This past weekend, my DH and I trekked north to the Finger Lakes area of New York state for the Hector Half Hundred endurance ride and the No Wineing CTR. We planned to put George in the endurance ride on Saturday for the 50 and Sultan in the 30 CTR on Sunday. We got word on Thursday night that because of the goverment shutdown, the ride could not use the nation forest trails they had planned. Ride management re-routed and re-marked over THIRTY MILES of trail on Friday!!
So the ride was still on! Never having been to that area of NY before, we were impressed with the scenery on the drive up. Trees are in full color and Lake Seneca is a sight to behold. Ridecamp was the field behind the local fire department, right beside a winery which was on the wine tour. The drunk tourists seemed to be as amused by us as we were by them! Never been cheered for my trot-outs before, nor had George been called "such a pretty bull" before..
The weather was unusually warm on Friday (low 80s and humid) and the trend continued overnight. We woke to balmy temps and 100% humidity. It was so foggy they required reflective vests. There had been storms the night before, so the ground was as soggy as the trees/bushes.
Hector Half Hundred 50 mile ride - YouTube
At the end of the day, George did great despite the less than ideal weather conditions. Having DH as crew certainly made my day much easier. We finished 8th, much to my delight.
On Sunday, the plan was for DH to take Sultan in the 30 mile CTR (which would get Sultan his Versitility Award for the season) and I would crew. However, I was approached by a friend asking if I would ride her horse in the 30 as a buddy horse for a youngster who needed to find some religion after his less-than-ideal behavior in the 30 on Saturday. Because this friend would be judging, I would be riding mileage-only. As the dog-and-pony-show aspect of a CTR is not my favorite, I was thrilled to ride mileage only and not have to worry about the rest!
Sunday was again hot and insanely humid (temp was 82 with 78% humidity.. and the sun came out full force - hardly the normal weather for upstate NY in october!!). While that was not very pleasant for me, it was downright challenging for the Morgan I was riding. We pushed the horses as much as we could, but still wound up with time penalties at the end of the day. But it was that or not make pulse at all, so the choice was pretty clear. We spent tons of time in all the creek, etc sponging like maniacs and I can't even imagine how many gallons of water we used at the midpoint hold and at the end!
Despite the time penalties, I wouldn't have changed a thing we did on Sunday. The goal was to get the youngster some religion and that goal was def achieved. I think the horse I was riding found some too, as he had never been pushed hard either. The vet, judge, and volunteers commented on how the youngster was a reformed horse, standing well for the exam, etc.
While the Morgans placed low due to their time penalties, I was flattered to be awarded the Horsemanship Award for the ride (though I wonder if the horses would have had something else to say about that if asked their opinion ) and DH won Grand Champion!
Helmet cam from sunday - which includes footage of the Very Slimy Hill is coming.. just taking forever to upload.