Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eastern Mojave - 155 miles

Feather and I completed our first multiday - 3 days in a row, 155 miles total. She did fantastic! Her back was great in her Freeform! For boots, we started out with 4 foamed on Bares/Easyboots with no gaiters, but we lost a front boot on day 1 and day 3, so we ended up with Epics on the fronts, foamed on Bares in the back. Next ride, I'll just start with the Epics in the front, not sure about the back hooves. The terrain was sand and rock, single track and roads through the desert. There was every type of cactus you can imagine.. Feather got a few needles in her hind legs and I had to pull them out - they were big! I learned that she needs interference boots on her hind ankles, so I bought those at the ride from Horses Dacor. I had the opportunity to ride with Les and Jill Carr and Tulip. Tulip has over 19,000 endurance miles, and Les over 40,000. I learned so much about pacing and taking care of the horses. They let their horses eat a lot on the trail, just how Feather likes. Also, they trotted for about 3 or 4 minutes, then walked for about 30 seconds. They kept up this pace throughout the whole ride, Feather totally dug it! Just as your heart rate elevates, come down to a walk and eat. I love it - I will practice it and get more confident with it. It won't win me any races, but I really just want to finish and see the terrain.

On Day 2, the trail was longer, 55 miles, and we finished after dark, so I got to ride in the desert in the moonlight. So cool! My body was very tired after day 2, but on day 3, I woke up feeling great. I felt even better after I took my electrolyte tablets. I will have to remember to electrolyte myself more often. Should help with the aches and pains.

I met Robin Hood and Vicky Giles. Hood is a mustang that has LOTS of endurance miles. He won Day 3 and got best condition! Go mustangs. He is a big boy, with lots of go.

Kirt and Gina Lander with Renegade Boots was there, we got to meet them and they helped us at the vet check. They also showed me how to correctly fit their boots. I really like their new wider captivator, it is very nice for the horses. They emphasized not tightening down the top velcro too much on the heel captivator, make sure their is a finger in the velcro when you tighten it down. Also, they stressed having a long enough foot bed for the hoof. I will double check everyone's boots to make sure the fit is correct.

Feather looks fantastic, and our next ride will be a 3 day at the Cuyama Oaks ride over Easter weekend.

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