Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Death Valley

Logan and I had a blast!! We both finished 2 50 mile rides and one 25 mile ride for 125 miles total in 3 days. This was quite a feat - Logan had never ridden a 50 before, and he really enjoyed himself, and Feather had only done 1 50 previous. The girls look like they have been standing in the pasture for days and haven't done a thing. That is awesome, and what I think endurance is all about. We finished our 50s with a ride time of about 8 and a half hours. The terrain was so rocky - volcanic rock - mixed with areas of sand that we could move out on - but the majority was rock.

We foamed on Easyboots in the front and foamed Bares with no gators on the backs. Feather lost one hind boot, so I had to replace it with a regular Bare for the rides. A buckle sheared off on a front boot, so we had to pull the whole buckle and cable off the boot and ride with no hardware, but surprisingly, that boot stayed on the whole week. Annie lost both of her front foamed on boots, so she ended up with regular Epics with pads for the rides on her fronts. Also a bungee broke on her hind boot, so we just unscrewed it but the Easyfoam kept the boot adhered to the hoof well. I think I had trouble with the foam because it was really cold here when I foamed them and I don't think the foam set up properly. Next time, I will make sure that I bring the foam inside to warm it and mix it and probably work with the horses in a warm garage instead of a cold barn.

I really liked the atmosphere of the multi-days - it was geared towards finishing slower, with a horse that is ready to go the next day, not racing your horse too fast. We really liked it! I think we may need to get a new trailer with living quarters if we are going to do more of these type of rides. Oh, there were wild burros on the trail! Lots of burro poop and hoof prints. I saw a band of wild horses as we were driving home. A kit fox stole our dog food one night - he even stole the cans! The horses backs looked fabulous with their Freeform saddles with Haf pads. Highly recommend them!! We learned so much about our horses this week, and I was so proud to see Logan and Annie be successful!

Some photos that Karen Chaton took are here - we are in the front of the series and the back of the series:

My favorite is this one:

and this one:

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