Endurance Riding

May 15 2013

Not The Same Old Ride

Published by under Endurance Riding

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This was my third consecutive year at the Cache Creek Ridge Ride. It was Jakob’s second. Although Jakob wanted to ride the 50 this year, I wanted a relaxing, casual ride. So I signed us up for the 25-mile limited distance and was looking forward to an easy ride.

Jakob and I had anything but an easy ride on Saturday, May 11th.  The weather was not only hot – in the upper nineties – but it was also humid. After the first hill that morning, Beauty began sweating and panting. We slowed down our pace and kept a close watch on her.

We also had boot troubles. After riding through the bog at the start, Beauty’s boots were covered in mud and sliding all over the place. A few times her boots simply twisted around her hooves, but later, she began actually throwing her boots.  I had to dismount and backtrack on foot to pick up boots on trail we thought we had left behind us. I finally decided to make Beauty go barefoot after one of her front boots got tangled around her pastern and I spent 20 minutes prying the boot off.

At the vet check, I talked to Jakob about taking a rider option out of the ride. Beauty took 20 minutes to recover to her baseline breathing pattern and she wasn’t eating and drinking as well as she usually did. However, after a little rest, she allowed a volunteer to hold a bucket of water up to her. She drank two bucket fulls and when the vet looked at her again, he said he thought she looked great and could make it to the finish. So, we continued on down the trail for another 12 miles.

We picked up the pace on this last loop and we began to finally enjoy the ride. The stress we experienced in the beginning of the ride seemed to be behind us. However, we were still a little ways from the finish when I realized we were barely going to make time. We kept up our consistent pace, passing 6 other riders on our way to the finish. The more trail we covered, the more confident I became that we were going to make it to the finish by the cut-off time.

It was 2:06 when we came to the end. And it was another 10 minutes or so before we reached the vets to P & R (evaluation of pulse and respirations). Ride cut-off time was 2 pm. We may have ridden the 25 miles, but we did not get a completion.

Even with the heat and humidity slowing us down and losing time messing with thrown boots on the trail, we still would have made time and received a completion if I had not made one crucial mistake at the start. I wasted time — 25 minutes, putting us out on the trail at 8:25 instead of at 8 ‘o clock. I had the “it’s just a 25” attitude, as well as the “I’ve done this ride before” attitude. I took my time getting ready in the morning and I allowed Jakob to do the same. And then we both forgot our vet cards at the camper and had to ride back through camp to retrieve them. So, in the end, the “just 25 that I’ve done before” kicked me in the butt and did so laughing. I got a huge dose of humility and I won’t ever forget a little piece of Tevis advice Barbara White gave me when I met her at Cuyama: “Every minute counts. Don’t waste time at the vet checks. Get through, move on.”


5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Not The Same Old Ride”

  1. Jennifer Stalleyon 16 May 2013 at 5:08 am

    Omg just saw the video and dying of cuteness. “Are you kidding?? We should have done the 50!”

  2. Diana Hiiesalu Bainon 16 May 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Your kid is cute!! Next he’ll say “We should have done the 100”!! I heard it was brutal there. Never rode it, but maybe next year.
    Diana Hiiesalu Bain recently posted..Is This A Man Thing???????????

  3. Ann Byrnson 17 May 2013 at 12:40 am

    Wow, love that Beauty taste testing the water troughs! Too funny. Jake looks awesome in his red and blue color scheme. Can’t wait to do a 10 mile fun ride with Declan on Forest and me on Winnie. Go horses!

  4. Brenon 22 May 2013 at 1:07 am

    Love the video, you gotta do more of those!

  5. Kathy Davison 28 May 2013 at 8:13 am

    Finally got around to reading your story and watching the video. Might I say your writing is so vivid and enjoyable to read. You two should be proud – expected finish or not. You took care of Beauty, you did not begin in a stressful way, and you both had/have such a good attitude. It is the journey, not the destination. You are both winners.
    Love and wishes to all, and a belated Happy Mother’s Day to you.

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