Archives for October 2018

Sunday, October 7, 2018 – Recovering From Skymont Weekend

Spent the weekend volunteering at the Skymont Endurance Ride, my third year there as a volunteer. Fortunately, there were no injuries, no trips to the hospital, no lost horses, and only one rider was temporarily lost the entire weekend, so it was a great success! As always, Lola kept everyone in the vet check area entertained for the duration. The senior vet, Otis, who’s a funny curmudgeon of a guy, but who has a reputation for being a bit tough at times (though I haven’t seen that much!), says Lola is the best behaved dog in camp, and is the only dog he’ll let stay in the vet check area. I always make sure she’s leashed up when the horses are coming through, but once it’s clear, out comes the chucker, out goes Lola, and everyone is amused by the leaping and jumping and running out to the pond that she does. The vet check area had a big pond in it this year because we’ve had so much rain this year, so the vet check area was move a bit to higher ground, though the trot-out areas were kind of rough. Anyway, it was a great event, I once again was asked to help emcee the awards ceremony. Yesterday, I decided to take Flash for a ride to see how he would do in the woods for a longer duration, so I trailered him up and ran him down to Skymont about 9:30. Most folks were either gone or about to leave when I got there, except the organizers who were doing some clean-up. Flash was pretty anxious about all the activity, there were still a few horses being walked around, and he was all excited and whinnying about that. I managed to get him saddled, but he was still too distracted, so I ran him around in circles for a bit, trying to settle him down. He finally did, so I climbed on and off we went down the purple trail. Wendy, the woman who tags the trails, had told me purple was probably the nicest trail with the least amount of rocks, and as I’ve discovered that my Cavallo #2 boots are probably too big for Flash, even without a recent trim, I wanted the least amount of rocks for him. We passed Wendy on the trail shortly after leaving camp, and headed out the supposedly 11.7 mile trail (though my GPS recorded 10.3, so I’m not sure). Flash was pulling and pulling, and I had a hard time keeping him down to just a medium gait, he wanted to go faster all the time. I thought he would eventually settle down, but he never really did! It was medium or fast gait the whole way, with the occasional breakout into a canter. We were in constant motion, I couldn’t get him to wait to save my life! I’m thinking maybe I’m going to have to put a curb bit on him, the snaffle just wasn’t enough to keep him from pulling my arms out of their sockets. When we cantered past the eleven mile marker without a single slow-down the entire trip, I really started seeing how great this horse would be in an endurance race. I honestly don’t know if he was loving it or hating it, I only know he went like gangbusters the entire trip! We left camp at 10:18 and arrived back at 12:45, a lot earlier than I had expected. Clearly, though, with some conditioning, he would be perfect for this kind of competition. Of course, judging by the way I felt when I climbed down, I’m going to need as much or more conditioning than he is! Lola certainly enjoyed herself, she had a faster trip than usual, which always makes her happy. By the time we reached camp, most of the stragglers had moved out, and it took no time at all to load Flash back into the trailer and come home. I heard Apollo whinnying when we were at the gate at the end of the driveway, and Flash and Apollo nuzzled once he got back in the paddock. I let them into the pasture, washed out the back of the trailer, put some stuff away, and came in exhausted! Once I cooled down, I started to try to dialyze Hubby, but wasn’t able to get a good arterial connection, so we ended up abandoning it for the day. Hate to do that, but I was just not able to succeed, and after three attempts at sticking him, it was clear I just wasn’t up for it today. Better luck tomorrow, hopefully! Whew, what a day!