going the distance - my endurance adventures - Page 216 - The Horse Forum
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post #2151 of 2256 Old 07-04-2019, 10:11 AM
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BTW, is Mu huge or does he just appear that way? He is full Arab isn't he?


One more Q re the endurance camp Kathy and Lani went to, that sounds interesting. Is that something for newbie riders too? I used to go to Adult Dressage camps in my early dressage riding days, and really enjoyed it. Was wondering if the Endurance camps have teaching or practice rides or something. Or is it more for young horses?
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post #2152 of 2256 Old 07-04-2019, 11:09 AM
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Wow, you did so great for that crushing heat and being in pain. You are amazing.

Quote:
That issue was news to me and wish I had known it beforehand as maybe I wouldn't have gotten on. Windsor was supposedly a been-there, done-that babysitter suitable for beginners.. which he sure isn't IMO.
That incident reminds me so much of my effort to ride my neighbor's horse Danny, who we thought was so quiet and gentle. He bolted with me for no reason at all and ran through thick underbrush and scrub for a whole mile before I could get him stopped. I just couldn't believe it.

I was wondering the same thing about potty breaks on endurance rides. I had a good friend who was taken hostage and held at knife point for 9 hours, and I asked her how in the world she went to the bathroom. She said that she was on her way to the bathroom when the man grabbed her! She said that when your body is under that much stress, everything kind of shuts down and she never did go to the bathroom the whole 9 hours.

I hope now that you are home, you are getting the chance to take it easy and rest. Such a good job with Mu!!!
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post #2153 of 2256 Old 07-04-2019, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
is Mu huge or does he just appear that way? He is full Arab isn't he?

One more Q re the endurance camp Kathy and Lani went to, that sounds interesting. Is that something for newbie riders too? I used to go to Adult Dressage camps in my early dressage riding days, and really enjoyed it. Was wondering if the Endurance camps have teaching or practice rides or something. Or is it more for young horses?
Mu is a full arab, bred by Asgard Arabians (who breed specifically for endurance and race horses). His pedigree is here. He was supposed to be small, but I guess "small" is relative. Mu is almost as tall as Flo, who supposedly sticks at 16h. I try hard not to think about it..

Kathy and Lani were at eventing camp. They go every year with some of their hunt horses, to work on both the horses and themselves. The instructor is a Big Name Trainer (Sharon White of Last Frontier Farm), but she is apparently very good with all level riders and horses. Lani suggested I go with them next year (they would lend me one of their hunt horses), but I am pretty weenie about jumping..

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Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
That incident reminds me so much of my effort to ride my neighbor's horse Danny, who we thought was so quiet and gentle. He bolted with me for no reason at all and ran through thick underbrush and scrub for a whole mile before I could get him stopped. I just couldn't believe it.
This is horrifying.. I think I would rather be bucked off than bolted with. I am glad you were ok!!

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Originally Posted by SwissMiss View Post
but if you drink that much: do you need to include breaks during the loops or do you sweat most of it off?
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Originally Posted by AnitaAnne View Post
Do any endurance riders (females esp) ever have to take potty breaks on the trail, and if so how do they manage?
While I try hard to time my liquid intake to mean potty breaks during the holds.. sometimes it doesn't work out that way. True die-hard racers just hold it (we joke "there is no pee in 'winning'"), but most normal people will just pull over on trail.

Depending on the circumstance, you may try to get off trail but often that isn't an option, so generally you turn the horse sideways across the trail and squat on the up-trail side of the horse's front legs. Since I had Kathy with me, I was able to hand Mu's rope to her and step off the trail.

The potty break is actually something I make a point to practice during training rides, even if I don't actually have to go, just so the horse is used to the concept. Just be careful about offering cookies when you are done or the horse may reach down and try to mug you for treats while you are still squatting!


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #2154 of 2256 Old 07-04-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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On Monday, I hopped on Phin to walk Kestrel. We just moseyed around Alimar, as I only wanted to remind Phin that he wasn't feral. He was a very good boy.



1.89 miles, 177 feet of climb, 3.4 mph average pace, 86F real feel


After finishing with Phin, I went out to play with Link. The ground was finally dry enough I felt like the round pen would be ok in case of silly behavior. I took out a brush, a pad, the surcingle, his bridle, and some fly boots. As I walked out past Phin, his eyes bugged out in horror and he trotted away with his tail over his back, snorting all the way. Link, however, followed me right into the round pen on his own. It was hard for me to get the halter on him because he was so interested in all the new toys I brought!



I knew Link had worn tack at least once as I had pictures of him wearing a saddle in a round pen when he was at the trainer's as a young two year old, but I had no idea how much was done or if he would remember any of it. I figured starting from the beginning was the best thing. I knew he was fine with being groomed so began with that (which he loved as he's super itchy - the bugs are awful no matter what we do it seems). I then asked him to move off around the pen, which he did with only minor encouragement. I was able to get walk, trot, and turns with only minor cues, which I was thrilled over. His whoa is actually much better in the pen than when being led (something I need to work on).

After a few minutes of free longe work, I caught him and brought him back to the center. Again, Link thought everything on the ground was a toy. I picked up the pad, rubbed it all over him, and he wanted to chew on it. I put it on his back and he wanted to bend around, grab it with his teeth and toss it around! Same reaction with the surcingle. I was laughing so hard it was amazing I got anything done at all. Putting on the bridle finally stopped him from trying to grab everything else. Nothing I did phased him.

I walked him around as I slowly tightened the girth on the surcingle and he never so much as flicked an ear (or course by then he had the bit to chomp on). The first time I asked him to move away in the pen, he just went like nothing had changed. Walk and trot and turns without so much as a hop.






I was absolutely thrilled with how Link behaved. He was actually much more worried about the fly boots than anything else (I put the boots on after taking everything else off). I wish I had a video of him goose-stepping around after me because of the weird things on his legs.. but he never tried to do anything silly (I put them on one leg at a time and walked him around the pen in between, just in case). Fly boots may be a great way to teach Spanish walk!!

When I was finished, I walked Link out of the pen and into the middle of the paddock to let him go. He followed me back into the pen while I picked all the stuff up, then followed me to the gate trying to pull things out of my hands! He stood at the gate watching me go as if I had taken away all his fun. Sure a different attitude than Phin, who yet again saw me coming with all the stuff and high-tailed it out of the catch paddock snorting with his tail over his back.

I had hoped to get another chance to work with Link this week, but momma nature had other ideas as it stormed off and on all day Tuesday and yesterday. I got this pic yesterday afternoon:



This place is surely my pot of gold!!


Tomorrow we are off to the next ride with Phin and George, so fingers and toes crossed the heat breaks as predicted..


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #2155 of 2256 Old 07-08-2019, 09:35 AM
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At our last ride my friend stopped to take a potty break on trail. We were a little ahead of her and her horse managed to knock her over, pull the reins out of her hand and go sprinting down the trail. I had to catch him (thankfully he ran smack into me) and pony him back to her!

There's a well known story in our group of a lady who stopped to take a potty break and her horse pulled away from her. The horse flew down the trail (staying on trail), got his picture taken by the photographer, and went back to his trailer!
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post #2156 of 2256 Old 07-08-2019, 11:28 AM
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I think the bathroom break issue is probably one of the biggest differences in "things that are difficult on the trail" for men and women. As a guy you can just get off the horse and go. You could probably even do it while walking the horse if you were careful about it. I'm pretty sure at least one of my sons has just stood up on their horse and gone off the side of the trail without ever getting off the horse. Girls have a much harder time of it. Up here it isn't a big deal, they are so few people around that your chances of seeing a bear are WAY higher than seeing another person while out riding but back east where public land for riding is more sparse it concentrates more riders into smaller areas and I am guessing that makes things difficult at times for the logistics of being able to take a restroom break in the woods. Even as a guy you would have to worry more about it so you weren't an unwelcome trail surprise for somebody riding by.

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post #2157 of 2256 Old 07-08-2019, 12:35 PM
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So happy Link is doing so well! LOL, he reminds me of Promise on how he thinks everything is a toy. So adorable. What a good boy!!! Haha he was probably like ummm what are these on my legs?!!! Hellllllp! I love the rainbow too!

Leading him when not in the roundpen is a good idea, just lots of walking & woah-ing will do the trick. He will get used to it!

Ride more, worry less.
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post #2158 of 2256 Old 07-09-2019, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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On Friday afternoon, we headed a couple hours south to the Muckleratz ride with George and Phin. The weather had been hot and humid all week, but forecasters promised a break for the weekend. We got to camp right as it opened and got our normal spot:



That spot is about as far from the vet/hold area as you can get and still be IN camp, but it's shady and quiet and nobody can park us in! The heat and humidity were awful, so I was thankful the horses were in the shade. Only a handful of other rigs came in that evening and they all parked in the main part of camp. We had a potluck supper with some friends, then went to bed early. The temperature never really dropped overnight so I was sweating more than sleeping.

We were up and out for our pre-ride first thing Saturday morning, before the temperature got any worse. Phin and George were both very good for their leg stretch.



We spent the rest of the day getting things ready and sweating profusely. The predicted cool down did not happen! The horses vetted in without issue and seemed very happy to be back in the shade.



Just before dinner and meeting time, the sky got black. We had been lucky to miss the storms the day before.. and our luck rain out. We got over an inch of rain in about an hour, though luckily there wasn't much lightning.


Everyone hoped the storm meant the predicted cold front had come through, but yet again the weatherman lied. The humidity was still horrible and the temperature only dropped a few degrees. Things didn't cool off much overnight.

In the morning, the boys were very chill to tack - probably because the air was just about solid. It was so foggy you couldn't even see the far side of camp!



I was riding with Cathy and Epyc again. We let the front runners (George & DH included) leave camp and then moseyed out to start the first 20 mile loop.



By the time we climbed to the top of the mountain, we were actually in the clouds. It was so humid that just riding along was causing everything to be wet.



This ride has fantastic footing. Phin was happy to lead the way, though we kept winding up with more company than we had hoped. One lady in particular kept playing yoyo games with us that upset Epyc, who does not like having horses pass him.



Just as we were finishing the loop, the fog started lifting a bit. However, that meant the sun came out, sending the temperature soaring. It made the dew on the flowers really stand out (this picture doesn't do it justice).



By the time we got back down into camp, we were back in fog world. We came into camp, pulled tack, and threw a bit of water on the horses. Both vetted through without concerns, though the humidity was just oppressive.



George and DH were also in the hold. George was being fussy about eating and a friend took him to graze while DH took care of himself. Phin was happy to stand with Epyc and chow down.



The hold flew by, as it generally does when you are trying to deal with the horse and yourself. Phin did fairly well dealing with the electrolytes, only being briefly insulted afterwards.



to be continued..


There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #2159 of 2256 Old 07-09-2019, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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part 2:

We left camp for the second 20 mile loop without any extra people, though a pair of riders we had been leap frogging with were only a couple minutes behind. We expected them to catch and pass us early in the loop, but we actually never saw them again!



The fog was gone from the top of the mountain, but the sun was out. It didn't feel too bad in the shade, but being out in the open was quite unpleasant.



The loop rode very nicely even the second time. Management had water tanks out every 3 miles or so, which was wonderful. It was great to be able to sponge (and I was sponging both Phin and myself every time!) and the horses drank well.



It was starting to cloud up as we worked our way back down in to camp. We were happy to see the sun disappear, but were not pleased to find camp was still a solid mass of humidity. We pulled tack and took a few moments to throw water, though both horses pulsed without issue. It was nice to be wet with water versus soaked in sweat!



We had some help this hold, which was wonderful. The boys ate and drank well. Phin was more insulted after his electrolytes this time, even with the applesauce chaser. His girth area was also showing some sensitivity, which I worried might happen as I suspected I need to adjust his saddle.



The last loop was 10 miles. We went up the same climb and found the sun was out once we got to the top.



The boys were a bit unenthused to start with, but really picked up once we turned off the trail we had done twice previously. This loop was my favorite.



By the time we got halfway around the loop, the clouds had returned and the rain started to fall. As much as I hate being wet, the rain actually felt good as it was cooler than sweating (and I was soaked from sweat already anyway).



We got back to camp and the rain continued. We actually went from the finish line back to the trailers to untack, so the saddles didn't have to sit out in the rain while we vetted. Momma nature provided all the cooling we needed and we went right to the vetting. Trying to keep the ride card dry was a bit entertaining, but Phin vetted through without issue.






Epyc and Phin tied for 10th. George and DH also finished without issue, tying with a friend for 7th.



We let the boys hang out for a couple hours and then packed up to go home. Normally, we prefer to stay and let the horses rest, but DH had to work Monday and it wasn't too long a drive. The "chance of showers" predicted for overnight Sunday wound up being over two inches of rain, so I am very glad the boys were home and not stuck standing in those pens!



There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #2160 of 2256 Old 07-09-2019, 11:46 PM
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Lovely ride! Scenery is very nice and the footing looks really good.

Congratulations to you both! Top ten for George and Phin! YAY
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