Mustang Memorial 50 mile END 2014

I missed out on Jersey Devil two weeks ago due to ten days of fevers.  Had five days running as high as 104.1, then three days with no fever, then three days running around 102.  It is a mystery!

Now, I woke up this morning with congestion.  I DON’T CARE!  I am going to the last ride in the NE Region if it kills me!  And it might kill me, but what a way to go out!

The last time I rode The Mustang Memorial 50 mile endurance ride was in 2008 on Flame.  We had an awesomely fast ride (6 hours 45 minutes) but finished in 24th place.  WOW.  This is a fast flat ride and I am hoping that Miss Daizy doesn’t take control of the pace and set us too fast to complete.

Miss Daizy is a mountain horse.  She does so very well on those trails with lots of ups and downs.  Her CTR scores on mountain trails are high.  On the flat rides, she doesn’t do as well and her CTR scores are lower.  I know this and suspect it has a lot to do with my crooked riding style.  I am prepared to be the best balanced rider I can be this weekend to help her get through the ride.

Miss Daizy kicked butt at Big Loop Boogie 50 mile endurance ride, still going strong at the end like the energizer bunny when the two horses she was riding with were done and wiped out.  Let’s see how we do on a flat fast ride.

Ever since I did the Big Loop Boogie I have been DYING to get back on a 50 mile ride.  I have so missed the challenge and freedom of riding 50 miles.  I am more excited that you can even guess at going to Mustang Memorial this weekend.

Dom was going to be riding Steel in the 50 mile ride.  There were some issues with Steel at the Jersey Devil and Dom was heartbroken to get pulled.  She wrote a great blog post about it, click the link here and go read that story.  Anyway, Steel fully recovered before Mustang but Dom’s doggie needed surgery for a tumor and she decided she should be making money to pay for it instead of spending money to ride Steel.

Last minute (and I do mean last minute because I was catching Miss Daizy in the pasture to leave for Mustang when the text came in to my phone) Kathy wanted to know if Steel was available to do the 30 mile LD at Mustang.

Why YES!

So I caught TWO muddy horses instead of one and put them on the trailer in all their muddy glory (we had a heavy rain the day before and they had fun playing in it!)

I was totally packed and ready to roll so after putting Miss Daizy and Steel on the trailer, I locked the back and took off.  I was so proud of myself, I was going to get to the ride around 2:30 and have plenty of time to set up camp, get two horses vetted in, and run around visiting everyone and selling some books to the people that asked me to bring them with me.

Oh, the best laid plans!

Without a single hitch or adventure, I arrived at the base camp right at 2:29 pm.  I found Cindy and Cheryl, they had a most excellent parking place.  I was not sure I was gonna get there since the rain had the sand all loose and deep.  I was sinking into the sand about four inches as I traveled across the field to the parking spot.


But, good ol’ Ruth plowed right through it and we parked.  Cindy and Cheryl were standing there to greet me and I was so excited to be there that I hopped out of the truck to hug them and …


I did not grab the keys.

While I was hugging Cheryl, I heard the truck beep and then CLICK


Ruth is a very bad girl.  Occasionally, she decides “Safety First” and she locks herself.  I have owned Ruth for two years and I know this about her.  In fact, I so know this about her that is almost second nature to grab the keys as I get out and put them on the bed cover.  I have had her to the dealer about this quirk of hers and they told me it is an issue with this year Silverado HD and they have no clue how to fix it.  I have also talked to several other people with this year truck and they tell me their dealers told them the same thing.

Freakin’ A …

Okay, all my paperwork for Steel in in the truck so I can’t check in Kathy just yet, but I can check myself in since I am fast tracked.  This means I had already sent everything they needed and all I have to do is get my packet and say I’m  here to get my ride number.

While I am in the ride check in, who sits down next to me but Kyle.  HI KYLE!!!  I have not seen him in a million years since he became a professional AERC and FEI rider.  I have know Kyle (and his twin brother Kevin) since he’s six years old and I take full responsibility for getting his addicted to endurance riding.  I can remember all the long drives we did to KY and TN and WI to go to endurance rides.  He was great company and I loved every minute of it.

Anyway, after a tearful reunion (well for me, not necessarily for him) I got down to business with the ride management to get myself checked in, let them know that Kathy was indeed going to be there but my truck was locked and I needed a locksmith.  Several of the burly manly-man guys in the cook room volunteered to open my truck.  Thirty minutes later, they gave up.  Tara was awesome as she googled locksmiths and we found one pretty close.  We called and the dispatcher said they would send on right away.

For an hour, Jeff worked on getting Ruth’s door open.  She was pretty tricky and told Jeff that Safety Comes First and even though he was pushing on the door lock and unlock button with a coat hanger, she would not release the door to him.

setting upWhile all this is going on, I set up as much camp as I could.  The trailer door is locked and yes, those keys are in my basket which is in saftey mode inside Ruth…. so I could not get out water and buckets for Steel and Miss Daizy.  I figured they wouldn’t die for an hour or so.  I did get their panels set up.  While this is going on the wind is blowing so hard that I felt like my face was getting burned.  We were having spits of sleet and rain and it was downright crazy!!!!  At one point, carrying a panel, the wind hit me so hard it blew the panel right out of my hands.


locksmithThe locksmith shows up after 90 minutes of “Can we break into Ruth” and in three minutes flat he tricked her into opening the door for him.


I was so grateful I gave him a hug and he blushed.  It must have been the best hug he got all day, though because he made me a door opening key to keep in the bed of the truck so if I ever forget to take my keys out again, I can get in.


campingWhile all this is going on, Steel was very curious as to why everyone was standing around The lady’s truck and Cheryl snapped this most lovely photo of her.  I am going to ask Cheryl to send me this photo is a high res image so I can make a picture to frame.  This is a great picture with the clouds in the background.

And Steel is still stnading there in all her muddy glory because I was unable to get into the trailer to brush her off.  How embarrassing.  And no-one said a word about it.


vetting inOkay, I run back to the ride check in with a check to pay for Kathy’s entry and I get her and Steel all checked in.  Now, Cindy (who is freezing, by the way) offers to take Steel while I take Miss Daizy.  Cindy is FULLY AWARE of Steel’s separation anxiety when it comes to Miss Daizy.  Thank you, Cindy!  I know you were freezing and you came out into the wind to help me anyway.  I love you.

We get the two horses vetted in before it gets dark.  In fact, we got them vetted in as it was getting twilight so I had to finish setting up my camp in the darkness.

Fun times!  Good thing I know exactly where everything is so I could do this by feel.

Ride dinner is at 6:00 pm and I had just enough time to drink a Stella Cidre Ale before heading over to the meeting hall.

dinnerWOW, standing room only.  (I had to snap this picture of Kyle because I probably won’t see him again for another million years.)  I am sure if the Fire Marshall had come along he would have fined everyone for over crowding the space.  In fact, had there been a fire we would have died!

I have to tell you, I made my way to the back of the room and ended up sharing a big stuffed chair that had lost it’s oomph.  I sank down into it so far I couldn’t get back out!  After getting our food, we ended up sitting three in that chair.  Me on the back, Cindy in the bottomless depths and Brenda on the arm. Sitting directly in front of this chair were Cate and Alex.  It was pretty funny.  I wish someone had snapped a picture of THAT!  Cindy did make a comment that she wasn’t sure she wanted to sit in front of me with my dirty knees.  I told her that I had to pay for that locksmith somehow and she almost spewed spaghetti all over the place.

he he he

Evelyn’s birthday is today so after the ride meeting we headed over to her trailer rig to have some birthday cake and sing to her.  Cindy (who usually eats my icing) was too full to eat my icing so it went to waste.  But, the cake part was very good!

We’re all tired and ready for bed.  The temperature has dropped remarkably.  it’s supposed to go down to 28 tonight and that wind is still howling.  The promised us at the ride meeting that there would be no wind for the ride and a clear blue sky with lots of sun.

Of course, he then proceeded to quantify that statement that he was a weatherman … great, it’s gonna be raining and cold tomorrow (chuckle)

I slept great!  I was roasty toasty warm in my truck. I only woke up once when some horse went trotting down the road in front of where we were parked with a hollering person following close behind.  I looked out the window and the moon was so bright it looked like day time.  I saw there were three people out on the road so I figured they had that loose horsie thing covered.  I went back to sleep and slept until 4:30.

It was kinda funny to wake up to frost on the INSIDE of the windows.  I have never experienced that before.  When I threw the covers back to get up I was in instant shiver mode until I got my clothes on.  WOW, cold in here.

in the trailerWhen I got out of the truck, Crash greeted me with his Crash chuckle.  Then Steel greeted me with a soft nicker.  Miss Daizy?  She didn’t care I was up, she was too busy in the back of the trailer tearing up the second bale of hay and pooping everywhere.  She did not poop out in her pen at all!  All her poop was in the trailer.  Apparently, according to Cindy and Cheryl, Miss Daizy was in and out of the trailer all night and they could hear it.  I didn’t hear anything and since I had dropped the hitch to stabilize the trailer, I didn’t feel anything, either.

I fed Steel and Miss Daizy, gave them time to get it all eaten, then took them out under the full moon (that shone through my windows all night) and trotted them to be sure all was A-Okay.  Looking good!  They were well behaved, too, as they trotted side by side next to me and didn’t try to pull me down the road.  I put them back in their pens to relax and wandered over to the dinner room to see if there was coffee.

COFFEE!  Real coffee!  Anyone that manages Big Loop Boogie ride reading this?  Pay attention!  We want real coffee, not store brand instant coffee!

I sat in there talking to Amanda and Greg for awhile and drank a large cup of coffee and ate a chocolate chip muffin.  Then I refilled my cup and wandered back over to my camp.  Cheryl and Cindy still aren’t up so I sat in my chair, listened to Steel and Miss Daizy crunching on their hay (they had emptied their hay bags list night – GOOD GIRLS!) and watched the horizon lightening up.

I love camping.  Even in the cold!

Kathy got in after 10:00 pm so I didn’t see her the night before.  I was able to give her a run down of what to expect from Steel on today’s 30 mile ride.  I told her ..

  1. When Miss Daizy leaves at 7:00, you’re gonna have your hands full until you leave at 7:30 … she has separation anxiety.
  2. Once you’re in the saddle, she will work for you all day long with no questions asked.
  3. When you come into hold, here’s her food stuffs and let her eat as much as she wants
  4. She will be good for you as long as she never sees Miss Daizy all day.

Kathy is happy with her instructions and since she’s ridden Steel, she knows how to go.

People started waking up and generators were kicking on, horses started talking (how good of my two girls to be always quiet and never carry on at camp – poor Evelyn was camped next to a screamer.  She said he screamed all night long.  Yes, I know all about that as I had that same experience at the Muckleratz Ride!)

Cheryl and Cindy got up just about the same time.  They fed their horses and saw I was sitting there with coffee (Cindy called me a brat … told her I would have brought her one but didn’t know how she liked it)  But I did tell her it was REAL COFFEE which made her smile.  Yep, she remembers BLB, too.

It’s light out.  YAY!  Start time for us is 7:00 am.  Okay, time to clarify … Cindy I know you’re reading this and do not be offended by the rest of this story.  This is how I was feeling and has nothing at all to do with anything other than that.  We had a great ride together and I will always want to ride with you and Bailey!!!  It may have been running through my brain “TOO FAST TOO FAST” but it definitely was not too fast for Miss Daizy and she loves working with Bailey.  We are a good team on the trail!

Cindy wants to know the plan.  Well, she is very competitive and I’m not.  We are the Odd Couple to be sure.  She’s wired and I’m laid back.  She worries about everything and I worry about nothing.  So, MY PLAN would be to wait about ten minutes after everyone starts and then head out.  Why?  Because Miss Daizy has never learned “race brain” and I don’t want her to start learning that today.  She is very comfortable with horses starting without her from her 500 ECTRA miles.

Cindy’s plan?  She wants to go right out with everyone.  She compromised a bit as we walked around and around and she waited three minutes.

I am smiling inside because I know that was the hardest three minutes of Cindy’s life.

out on first loopWe are out on trail at 7:04 am.  Cheryl caught this picture of us leaving.  It is the only “on trail” picture that I have and I do not know if there was a ride photographer because I never saw one.  I was totally unable to get any photos (yes, I took some but they are totally fuzzy because we cantered 95% of that 50 miles.)  So, thank you Cheryl for getting this one picture for us.  Miss Daizy is on a loose rein doing about 10 mph in her big trot.  She left the ride without any race brain and she was relaxed and ready to work.  I love this mare.

The first loop (Red Loop) was a blur.  We passed many horses as Miss Daizy and Bailey were on a roll.  We cantered everything, including around the puddles.  Miss Daizy was showing me how talented she was doing flying lead changes as we weaving in an out of the puddles.  We did have one small issue.  They told us at the ride meeting that we had to be careful of these puddles because some of them were bottomless pits.  In the first three miles, there was one puddle that had no go around.  Well, it had a kinda go around on the left which I put Miss Daizy to.


It was a mud bog and we sank down to her chest (I know because when we got to first hold there was mud all the way up her legs to her chest.)  She lunged up out of there like a pro but in doing so, she put me into a tree ripping my thumb wide open.  Cindy and I joked about that … that I was simply marking the red trail.


The rest of the first loop went well, we came into the hold doing twenty miles in 1 hour and 39 minutes.


Too fast, we’re  moving too fast.  This is Miss Daizy’s second 50 mile ride and she’s a much better hill horse than on the flat horse.  This trail is FLAT and sandy, with lots of loose deep sand.  We are going much too fast and I know that because it took her ten minutes to pulse down under 64.  First hold, CRI is 60/56 and A’s and B’s … okay, she’s not tired yet and she did pulse down and it kept going down.  She hasn’t really drank any water but she’s eating everything put in front of her.  She did get sweaty but not overly so as it’s still very chilly.  I’m not going to worry about the speed just yet.

Note to my fan club.  On the first loop my daisy flower became separated from my helmet.  I am sure Sasquatch did it!

Of course, Bailey pulsed in right away so Cindy walked away from me and MIss Daizy and her heart rate shot up to 72.  Dang it, Cindy.  We had to leave the hold and come back for a recheck.  Now, Cindy’s out time is before mine.  I think it killed her to have to wait on me and Miss Daizy for out time.  I will teach Cindy patience yet!!!

We’re just getting ready to get tack up and HERE COMES KATHY AND STEEL.  Oh no .. oh no .. oh no.  Steel immediately gets excited to see Miss Daizy.  Miss Daizy could give a crap about Steel.  Steel is all wound up.  I tack up and tell Kathy that once we’re out of camp Steel will settle down if she stays with Crash.

Nope, apparently Steel was SO excited to see Miss Daizy that she started hollering and carrying on and it took Kathy the full 30 minutes to get her pulse down.

Oh Kathy, I’m so sorry.  Hopefully we will already be gone when you come in to finish so you won’t have that at the end of your 30 mile LD ride.

Off we go for loop #2 (White Loop).  Miss Daizy left the hold with her ears forward and tail up, trotting loose and free.  I haven’t killed her back yet, which is amazing as we’ve been cantering so much and her canter is NOT the most comfortable gait.  She is a ground pounder when she canters.  I have worked diligently on lightening her up in her canter to no avail, she likes to pound the ground (hence pounding me) and it doesn’t matter if I ride in two point, ride in a full seat, or throw my feet out in front of the vertical.  She pounds ground.


It is a lot of fun on the white loop, though.  There were tons and tons of puddles to go around and I was practicing flying lead changes with my Pegasus horse.  She was perfectly changing leads and doing it very smoothly.  On a couple of straight away sections, since we were just cantering and not galloping like the first loop, we did some flying lead changes just so in the soft sand and she executed them perfectly.  Towards the end of the white loop, she wasn’t as easger to go on her left lead.

Uh Oh.  I must be making her right side sore.  That is what happens in this treeless saddle because I ride crooked.  At one point I got in front of Bailey and backed her down to a trot and tried changing diagonals.  Yes, right side of her back is definitely getting sore.  She was seriously pissed at me for posting on the left diagonal.


We’re making good time and a little bit slower speed, but still too fast for my tastes.  I want to have horse left at the end of the ride.  I finally manage to get Miss Daizy in front of Bailey for a while and slow us down.  We’re still cantering, but at about 8 mph instead of 10 or 11 mph.  We’re doing great, we’ve settled into a rythmn, and then


Here comes the 75 milers.  They pass us like we’re sitting still and Miss Daizy cranks it up.


We’re three miles out from hold, slow down. Miss Daizy.  Please!!!!!

Nope, Miss Daizy and Bailey get caught up in the glory of racing and they’re hot on the heels of the 75 milers coming into base.  We cantered right into base.  We did 18 miles is exactly 2 hours flat.  Still to freakin’ fast for my tastes.  Since I have been competing Miss Daizy, I have not asked for, or allowed for, top speed on a ride.  This is her second year competing and only her first year of doing 50 miles and I just want her to learn to complete them, not to race them.  I was hoping to do a mid-pack 8 mph ride and have a lot of horse left over.  My goal is to do a 100 mile ride with Kevin as my mentor and if Miss Daizy won’t learn to pace herself, then she won’t finish 100 miles.


I know this is going to be a long hold for me because her pulse is at 84 when we got into base.  Good grief.  I untack her and she’s eating everything in sight.  Well, that’s not going to help her heart rate come down but I am never going to tell her not to eat. I took her over to the water trough and she did take a sip.  Not a deep drink, just a sip.

Dang it.  She needs to drink.

hold2Cindy and Bailey already pulsed so I went in for Miss Daizy.  She was at 68.  I left the hold and immediately she peed – a big pee – a puddle making pee.  Went back in and sure enough, pulse at 56.  YAY.  Hold #2 CRI 56/50.  She’s not really tired, but she is starting to question me on getting her saddle back on.

Bailey is not eating.  Miss Daizy is eating everything in sight, including Bailey’s food (see the picture).  She’s also eating his hay, which is quite funny as every horse that comes into hold loves Miss Daizy’s hay and they’re stealing bites.  I don’t care!  If your horse will eat my hay, then let him eat!

Now, at hold #2 there was some confusion … not just for me, but for Cindy as well.  First, let me tell you how awesome Bailey is.  He arrived at the hold and pulsed at the same time (according to her ride card) which is too funny.  And with that said, her out time is WAY before mine.  And when they calculated Miss Daizy’s out time, they did it wrong and Cate came to find me to get my card.  Then they did it wrong again and Cate promptly ran it back to the timer to get yet a third out time for me.


Okay – the speed hasn’t killed Miss Daizy yet.  I am concerned that Cindy said Bailey had a slight shoulder issue when he was vetted and now he’s not eating.  In fact, he’s kinda standing with his head drooped and eyes at half mast.  Miss Daizy is busy busy busy, knocking over buckets, trying to get into everyone’s feed dishes and being a general nuisance.  Love this Pegasus mare.

I am getting in the saddle to leave on the last loop and HERE COMES STEEL.


Steel immediately greets Miss Daizy and Kathy’s face looks like … well … like she just lost her best friend.

Oh man, couldn’t you have been two minutes later?  Then we would have been gone already.  Apparently, Steel didn’t get as crazy this time when we left because Kathy got her completion right away and Steel had A’s on her card and a good pulse and an excellent bouncy trot out.

Theresa Ecker holding Steel for Kathy at the final hold.

Theresa Ecker holding Steel for Kathy at the final hold.

YAY … thank you Kathy for riding her.  She was very happy to get to come to the ride today, even if she was bad about missing Miss Daizy.  Kathy and Steel finished 12th place out of 33 starts in the LD … and that’s after having to stay in hold a full 30 minutes to get her pulse down, and then have to wait another 45 minutes to go back out on trail.  Steel must have been cranking out that last loop on her own.  Kathy said they rode 90% of the last loop alone and Steel was remarkable as an alone horse.

I love Steel so much.  She is the sweetest horse ever.

loop2Okay, back to Miss Daizy.  Here we are, Miss Daizy is like, “Hey!” … Out we go for the last loop (Blue Loop).  Bailey starts out ahead of us but quickly drops back.  Cindy makes the comment that he’s being lazy.  LISTEN TO YOUR HORSE!  I put Miss Daizy in front and set a nice easy 7 mph pace.  I am happy at this speed.  Cantering with trotting.  This is a good way to finish the last loop.

Cindy is not content behind me at that speed and she puts Bailey in front.


We’re back up to 10 mph.

Bailey is working, but he looks tired.  Miss Daizy is pounding the ground so hard my teeth clack together a couple times.  She’s starting to get tired, too.

I push Miss Daizy out in front of Bailey and slow us down.  At one point I ever stop us to a walk so I can drink my water.  As soon as I’m done, Bailey gets out front and starts cranking us again.  That didn’t last long and he dropped behind Miss Daizy.  Cindy commented to Miss Daizy to keep Bailey moving.

Listen to your horse.

Blue Loop had a lot fo straight aways and no puddles to jump or weave in and out of.  It was getting a bit on the boring side … long straight aisleways.  The scenery was beautiful, but it was the same same same.  In fact, it was so same that I thought we might have gotten turned around and doing the same trail again.

We were going along well but I was getting loopy from the Percacet I took at Hold #2 and though for sure I saw a turn arrow and then I didn’t see a turn.  And there were no confidence markers for a good 1/4 mile.  I told Cindy we had to go back because I was SURE we saw a turn marker but we didn’t make a turn.  (Remember, things are starting to look the same everywhere)

Stupid Percacet drugs. (grin)

Cindy was grumpy about it but she turned back.  When we got to the turn marker I realized that we did (in fact) make a turn, I just didn’t realize it.  Cindy grumbled about lost time and wasted a half a mile.


It’s never a waste to be sure.  Just in case, don’t want to be off trail.  Better to check it and add a half a mile then to be wrong and have to do even more miles.

Doesn’t matter.  We’re on the home stretch and I have us set at a good pace of 7 mph.  I tell Cindy that I want to slow jog (not even a trot) the last mile so we can start relaxing the horses.

DAMMIT!  Here comes those 75 mile riders again.  Blasting past us. Miss Daizy is racing again.


(I do have to admit that I can’t wait until Miss Daizy is strong enough to work that hard!  Those 75 milers were having a great time!)

Well, as we make the turn on the field, we see that there are still people sitting at the finish line.  That means that we could possibly be in the top ten.  Really?  I had no clue where we were running in the pack.  This is amazing, but not surprising considering how fast we were moving today.


We cross the finish line and we are 12th and 13th.

Not top ten but what an amazing finish.  Fifty-five riders started the 50 mile ride.

I tell Cindy that we need to walk the horses but she’s wound up because they didn’t tie us for 12th.

It’s just a number.  OMG.

She’s still trotting Bailey even though we already have our finish time.  That’s it.  I literally hop off Miss Daizy at the trot and make her walk next to me.  I am going to pulse down and get my completion if it kills me.  I’m walking along and Miss Daizy is actually pretty content walking next to me.  I see Kyle in front of me and he thought we were in front of him.  WOW, really, I am right behind the FEI riders?  No way!

hold3We walk into the hold and Miss Daizy is looking for food – not now, I hate to tell you that you can’t eat, but not now.  We only have 30 minutes to get under pulse and I know you’re tired and your back is sore from pounding me all day and you’re not going to eat.  I stand her at the water trough and she drinks … and drinks … and drinks … and I watch her belly swell up and she’s still drinking.


I stand there.  Miss Daizy leans her head on my chest and closes her eyes.  I think Renee took a picture of that.  I hope she did because it was the best part of the ride.  Yes, I am a little weird that way.  She looks horrible.  Caked sweat and sand all over her body, her mane is a tragedy (like my own hair) and she just stands there with her head on my chest while we wait.

Kyle came over and talked to me while I was waiting on Bailey.  I have sure missed Kyle.  I was so glad to see him.  He looks really good, happy and healthy and I’m so glad to see that.  He’s always special to me.  I taught him to play piano, I taught him to jump his horse, I gave him a start into endurance … and he’s like my own kid.

He owned Miss Daizy’s mom at one point and he was impressed to see Miss Daizy working so hard at endurance.  He was also surprised by her little size when he stood next to her.  At one point on Loop #1 we blasted right past Kyle and he said he tought she was bigger than she was based on her big ol’ trot going past him.

Kathy was helping us as crew and she ran to the trailer to get her HRM.  She put it on Miss Daizy and she was down under 60.  Good to go.  I was riding on Pegasus all day and had a wonderful ride with very enjoyable company (Cindy!) and I was thrilled that we did the ride so quickly.  I was sure Miss Daizy had that in her, I just wasn’t mentally prepared to ask that out of her (just yet).  Love my little Pegasus!

I asked her to check Bailey because Cindy said his HR was still way up.  Now, Cindy says that something was wrong with her HRM because it was hung at 72 with Bailey and she didn’t believe it.  I think it was working jsut fine and Bailey was trying to tell her something.  Cindy brought him over to go in so I walked Miss Daizy in with her.

Right at 60.  The ride parameter was 64 so we are good to go.

By the time the vet was ready for us, she had dropped to 56.  Her final CRI was 56/60 … oh yes, she is tired but still in parameter so WE COMPLETED!!!!  YAY!!!!!  She was consistent with A’s and B’s in the same places all day.  B on back, B on attitude, B on impulsion.  Everything else was A’s.

I look over at Bailey doing his trot out and


Visions of Muckleratz and BLB flash in front of my eyes and he gimps down and back.


I walk over and Cindy looks near to tears.  The vets are checking hom over and he appears to have a cramp inside his left rear leg.

They tell her it’s a 3 and they will give her half an hour to work on it and try to get him sound enough to complete.  Cindy massages and walks and massages and walks but to no avail.  He is cramped hard, or has pulled his inner muscle, and he does not get sound enough to complete.

Oh man.  I feel her pain.  I was pulled at OD after finishing 55 miles for lameness.  I know how that feels to finish the ride only to not get a completion.

And this is Cindy.  She is so strong in her competitive nature.  This is got to be killing her.

It’s now 2:30 and I have plenty of time to pack up and go home…which I want to do because the wind is kicking up and it’s downright chilly to my tired body.  I ask Kathy if she will help me pack up camp and she is eager to do so.  We pack up in a record time of 30 minutes and I’m ready to rock n roll.

First, I pull out my boo-boo kit and clean off my thumb.  It’s bad.  I had wrapped it in vet wrap that Cindy gave me, and once I got it cleaned up I see that a bandaid isn’t gonna cut it.  I find a little needle and I give myself three stitches.


God.  Good thing the boo-boo is on the right hand being as I’m left handed.  I didn’t make too much of a mess of it.  of course, I had to use my teeth to tie them off (germs) but they did stay in all night and the wound looks very clean and not read this morning.  I completely forgot to take a picture of me giving myself stitches.  You’ll just have to believe me on this one.

When I got home and stripped out of my riding clothes, I found two more boo boo’s.  Apparently that tree took out my knee (bad scrape) and bruised my thigh (big purple bruise).  I didn’t feel that at all.  I know I’ll feel it tomorrow!!!!


OH MY GOSH … I am sore.  Thighs are screaming at me.  Calves are screaming at me.  And don’t touch that bruise because it’s on fire.

Other than that, I feel great and I’m in good spirits.  My back survived the ground pounder Miss Daizy and her all day cantering.  And she’s running around the field like she didn’t even do a 50 mile ride.

Wish I could do that the day after a 50 mile ride!!!!