|nerd alert: ride photo|
|squeezed into a little spot|
|let someone else braid, this is what happens|
|blurry rain miserable...why am I doing this?|
|heading out for my first 50 (me in green jacket, S on the right in blue)|
But, here we go. I met up with my friend S and Cisco. We've been training together, and our horses work well together. We waited till 10 minutes after the start, and walked out. Major was leading, and getting jiggy, so I let him trot. We powered up, keeping control but moving out, hopeful that moving would stem any other bad behavior. It was raining and misting, my glasses were fogging up, but we just kept going. The trail was wide fire road at this point, and while wet the footing was pretty good. Some of the downhills were getting a bit slick. I was worrying about Major's boots and the wet mud, but we just powered along. We passed some people, and just kept trotting. I thought we were moving too fast, but also know that Major needs to figure this out, and figured he'd slow a bit eventually. After about 10 miles he stopped pulling, but we were still moving fast. The rain had mostly let up, but the trees were dripping and I kept hitting branches which then dumped water all over me.
|just follow red all day was all I could understand from the map|
|some views I had (crew took this, I was too busy holding reins)|
As we were coming into the second lunch vet check the rider behind me mentioned we were probably in 6th or 7th place. WHAT? No, No, NO. That is NOT an option. There is no way we should be going that fast, we'll be re-evaluating our riding after lunch. Major pulsed in quickly, vetted mostly OK (B on gut sounds, but that seems to be his normal, I was OK with that because he was eating like a champ) and I rested while my awesome crew SO and friend C held my horse, made him mash, brought me food and watched over us. Nice to have such great help.
|just chillin' at the hold, I really need to get him a nice orange blanket|
|slightly damp rider card|
|leaving for the final section home|
I took no photos along the trail, as we were flying along, but the trails were awesome. This final section is all through pine forest, with soft pine needles underfoot, also some roots and rocks, but great footing. It is along a man-made bank of sorts, to keep water from running straight down the hillsides, probably left over from either logging operations or water collection for mining. You zig and zag, making sure not to catch a knee on a tree, Major loves this kind of trail (me too) and we just floated along.
I rode the last section with a rider named Bill, he was very nice. He had let the gaited horse who was flying downhill (not my thing either) go ahead, and then he and I rode along, the sun was out, Major was feeling fine, the trail went by quickly. Then we were at the finish...how did that happen? Bill said go ahead, and I was 7th and he was 8th. CRAZY. They asked if I wanted to weigh in for best condition. What? Well, pretty sure I don't have a chance, but sure. Getting on a scale with all your tack is not fun, I don't like weighing that much!
|best condition trot out|
|back at the trailer, life is good and filled with hay|
|yeah for boots, stayed on all day!|
|left behind, what, I can't go?|