Traveled 3.5 hrs to my first endurance event and am totally addicted. We had a great vet in with all A's pre-ride. Set out at 7:30 am the next day at a brisk 30 degrees. I was super nervous and Gem was feeding off me until a wonderful group of ladies took me under their wing and showed my the ropes. It is a good thing too or I don't think we would ahve finished in time. Not beacuse Gem couldn't, but because I didn't realize the pace required. She wanted to go much faster and I ended up holding her back a lot for the first 13 miles. Pulsed in right off the trail at 52 bpm at a 64 limit, so I really could have let her go the speed she chose. She would have been happier too. Let her pick the pace the second half with more cantering involved and ended up with a ride time of 3 hrs 40 minutes with a 50 minute mandatory hold so a total time of 4.5 hrs. Not bad for my first event! I ended up holding her back at the 23 mile mark and having the group go on ahead to make her trail ride alone. I figured she had just gone 23 miles and home was dead ahead, so it was a great time to get her some solo time. I ended up in 8th and the group I was with took 4-6th, so had I stayed up with them I might have ribboned. We pulsed ina t 58 off the trail at 25 miles with a limit of 60 and got all A's at the post-ride vet in. I got a cute hat for a completion prize.
A big THANK you to fellow forum member Natisha who volunteered her stalls and barnyard to strangers to crash in. It took a lot of the stress away and we really enjoyed her sense of humor and company.
Pics to follow!