(Miss Daizy) WTF? The Lady says we’re gonna get up at 2:00 am and drive 3 hours Saturday morning to ride 25 miles because She doesn’t want me to stand in the rain all night? Seriously? I can stand in the rain, She bought me a rain coat! It’s even yellow!!!
The rain started a little earlier than anticipated. It was over at lunch time out at the ride in western Pennsylvania. Here in eastern Pennsylvania, the deluge went on until supper time. We left in heavy downpours and by the time we hit Harrisburg, the clouds were breaking up. So Miss Daizy did not have to get up at 2:00 am Saturday morning, instead she traveled on Friday as originally planned.
I arrived at camp around 5:00 pm and was instantly greeted by Sallie. HI SALLIE! She was my welcoming committee and what a welcome I got. I love Sallie to pieces. Her and I met many years ago when I wanted to do my first 50 mile ride on Numbers, but reached out to the endurance fan club looking for a riding partner. With some trepidation, Sallie said she’d ride with me (on Mr. Kirby) and it was a grand time! We’ve been friends ever since.
I realized that I had no internet connection and only one bar of cell service so I was limited to texting. With that said, I just shut my phone off and took the time to be disconnected from the world and just concentrate on some “me-time” with Miss Daizy. The ground was soaked and very soggy so I decided not to set up my tent. I decided that since I’m short, I should be able to sleep comfortably in the back of my truck. It worked out rather well actually.
I got Miss Daizy all vetted in and then took her to her camp setup. She is too funny. She watches me like a hawk when she’s at a ride in her corral. In this photo, I had walked around the back of the trailer and she was waiting for me to come back. She was looking and calling and after I snapped this picture I said her name and she trotted over to me as if to say, “Whew, I thought you were lost, Lady.”
What a fun reunion this ride is … everyone knows everyone and we spent hours at supper just talking and catching up. Betty throws a wonderful party here at the Glass Rides. It was a BYOF dinner and there were so many yummy dishes it was hard for me not to go back for a third plateful. I thought it prudent to minimize my stomach weight for Miss Daizy to carry the next day.
On a new note, remember the above statement about Miss Daizy watching me? Well, she joined us for supper and the reunion. Yes, she got out of her pen and came down to the supper area looking for me. How embarrassing. At least she didn’t act like a crazy horse running all through camp screaming at the top of her lungs. She knew EXACTLY where I went and she just came down to make sure I was still there. When I put her back in the pen, I made several “pen keeper” adjustments to make sure she could not follow me around any more.
Do you notice all the heavy jackets? It is mid-May and it is very brisk. The temperature when I arrived was only 58 degrees. That night sleeping, it dropped below freezing and I woke up around 3:00 am because my nose was frozen. The rest of me was pretty warm and cozy under two handmade quilts, but my nose was a problem.
I spent an hour with LeeAnne, Tiffany, Lauren and Adrienne at LeeAnne’s camp drinking wine and shooting the breeze until after dark. Around 9:30 pm we noticed that the camp had gone very very quiet and we were still making a racket. Ooops. I decided to go check on Miss Daizy and turn in for the night. I had downloaded a new book on Kindle and thought I’d read for awhile in the back seat of my truck. It was really chilly and although Miss Daizy lives outside 24/7, I thought I should put a sheet on her. SHE WAS NOT AMUSED.
The wine, the reading and the heavy warm quilts put me to sleep around 10:30 pm and I slept really well until my nose got cold. After that it was a fitful sleep, waking every 30 minutes or so … that got tiresome so I just got up at 5:00 am and fed Miss Daizy, cleaned the poops from her corral, got some coffee and played some chess on my kindle. Here comes Sallie, interrupting my chess game (chuckle) so I got up off my fat ass and grabbed Miss Daizy to walk around camp and eat some grass (Miss Daizy, not me!) We had a glorious visit talking about all kinds of things. I asked her some personal questions about her cancer recovery and she answered them with no hesitation.
I decided it was time to put on my riding clothes and get tacked up. Miss Daizy was NOT ready to stop eating that dew soaked grass so after she was tacked up and we’re ready to go, I walked over to camp with Adrienne, LeeAnne and Tiffany to let her keep eating. I was starting the ride with Adrienne and Kevin. I rode with Adrienne on Zayna at Cheshire. Miss Daizy really liked Zayna and lo & behold, she had not forgotten her. She greeted Zayne and Zayna greeted her back.
Time to go out on trail and Miss Daizy is as calm as a cucumber. I love this mare’s overall disposition at rides. No Crazy Daizy here (even if that *IS* her registered name). She just meanders over to the starting line and leaves calmly in her group. Loose rein and soft back. She’s so easy to ride.
The first couple miles were interesting as we climbed the mountain and the rain drenched trails were muddy muddy muddy. Once we were up off the lowlands, the trails weren’t bad at all. I was impressed, actually. I was expecting terrible trail conditions. The only thing that was an issue were the water runoff crossings. Miss Daizy wanted to bunny hop every one of them. On the second loop, she did a flying trapeze leap over one of them and it was very amusing to Mary and April, who were behind us.
We cranked out the first loop in an amazing 1 hour and 50 minutes. WOW. I mean, this is not a flat ride. You’re either going up or going down and there are some pretty steep trail conditions both ways. The views and the terrain is most remarkable. I really wnjoy this trail.
I was terribly impressed with Miss Daizy. She was barely puffing up and down those hills. Carrying my fat ass, that’s quite a feat. And remember, she’s a little bitty thing, barely 14.2 hands. What a tank she is! On Miss Daizy’s ride sheet, at the vet fly by on the first loop, someone made the comment “Moving Lickity-Split” I loved that! I think that should be Miss Daizy’s new motto.
At the halfway hold, Miss Daizy pulsed in very well, which was surprise #2. Again, she just worked really hard and she didn’t even break a full sweat. This is the ride picture from the first loop.
So, that also means a big mob of us started out on second loop at the same time. I wear a ton of jingle bells on my gear. Mostly because I ride alone and I want all the bikers on trail to hear me coming. It’s also a “Dodie-Thing”. Last year, many different people ride Miss Daizy while I was laid up with my back out. It was quite funny how they all donated a bell to her gear as a prize for riding her. At last count, we have 17 bells on the gear.
Okay, the reason I bring that up is that as we left for the second loop, we were riding behind two horses that were a little feisty to begin with. Apparently, the bells were driving them crazy. I tried to pass them twice but as I neared them, their asses flipped towards us in a very threatening manner. Finally, the two riders pulled off the trail so Adrienne and I could pass. Whew. They were probably saying, “Whew!”, too!
We were cranking out the second loop too fast so we started working a little bit with Zayna on rushing hills. I’d put Miss Daizy in front of her and we’d take the uphill at a reasonable pace instead of Zayna’s mad-dash gallop. I don’t know if Zayna figured anything out by that little training exercise or not, but it made me happier. Miss Daizy was following Zayna’s lead to mad-dash the uphills and I wanted to stop nip that in the bud. No mad dashing for you!
Kevin and Czar caught up to us, after Czar got his brain on, and we rode together most the second loop. We had great conversations on that loop.
Because we were moving so fast, we slowed way down the last couple miles, doing a lot of walking. Our minimum ride time was 1:17 pm arrival. We arrived at 1:20 pm. (grin)
Once again, a HUGE mob of us arrived at the same time and the P/R volunteers were right on the money getting us pulsed in. Miss Daizy was fully pulsed down at her 20 minute hold time. Her respiration was a little high for her (is was at 16 – she is usually around 10 to 12 for the final P/R) I had to give it to her. She just finished a difficult ride and I know I’d be huffing and puffing if I had to carry someone up and down those hill. Since her heart rate was at 42, I was not concerned at all.
We did our trot out (she’s so very very good for that) and left Adrienne and Zayna to go to our camp and wait for hands on. Miss Daizy was a nervous wreck. She wouldn’t eat or drink or relax. She kept looking and calling for Zayna. Finally, I gave in to her protests about being left alone and I walked her down to Adrienne’s camp so she could eat grass outside of Zayna’s pen. She ate like she had never seen grass before.
So, I had a great visit with Adrienne, LeeAnne and Tiffany while we waited for hands on. The horses mowed down the grass with great gusto. This is a photo of us waiting. Oh, and did I mention that Adrienne is also a yellow rider. Everyone at the ride thought we were The Yellow Team, riding together is our flashy gear.
Hand-on went very smoothly and remarkable, I didn’t hear many “points off” comments by either judge. I had hopes to finish in the top 10. Although I wanted to get on the road as soon as possible because it’s a 3.5 hour drive for us, I decided to stay for the awards ceremony. Dinner was most excellent, Thanksgiving in May. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy. Mmmmmmm.
The riders all presented Betty with a couple awards (organized by Mary Coleman). Betty has opened her home and property and managed this ride, consecutively, for 25 years. And she has never ridden in a CTR. Can you imagine that? She got all teary eyed and it was great fun to see a ride manager be recognized for her awesome contribution to ECTRA.
The award prizes are handmade from a tree that fell down over the winter. Nice nice nice. Everyone got a wooden handmade completion award with their ribbon.
So, I sit in anticipation as completions are called first, then 10th place … 9th place … and imagine my surprise to get First Placing! Never expected that! And Miss Daizy finished the ride 3rd overall. WOW. This little mare is the bomb. She works so very very hard and really seems to love her job. All I can do is thank Renee for breeding her and raising her and starting her and letting me have her to get her distance career going. I love this little mare.