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.