Piece by piece, this Fandango decision is getting to be more of a puzzle rather than less.
I rode Consolation 8 miles last night (as far as I thought I should go just a few days before a potential 50), and she felt very close to normal. Maybe she was 100%, and I was just being hyperaware, but I don’t think so. Not quite. She definitely had some real power under the hood, and asking her to move out no longer felt like flipping a disconnected switch. She wanted to canter, though she snarled through the transitions a bit. This may be related to the fact that she’s in season. She felt energetic and smooth. She stalled out a couple times on the long, gradual hill, but her muscle tone seemed fine and when asked to continue, she trotted on up with no issues.
…and then, and 10:30 last night, I got an email from Christoph with the Global Endurance Training Center. I’d asked if he’d be willing to take a look at Consolation’s feet tomorrow despite the full-day clinic being cancelled. He kindly said he’d have been glad to, but they decided not to come to Idaho after all. So, that “perk” is off the list.
That leaves the ride itself. I really want to ride. I really want to see folks. I really want to support Steph for her determination to NOT CANCEL despite low attendance due to the EHV-1 scare.
On the other hand, ride fees will probably be unusually high because fewer people are contributing to the cost of holding the ride. I’ve already put a lot of money lately into my new-to-me horse trailer and other horse requirements. I could use the extra cash toward a HRM with GPS, both so I can better monitor Consolation and so I’m safer (or at least easier to find) while starting all these greenies on the trail.
Furthermore, if I do the ride, I’ll be doing it rather slowly. Given the small number of riders, that almost certainly means that we’ll do most of the ride alone, which is okay with me but makes for a mentally challenging day for my horse. It also means we’d keep the poor vet and volunteers waiting out in the sun at the hold just for us, well after the other riders have come through.
Most importantly, I want to do the right thing by my partner.