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.