In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

The Scramble

The clock is ticking.

Fandango is nearly here.

I have SO MUCH to do:  Wash tack, pre-measure supplements, pack hay, load panels, clean trailer tack room and truck cab, pack camper, prepare horse feed, prepare human meals, pack clothes, touch up hooves, cut comfort pads, charge camper battery, buy propane and beet pulp and coconut water…not to mention riding…

I’m pretty sure this would be easier if I didn’t work full time.  But the paycheck is nice.  I digress.

I have decided to complicate my life further by taking two horses to the ride.  (Ugh.  Buddies.)  Encouraged by my extremely experienced, unofficial mentor, Karen Bumgarner, I have decided that Consolation is likely up to two days and Acey up to her first 50.  EXCITING!!!  And a little scary.  But not too scary.  Ever so slowly, I am getting through my thick skull an understanding of how capable horses are of retaining their fitness over long periods with relatively little work.

So here’s the plan — subject, as always, to change:

Day 1:  50 on Consolation.  This should be pretty managable.  I don’t know yet whether I’ll be riding with anyone, but Consolation is fine with heading out alone.  The complicating factor this time will be Acey’s presence in camp.  Last time she came along, Consolation hollered for her for a good 5 miles.  Embarassing, but what’re you going to do?  The good news is that all holds are out of camp, so we won’t have a repeat performance on every loop.  Last time, she pulsed down fine at the finish despite wanting to get back to her buddy.

Day 2:  50 on Acey.  I think she’s up to it.  I’ll keep the pace sane and probably slower than Acey would prefer.  The trail consists of two, 25-mile loops out of camp.  This could be good if Acey doesn’t do as well as I anticipate, and it’s always easier not to have to pack for out checks.  However, Acey threw an absolute fit about leaving Consolation last time I took her to ride camp.  That was 1.5 years ago, though, and she’s come a long way in training and confidence.  Worst case scenario, I have to lead her the first mile in hand.  Worst-worst case scenario, I have to recruit help to have someone bring Consolation over so we can pulse down.  (Blech, I really don’t wanna do that!)

Another question mark about Acey is water crossing.  The only other time I’ve had a chance to try her over water, the creek was very low.  It wasn’t a problem, but it wasn’t a knee (or more) deep spring rush like it will be this time.  On the other hand, Acey grew up in a large pasture bisected by a creek that the herd crossed multiple times per day, so maybe she’ll take it in stride like Consolation did on her first ride.

Day 3:  60 on Consolation?  This will depend how she looks after resting on Saturday.  If she looks tired or footsore, we’ll skip it.  Assuming we do the ride, we’ll again have the anti-buddy benefit of out checks and a familiar trail.

And now, it’s time to get busy.  I want to put a moderately-paced, 20-25 mile ride on Acey today, followed by a short ride tomorrow, before she takes the rest of the week mostly off (we’ll still do enough to keep her limber and safe from tying up).  Up and at ’em!



8 responses

  1. Rosanne

    Maybe I’m weird, but all the pre-ride preparations and packing seems kind of fun for me. 🙂 It’s the unpacking and putting everything away once we get home, that I dislike.
    Our horses are the opposite-the one that is heading out on the trail is always happy and excited to go-while the one left back in camp has to holler every five minutes for the first hour of the ride. One of the ‘perks’ of crewing for my husband is, I’m the lucky one that gets to deal with an unhappy horse back in camp. It doesn’t seem to matter how much food I leave in their pen, or how much comfort I try to give. Plus, we always try to camp next to someone else that is leaving a horse back in camp, so our guys don’t feel abandoned. As I write this, our one horse is yelling out to his buddy that my husband took out on a training ride this morning. He doesn’t seem to care that he’s got the rest of his herd right here! Horses. Ya gotta love em. 🙂
    Good luck on the Fandango! I’m excited to hear how Acey does on her first ride!

    May 19, 2012 at 7:57 am

  2. Jacke

    How on earth do you get that kind of good information before a ride? Asking is kind of discouraged outside of the ride meeting itself here.

    Good luck on both the girls☺

    May 19, 2012 at 9:01 am

    • You mean about the trails and such? Around here, ride management often posts trail maps or notes online in advance of the ride. It’s very nice — I wish all rides did that!

      May 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

  3. sj

    Have a good ride.


    May 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

  4. What is the coconut water used for?

    May 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  5. I can’t wait to hear how the girls do! Have fun!!

    May 20, 2012 at 7:06 am

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