Heading off to Uwharrie tomorrow. I had a good feeling about the Benefit. I don't have the same good feeling about Uwharrie. Maybe it's the shoe run-around... Maybe it's Baby Girl's little PSSM flare... Maybe it's the fact that Uwharrie is mountainous and rocky -- the opposite of my central Georgia home.
I just want a completion. A decent score would be nice too. But the vet judge is the infamous Mike. He's tough. It's going to be a hard ride! Uwharrie's trails are very technical. You have to watch your step and pace it smart.
I love you.
I just want to say, I read all your journals in like a month. They inspired me so much. -cries- Like really! Now I want to get my own horse and train em to do competitive trail riding. Really, I just want to do everything, but ctr is on my top 5 list.
You. Are. An. Awesomefrigginfantasticalamazing trainer. I mean, how old were you when you got her? And how long had you been riding? I've been riding for three years now and I know I couldn't do that yet.
I love Baby Girl and all her sass. And Cat too! She's soooo pretty. I really hope you get that national.
Good luck in Uwharrie!
I can't believe you read all my journals! And liked them. Whenever I read back, I either laugh or cringe! If you're ever in my neighborhood, you can CTR with me any time.
When I got Baby Girl, I was 13 or 14, I believe. I had been doing weekly lessons for about eight months.
Thank you for the well wishes! I read your post for the first time on my way to Uwharrie (couldn't reply as I was on my phone) and was thoroughly encouraged! The national (barely) survived another ride. I have very interesting (for lack of a better word) ride story to report tomorrow.
XD LOVE THAT GIF. Ahhhh. I did! Actually, yours is probably the only journal I've read that I actually liked. I feel like I can read your words in your voice even if I don't know you. X)
Are you serious?! You're amazing! I can't even think of anything else to say! Really! 13/14? And only eight months? You must've really studied before you got Baby Girl. XD I live far away from you, but now I want to visit just to see you. That sounds really creepy.
You must tell your story. I love you and Baby Girl.
Nuff said. Posted via Mobile Device
Ha ha! Not creepy at all! If I ever do some rides in the west (I've always wanted to visit region 4), we can meet halfway.
I wouldn't call myself amazing! I have generalized anxiety disorder, Tourette's, and OCD. Feeling "hunted" all the time helped me understand horses. Understanding the way horses see things is half of horse training. Made me a quick study! (I actually started this very journal on my doctor's recommendation! )
Prairiewindlady, tell me about your new pony! How exciting!
Before Uwharrie, I believed I was the determined one. The one too stubborn to give up. I thought if I quit, Baby Girl would quit. It was up to me to carry us through. To take care of us both.
I was wrong.
It rained all of Friday. We set out Saturday morning into the chilly mist of the Uwharrie Mountains. Baby Girl rated herself perfectly behind Motion, and all I had to do was keep out of her way.
20 minutes into the ride, I glanced down and noticed the renegade on Baby Girl's right front foot was hanging around her ankle. I leapt off, surprised it had become dislodged (since adjusting the fit, I haven't had a boot come off.) And then I freaked out.
The wire that connected the heel captivator to the boot shell was frayed and broken. I inspected the mud covered heel captivator and found the back was slightly cracked. (We later surmised that Baby Girl, who was wearing back shoes, over reached caught the front boot.)
The left front boot had also been dinged in the back. I removed both boots, placed them in my saddle bag, and decided we had maybe five miles with bare front feet before we would have to pull. Her sole hadn't even healed from the abscess. And that was caused by one little rock. Uwharrie is the rockiest ride in region five. Rocks ranging from finger sized to the size of a basketball littered the trails so thickly in some places you couldn't see the ground. Palm sized pieces of sharp white quartz were interspersed as well. Like arrow heads.
Every step could be out last, and I knew it. I had a small panic attack. Have you ever felt like you could burst into tears and vomit at the same time?
Baby Girl focused intently on the trail. She got smart quickly and picked over the worst of the rocks. That's not to say she didn't hit some bad spots, or that it didn't hurt. It hurt, but she kept on. 5 miles. 10 miles. 15 miles. Sarah let me ride in front for a while. If it hurt too much, Baby Girl would surely have stopped. I decided to let her decide when this was too much.
30 miles. Sore over rocks, but sound on soft stuff. Baby Girl kept the 5 mph pace without my help. She trotted when she found what she thought was a good stretch to trot. She walked when she needed to walk.
Back at camp, vet checks. Mike, who is already the toughest vet judge I know, had plenty to pick apart. Surprisingly though, it wasn't her legs. Her back. Her back was so amazingly sore. Withers, mid back, loins. Plus her girth.
Meanwhile, I was trying my best to get a farrier out to put some shoes on BG's fronts. Unfortunately, I couldn't reach anyone.
To my incredible surprise, BG passed Sunday morning's vet checks and was cleared to go out for our final 20 miles. She conducted herself in this final leg with a grim determination. It was as if she had set her sights on finishing this CTR even though I myself had thrown the ride immediately after the loss of the boots. It was all her at that point. Sore feet, sore back, grumpy, and tenacious.
And she did it. 50 miles on broken little feet. I never would have thought.
After we vetted out (and Mike marked up her card until it looked like someone had bled on it), I laid my head against her shoulder and told her I was really, really sorry. Because that seemed like an appropriate thing to say. I quit on her mentally. But she never quit on me. There is no quit in that mare.
(And I thought back to a conversation I had with Amy months ago about animal communication, shortly before my first session with Colleen. "Anyone can communicate with animals. You just have to open to it. Animals speak to you telepathically. Little words, feelings, and phrases that feel out of place and random."
"If you got my back, I'll go on."
That random phrase came from nowhere at all and stuck in my mind. I wanted to record it here, so I won't forget. Next time I talk to Colleen, I'll mention it.)
So rehab began. It's going to be hard work getting her ready to do another ride next weekend. She looked so spent. Her back was massively sore, so I gave her a gram of bute Sunday night. And we went home.
The next morning, I inspected her more closely. Her back was still sore, and her abscess is open again. Abscesses form a "cavern" after they heal -- a hollow spot in the sole. Her hollow spot was caved in at Uwharrie and is at risk of re-infection. I'm sanitizing it twice a day and keeping it clean. Light round pen work tomorrow to loosen her back up. I turned her out in the big pasture today with a grazing muzzle to let her walk around with her friends for a few hours. Then back to the little paddock.
Oh Baby Girl. Sometimes words fail to communicate how special I think you are.
Ahhh! That'd be awesome! But I'd have to get a horse first, so I'll tell you when I do. Then maybe we could plan something. X) I'm excited now.
Really? That's amazing! You might not think it, but I do.
Uwharrie sounded tough! That's awesome that Baby Girl pushed herself to finish it! Hope she feels better soon.
Are you training her for endurance or are you just doing competitive trail? Posted via Mobile Device
At first, I was purely doing CTRs as prep for endurance. CTRs are a more controlled setting and teaches horses to pace themselves and behave. You also have a lot more time with the vet than in endurance, so it's a lovely place to start. I was originally going to move out of CTRs when I thought BG was ready, but I've found I really like NATRC more than I intended. NATRC is like endurance... With style. You can't just have an athletic horse. You have to have an athletic, quiet, sane, sensitive, well trained horse. In my opinion, NATRC is harder to master than endurance.
I still want to do a little endurance on the side. A couple 50s, when BG is ready mentally. (Honestly, she could probably do a 50 now.) At least one 100, just to say we can.
When I do get my first horse, we will definitely train for CTR. With style~ It does sound a little harder than endurance. Especially with all the little extra things thrown in.
Do you think she could? I mean I think she can. I know she can! She's tough that's for sure. Posted via Mobile Device