Saturday, August 23, 2008

The ride continues

The wonderful trail was soon to end. We arrived at the highway 94 crossing...crossed over and found a big tank of water. I hopped off in to the mud and quickly sponged both horses.

Shana worried because Red refused to drink...soon we went up the trail again. Here it turned Rocky and steep in places. The footing of Rocks intermixed with sand made for some treacherous footing for our "un-padded" horses feet.

Falcon took the word "ROCKS" to the extreme and would slow to a walk everytime I said it...which was frequent, but I wanted our horses to come out of this ride UNINJURED!

There were more water stops...still Red would not drink, while Falcon slurped every chance that he got.

Soon we topped the ridge and were able to trot and canter again. Prior to 94 we had made very good time, but now I was worried...But we made it into the vet check around 1120. We were a little confused as to where the vet check was and we wasted some time figuring out what to do at that point.

But Shana had me grab our bag from the side of the road and we yanked the horses saddles off and walked down to P & R. Falcon was at 60....yeahhhhhhh!

So then I went to vet him in. He did not want to trot out and he did NOT want the vet to listen to his gut sounds. He kept charging around and being a BAD BOY!
They told me that he was earning a trailer ride back to base camp.

I almost cried! They felt sorry for me I guess, gave him a C and told me to come back 10 min before our 40 min hold time was up. This time he trotted out better and a nice person fed him horsey snacks while they finally gave him an A- for gut sounds.

Usually I can tack up in no time flat. Now, after 14 miles, my arms felt like lead as I hoisted the saddle up on Falcon then helped Shana with hers while she held the horses.

I crawled up on Falcons back and wished that the PB & J sandwhich and fresh cold gatorade would give me some energy.

Out of camp we went at a walk. The horses thought that they were done for the day and just plodded along. In several places we werent sure whether we were going the right way or not, but decided to follow the numerous horse tracks.

It was difficult to motivate the horses to move on down the trail. It seemed like the hills were longer and more frequent and when we arrived at the base of the "mile long hill" both of the horses STOPPED dead in their tracks along with another gal and her horse.

It was redicules, none of them wanted to budge, but finally Falcon took on the hill and the other two horses followed. That was the longest hill in my mind of the day.

Wonderful water tanks were at the top and Falcon slurped...I don't know if Red did or not. I was too tired to care. After that hill remained more ups and downs and ups and downs and when we reached the narrow switchback trail, I was encouraged that we were close to home...but still worried that we wouldnt make it back in time.

I stopped at the creek to let Falcon slurp again, but then urged him onward. We then heard voices, 2 55 milers were blowing down the trail and took off at a canter past us on the jeep road.

Red pulled out and took off behind them leaving billows of dust....Falcon picked up the pace and we zoomed after them. I yelled at Shana to slow down, but only because I couldnt see or breath from all of the dust...but we cantered most of the way until I suggested that we walk. the FINISH line was in sight! YEAHHHHHHHHHH

I choked up again, not from the dust, but with the emotion of it all. We had made it!

Well not really, we had 20 min left to vet in the horses and have a pules of 60. We walked the horses to the trailer and ripped off their saddles, then walked back to the P&R.

Red the "wild card, no good pony clubber, non gaiting Missouri Fox Trotter" went straight through P&R with a pulse of like 48 or something crazy like that and vetted right through.

Falcon on the other hand was 86 and all excited with the commotion of the 55 milers racing in, diesal trucks and golf carts motoring about. P&R checked him again and said NO WAY he is 74. Then he told me to keep his head up, sponge him and not let him eat....This time he gave him a pulse of 60 with ONE MINUTE to spare....sheesh that was CLOSE!

Then to the vets, Trot Out, then pulse again, 64. Then cripes, they pulled US AGAIN for the second time that day for the CRI....trot out again, pulse at 60....YEAHHHHH! and THANK YOU FALCON for standing STILL for the GUT SOUNDS....I LOVE YOU HORSEY!

WE FINISHED-if there had been a turtle award, we would have won it for sure!

Suddenly I felt hungry....

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