Endurance Riding

May 09 2011

25 Mile Cache Creek Ridge Ride

Published by under Endurance Riding

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Well, we did it! And this time there was no getting lost (I have apparently improved my map reading skills), no injury to speak of (well, except for that tree that attacked my arm and left me with a couple scrapes), and no tears (at least not the “bad kind”)…

Asali and I arrived at camp on Friday afternoon. Kathryn and Madison were once again our neighbors (with their two Arabs). Our first order of business this time (before setting up camp or vetting in) was to join Kathryn and Madi on a pre-ride.

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Heading out to the trail.

After our ride, I set up camp (I chose to sleep in the horse trailer this time around since it was nice and warm). Then I vetted Asali in (I realized one of the same vets from our last ride was Dr. Craig Brown from Oroville… a friend had told me about his wife, who is apparently a great equine vet, specializing in performance horses).

At the pre-ride meeting, we met ride manager, Jennifer Stalley (who is hysterical, by the way…  she should consider stand-up comedy as a second career). I found out there were 40 competitors in the 25 mile ride, 90 in the 50, and about 12 competing in the Ride & Tie (HUGE competition)! Jennifer also pointed out that 12 Tevis Cup Board Members were present, as well as many other well-known competitors, some who had competed internationally. Yup, I was intimated. So, I made sure to pay close attention to the directions; I took notes all over my map this time and then had Jennifer personally verify that my notes were correct. Then I got Asali ready for the next day’s competition. I groomed her and shaved patches of her hair on her neck, back legs, and behind the cinch to make sure she’d stay cool in the heat. I also braided her long mane.

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Ready for tomorrow… #209 in the 25!

The morning of the ride, I woke up early even though we had a late start time of 8 am. I used my new proprane stove to boil water for oatmeal and tea (I was much more prepared this time, with lots of new camping gear and extra food). Asali and I were second to ride out – just like last time, she wanted a running start.

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Breakfast of Champions

The trail was beautiful. Lots of hills, open spaces, and cattle grazing. The views were amazing on top of the ridge! I remember thinking how alive I felt to be able to see such breathtaking backcountry from the top of my beloved horse. By the time we made it to the vet check and mandatory one hour hold, however, I was hot, tired, thirsty, hungry, and desperately in need of some of Kathryn’s monkey butt powder. Luckily, I met Kathryn and Madi at the vet check (they were riding the 50 but arrived at the check at the same time as I did) and we enjoyed lunch together (and spread the monkey butt around) before heading back out on the trail.

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Cache Creek

Once back out on the trail, I met up with a gentleman riding a Russian breed mare. He and I had been riding together most of the first part of the trail and we once again found each other. His mare and mine seemed to get along fine and the paces of the horses matched nicely, so we finally decided to just ride the rest of the ride together. Although I normally like to ride alone in competition, I enjoyed Roberto’s company and was glad he rode with me. He had a very thick Italian accent (even though he has lived in the states for many years) which earned him the title “My Italian Friend.” I found out that this was also Roberto’s second endurance ride. He is just as new to the sport as I am.

Roberto and I had a running finish at the end, with our hands in the air, a couple of “woop woops,” and a high-five. And this was all before the awards ceremony…

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A group of 50-milers coming to the end of the trail!

That night, I found out Roberto and I had come in 13th and 12th, respectively. I was so shocked (and proud) that Asali and I had almost made the Top 10, especially in a ride that had a substantial amount of competitors. Yup, I think we were made for endurance.

I told Kathryn this past weekend that I feel like my life is suddenly about when the next endurance ride is. Seeing parts of the countryside that I wouldn’t normally get to enjoy, spending all day in the saddle with my best friend, and meeting up with old friends… could life get any better?

 

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My friend, Katie, who I met at the Whiskeytown Chaser, right after finishing the Cache Creek 50.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “25 Mile Cache Creek Ridge Ride”

  1. Zoeyon 11 May 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Thank goodness for the monkey butt!
    Zoey recently posted..Feminine Tattoos and Feminine Tattoo Designs

  2. Ann Byrnson 14 May 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Hey there, daughter–Great Job! That’s a great placement, especially since there were so many competitors. Asali looks a little funny with that shave job, but I’m glad you chose keeping her cool over mere vanity. The two of you make a great endurance team!

  3. Ann Byrnson 14 May 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Congrats on placing so high in a crowded field. You and Asali make a wonderful Endurance team! Love, Mom

  4. JayaMaeon 15 May 2011 at 5:17 am

    Thanks, Mom. XOXO

  5. sherion 19 May 2011 at 7:04 pm

    WELL DONE!!!!!

    I really hear the joy and excitement with your amazing horse adventure. So about you!

    Keep on exploring and learning, cause every moment counts!

    Sending you and Asali big hugs! I’m looking forward to hearing about your next competition!

    ~Sheri

  6. JayaMaeon 13 Jun 2011 at 3:37 am

    I love you, Sheri. Thank you for your continued support. <3

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