, Eagle and Honor and then rode again on three others for an 11 mile ride. Every time I posted I had a pounding headache. I was suppossed to ride the 50 the next day with Betsy but Jeremy offered to ride instead so I took the opportunity to rest.
Later, Friday afternoon, we went to town to the grocery store to grab any items that we needed for the ride, on our way home we went by the ride camp and got our ride packets. It was really fun because we got to see Robert and Melissa Ribley who were out here, Melissa vetting and Robert riding. That night we relaxed and I made dinner.
Sat morning Betsy and Jeremy trailered the horses over to the ride and I kept sleeping. I went to the ride in time to crew the first vet check. Mo and Eagle were doing great. It was really cold out and they were going slowly so it was no surprise:)
The trail was really flooded. Jeremy estimated that 40% of the race was in water, varying from fetlock to belly deep. Good thing they were planning on a slow ride any how, it would have been an aweful trail to go fast on for the sake of footing and taking risks.
Between the first and second check I ran into town and did a couple of errands, then came back and waited. I had pretty much lost my voice so trying to hang out and talk to anyone wasn't really an option.
The last vet check the two horses kept eating like crazy, as they had the first two checks. Betsy and Jeremy left for their last loop and I read my book adn tried to nap. When the time got closer I hiked out to the finish and waited for them.
They both finished without a problem and Betsy was 50 closer to her goal, she was now at 150 miles. Eagle had finished his first 50, so he was now a real endurance horse;)
We vetted and loaded up the two guys to head home, as we live less than 10 mins away. The two horses galloped into their pasture when we let them go. They looked great.
We got cleaned up and headed into town to go to the best restaurant that we have in Dunnellon, Don Pepe's a great Mexican restaurant. It was fun. Then back to the house to go to bed. I had set Betsy up with another horse for day 2 as I thought Eagle would appreciate only doing 1 day.
Betsy snuck out of the house really early for another 50 mile day. Jeremy and I took it easy on Sunday. I did get dressed to go ride and then Connie, the ride manager called and asked if Jeremy would come put a shoe on to a horse at the race that had lost a shoe. The ride farrier didn't show up so there wasn't any one else at camp that could do it. We went over to the race to help out and it started to rain. Jeremy did that one horse and as we were standing around getting ready to leave another horse came in missing a shoe. Jeremy did it too.
As Jeremy was working on horse 2, Lynn Kennelly started sharing pictures of a cat she was getting that day. I commented on how it was cute. She proceeded to scroll through a lot of other cat pics and asked "which one do YOU want?" Apparently there was a person breeding Siamese cats who got out of it and had left over older cats (1-1.5 yrs old). I thought about it and we did want another barn cat that we could lock in the tackroom on occassion as we had a lot of mice in there and Bob isn't exactly a cat you can direct! So Jeremy and I picked one out. A male, he is a Flame Point Siamese, so all the parts that are usually dark on a Siamese are orange. He is cream with peach/orange ears, muzzle, tail. He has bright sky blue eyes.
Our cat was delivered later that afternoon, bathed and all! We set him up in the tackroom and named him Oats. He is really sweet. He also got neutered that evening! It is great having small animal vets as friends:)
Betsy got through day 2 with another completion! Up to 200 miles, getting closer;)
Sunday night we had another relaxing, stay at home dinner.
Monday morning our friends, Nicki and Andy and Nicki's dad arrived here. Nicki was here to go riding on her two horses, Cleo and Btash. Jeremy and I caught up with them and got the horses ready. Before we headed out we said our goodbyes to Betsy. It was really fun meeting her and spending time with her.
We went on a great ride and then Jeremy and Nicki rode 2 more times. The rest of the day we stayed at the house. Nicki and Andy drove south to Ft Lauderdale and I got ready to go to Mike and Connie's for dinner. Melissa was makig dinner and we were going to go hang out and catch up. Jeremy decided that he should stay home. His treadmill that we bought from Sears didn't work and he had found the same one on Craigslist so he was waiting for it to be dropped off by the person he was buying it from.
I went without him. It was great seeing Robert and Melissa. Good times.
Our next ride is quickly approaching. The Broxton Bridge 2 day FEI ride should be a great race. We have 6 horses going. I hope we see you there.
Tuesday, January 07 2014
Pictured above: Easyshoe after completing the 50, worn by Honor.
Jeremy and I glued EasyShoes onto Shai and Honor in preparation for the Greenway 50. The new Easy Shoe is super cool. I really think this is a way to keep your hoof healthy while protecting it at the same time, a great compromise to total barefooted horses when your terrain won't allow for that. It is still in the testing phase so you may see them soon. You can see the EasybootGlue ons at this website: www.Easycareinc.com
Our young rider, Emma Orth, came to visit over her Christmas break and is still here with us as I write this:) Emma and I would be riding the 50 on day 1, with Shai and Honor. I was super excited to be riding Honor, he hadn't raced since Ft Howes in June of 2012.
On Thursday, the day before the race, Wendy McCoubrey came over to fit my Reactor Panel saddle to Honor. I love my Reactor Panel, it is really comfortable for my horse and I. (click here:�www.reactorpanel.com>www.reactorpanel.com�)
It was raining all day on Thursday so we opted to trailer over the morning of the race, Friday. We got up super early and gave Shai and Honor their mash and then loaded them up to head to the race.
We checked in and saddled up, I ride in a Reactor Panel with a Toklat Matrix pad. It was really cold. We warmed up the horses and then the trail was open. I initially thought we could trot a ways to continue warming up but immediately after the ride manager said that the trail was open, a bay horse came barreling by, out of control and very shortly after whizzing by it dumped its rider. Honor was fired up now!
We put the horses into an easy canter and just went with it. This was a conditioning ride for Shai and Honor for the Broxton Brdge ride at the very end of this month. My plan was to just practice a pace between 12.5 mph-13 mph whenever the footing was safe and ride accordingly when it wasn't. It was a very easy pace for both horses.
The strange thing about some of the East Coast rides is the choice of how to mark a trail. At this ride you would be on one color heading away from camp and then the color changes when heading back towards camp, for example, loop one was red out and blue back. This is different for sure.
Loop one was 25 miles, it was fun. The two horses were very relaxed and cantered easily along. Loop one did have a lot of lumpy footing and roots, so we did a fair amount of trotting and jogging. Then we had a 50 min hold. Jeremy was there waiting for us. He helped us pull saddles and had coolers there for the horses.
We electrolyted our horses with our mix that has Redmond Salt in it and then headed out on loop 2, yellow to purple, 15 miles. This loop ended at a trough and then you were just suppossed to know that it was time to turn back and start following purple. A sign would have been great...
Another 50 min hold. Both horses looked great. The trail was really fun. It was still COLD.
The last loop was pink to green, 10 miles. This loop had the best footing so we really covered some ground. Both horses were effortless.
We finished the ride first and second with a ride time of 4:35 and the horses were ready to continue with ease. We vetted and they both passed no problem. An hour later, with a less than clean horse, we showed for BC. It was too cold to get the horses wet so we scrubbed their shaggy coats with brushes the best we could.
Shai was schooled before hand as he hasn't been worked with enough for a great BC trot out. By the time Emma showed him he was pretty good. Honor showed really well.
Before the results were calculated we left, we were too cold and needed to get home to blanket the horses in our pasture.
Later that night our friend, Elaine Lemiuex, Honor's previous owner called us, Honor had won BC. I was very happy. It was a great comeback ride for him. He is my favorite guy, so fun to ride.
We had a great day of riding. Hope we see you at the Gator Run ride on Jan 17 & 18th.