Muckleratz CTR (two days?) 2016


I write this with hope and determination.  Miss Daizy has scar tissue on her check ligament from the injury she sustained in 2014 on her left rear leg.  The scar tissue is irritating the ligament, causing her to adjust her gait while working, which in turn twists her back and causes her pain.  At the end of 50 miles, this pain is causing a hitch in her gait.  She has been on rehabilitation since NEATO, light riding and lots of stretching and bending exercises in between the riding.  The vet is coming out July 22 to evaluate her again and either give me a thumbs up to compete at Muckleratz, or tell me her career is over.

I write this with hope and determination.  Miss Daizy is the first horse I have ever owned that wants to go down the trail with the 1000 mile look in her eye.  She may be tiny, but she covers the trail with big strides that leaves a lot of horses in a canter to keep up.  She has given me three perfect seasons of rides and in this, her fourth season, she has done everything she can to keep going regardless of her discomfort.

I write this with hope and determination.  She is entered in the Muckleratz CTR.  My fingers are crossed that the vet gives me the okay to take her there and ride 25 miles on Saturday.  When all goes well on Saturday, she will ride again another 25 miles on Sunday.

I write this with hope and determination. Because now Steel is injured, spooking off the back of the trailer after a wonderful conditioning ride so now Miss Daizy *HAS* to be better.  I had intended to take Steel to NEC and do 100 miles in Maine.  Steel is probably out for the rest of the season as her leg is bone bruised and pretty sore.

I write this with hope and determination.  I have found a saddle that is working well for both me, and Miss Daizy.  I rode 40 miles in it and never a blink from Miss Daizy.  Took some stirrup adjustments, but I finally believe I have it right … we’ll see how it goes on Saturday at Muckleratz.



So, my morning appointment cancelled and I had a ton of time to get everything together, clean my shed and stall, vacuum the truck and get on the road early.  That never happens.  Weather forecast is calling for some rain Friday night and then severe storms on Saturday.  Can’t wait.  because it’s TOO FREAKIN’ HOT here in eastern Pennsylvania.

Too hot, especially when you are me, can’t take the heat anyway, and are having regularly, non-scheduled, hot flashes.


I’m driving to the ride, which is a little less than two hours from me (YAY!) and I keep feeling hot.  The high today was predicted at 85.  When I look at the truck dashboard, it’s telling me 90.


Then I think I’m having a hot flash and I look at the truck dashboard and it’s telling me 93.


I get there without any hitches, other than forgetting not to go to the bathroom before I left the house so I had to make a quick pit stop.  And this is a boring travel for me because Poe is in heat so I cannot bring her with me to the ride.

Well, I guess I could but with Sable-Luck following me around like a dark thunder cloud, it would be my luck someone would have an ugly, intact male at the ride who would get loose, run through the camp, figure out how to open the trailer door and breed Poe.  Nope, not gonna chance it.

 Renee saved me a spot so that Miss Daizy could make faces at Joy all day before riding together the next day.  And on the other side of Renee was Rowena.


Since Ro was ditched by her riding partners (they decided not to ride) I invited her to join me and Renee for some “Daizy Joy” riding.  She agreed and we let Lindsey know that we three ladies were going out together!


campAfter unpacking and getting camp setup, I felt like I was in the desert.  I was so sweated that my clothes were soaked.  Renee was laughing at the rivers of water running off my body and I can say, I was not amused.  She then offered me her shower in her LQ.  See her nice triler next to me?  Oh thank god

The vetting was supposed to start at 4:00, however the vet didn’t get to base camp until 5:30.  There were over 70 horses starting on Saturday so there was a very long line of horses waiting to vet in.  Even though it was evening, standing in the sun for an hour, holding a hot horse that continued to breathe on me every five minutes, was making me heat nauseous.  I began to wish I had brought a bottle of water with me in the line.

vetted inFINALLY we get vetted in and we’re ready to rock n roll tomorrow morning.  Miss Daizy was outfitted with a fly sheet because there were these huge, carry my horse off to Africa, horse flies everywhere and she was already covered in bug bites.  She didn’t care, she was more interested in what was going on around the corner.  Can you see her number through the sheet?  THANK YOU MARY COLEMAN for the nice present.  She gave me a new yellow crayon to mark my horse.  The good kind, that feeds up and down and has a lid.  It stayed on all weekend!

That number *8* did cause some confusion all weekend.  And I’ll tell you right now that the title of this story should be …


Why yes, in typical Dodie Sable fashion, I managed to get myself into trouble five times.

Am I wearing shoes?  Hell no, my foot in finally healed from stepping on a sand spur at my mom’s house and getting a blistery infection on the insole, so no, I am not wearing shoes.  At the pizza party after vetting in, I was informed that vetting in my horse barefooted is not a good example to set for the juniors at the ride.

Excuse me?  Is there an ECTRA rule that states I must wear shoes when I vet in?  No!  And if I wanted to ride barefooted, I can do that, too.  There is no rule against it.  Leave my feet alone.

Alright, really, I just smiled and said nothing.

Cindy arrived while we were standing in line waiting to vet in and she parked in front of us so we are “hidden from view”.  After the pizza party we went to the camp and sat around talking and having a good ol’ time.  Because the vetting was going on (and on and on) and we wanted to get to bed, and the ride briefing was going to be around 9:30 … we went up and got the lay of the land from Jim.  Pretty much an easy two loops.

Orange = 13 miles.  Blue = 12 miles.  Ta Da.

The ride will start promptly at 7:00 am, our group will be going out approximately 7:30 am.  Breakfast is served at 5:00 am.

Got it.  Let’s go to bed.



I had been so heat exhausted all day that when I laid down I fell right asleep and didn’t wake up until 3:30 am.  I heard a rooster crowing somewhere.

Really????  Why????

I tried to get back to sleep but that wasn’t happening.

I played a couple games of chess on my Kindle, got a little sleepy, laid back down and dozed until 4:30 am.

Miss Daizy was very quiet all night and when I got up she was like, “Hey – where is breakfast?”

Fed her, checked her all over to make sure she didn’t injure herself during the night then headed up to get myself some breakfast.  I was the first customer!

Soon, more people were arriving so I cleared up my mess and headed back to the trailer.  Miss Daizy was still pretty quiet.  Not sure who this horse is.  Usually by now she’s spinning like an out of control top getting anxious for the ride to start.

We talked some strategy being as it was going to be hot today with high humidity.  We sat around being boring. Then we got a move on.

Okay, I am riding in this new Podium saddle today.  I only entered the 25 mile CTR  because if things go badly, I will have only ruined one day of my life.  I have conditioned in it a bit but I only got the new stirrups and 2″ biothane leathers last week.  And, I have ridden with them once so I’m not 100% sure I have everything set to the right length.

I get on Miss Daizy and sure enough, these stirrups feel too short.  I get off and reset them a hole lower.  I get back on Miss Daizy and this is a much better length.  I know to most people they look long, but my right knee and my left S1 joint say, “Longer is better!”


Sat_ReneeNow we walk and walk and wait for our timer to call us out on trail.


Joy is being a good girl (according to Renee) and is just walking around quietly.



Sat_RoCzar is his usual calm, cool and collected self.  He is watching Miss Daizy do a million circles and I swear it looks like he rolls his eyes!





start_day1_Miss DaizyMiss Daizy is being silly.  She wants to go into every camp and check out the empty pens.  When I tell her NO! she tucks her chin and pushes back on the bridle.  She’s killing me!  This is the Miss Daizy I know is gonna tear up trail.  A much happier, and ready to rock n roll, Miss Daizy.  I am grinning ear to ear and just can’t stop.


They call our numbers to go out on trail … and they’re off.

Sun_fogMuckleratz is a great ride.  Two steep miles up a long service road then the trail levels off somewhat.  There is still up and down but it’s all rolling and easy peasy.  A lot of grassy paths that we can ride two abreast and some great views.

This is Ro and Czar’s first competition back after Ro had surgery this past spring, and I also know this is a CTR so speed has to be kept under what Miss Daizy is accustomed to doing.

She’s a monster, trucking up the first two miles with her ears up, tail up and her happy trot going on.  She can pull a hill like no-one’s business and she feels good.  The saddle feels good and I am having no trouble maintaining my rhythm with Miss Daizy as we boogie up the hill.

Uh oh, too fast.

I see Czar and Joy dropping back behind us and there is a very steep section of heavily graveled path right in front of us so I ask Miss Daizy to slow up and she’s like,

“What?  Why? I have pads on, I can do this!”

After 30 seconds of discussion, she gives in and slows up for Czar and Joy to catch up to her.  Once Czar is alongside us, he slows to a walk so I ask Miss Daizy to walk.

“Why?” she asks me.  And jigs and tells me she can do this hill at a trot and I say no.  So, she gives in and then we walk.  The humidity is up and when we stop trotting, I can feel the heat.  Oh boy, it’s gonna be one of THOSE days.

This first two miles is a steep hill up the mountain!!! I see the two groups that started several minutes before us, up the hill, walking.  Miss Daizy also sees them.  She hops a bit to start trotting and I tell her that we’re walking.

“WHY?” she hollers at me.

(Gotta love this little itty bitty mare!)

“Because I said so, that’s why.” and I insisted that she walk the hill, not trot it.

Oh my gosh, she’s pouting.  Too funny!

Now, for those of you not knowing Miss Daizy, she has a big 9 to 10 mph cruise control trot … but her walk is horrendous.  It tops out around 2.5 mph.  That’s right, she has no idea how to power walk.  So we are moving behind Czar with walk ten steps, trot and catch up.  Walk ten steps, trot and catch up.


We start trotting again and Miss Daizy moves out to be in front.  And we’re cruising.

Uh oh

Czar and Joy are dropping back so I ask her to slow up.

She resists for a moment, then complies.  Her slow trot is a killer on the butt because it’s more like a jig than a trot.  Like she has little springs in her hooves.

They catch up and she moves out.  They drop back and I ask her to slow up.  And yes, this was the routine all day long.  By the end of the first loop, she had figured this out all by herself and I didn’t have to tell her anymore.  She would trot and trot until she thought she was far enough ahead then she’d slow down to a jig and wait for them to catch up, then she’d trot on again.

Ro and I discussed her enthusiasm (chuckle) and we determined that putting her on a long 75 or 100 mile ride may change her attitude about big trotting.  Ro said she’d hit a wall and then decide that slow trotting was a good thing.

Yeah, right.

So, we pass the “vet fly by” and start down the next trail.  Jim was there and shouted out to us that a big tree was down on the trail and we’d have to negotiate it.  It’s a nice grassy flat trail with some curves so Miss Daizy is moving along nicely when …

SCREECH … and I go flying up on her neck.

killer_treeThis little mare just stopped on a dime and gave me nine cents change.  I almost bit the dust.  Yes, there *IS* a big tree on the trail and Miss Daizy is certain that it has a boogie man hiding behind it.  Along with a troll and a gremlin.  She is no way going to go up to that tree by herself.

Neither is Joy or Czar.  There are a couple people moving up behind us and their horses decided that our horses were weenies.  They moved past up, up and over the tree, and down the trail.

Now, Miss Daizy cannot accept that someone passed her so she’s hot on their tail, boogeyman tree or not.  Passing her is totally unacceptable.  Since we’re only about five or six miles into the trail at this point, she is still “ON” and convincing her that tail-gaiting is bad trail manners is not happening.  I slow her to a walk and put her behind Czar.


She’s pouting again.

For the most part, the rest of this thirteen mile loop went uneventfully.  Miss Daizy trotted away, then slowed down, then trotted away, then slowed down … I’m sure I was aggravating Czar and Joy but I didn’t know what else to do.  Miss Daizy just cannot hold a slower trot without going into boingy-boingy mode.  I cannot ride 25 miles of boingy-boingy.

We reach the two mile descent.  Yes, we lolli-pop off that initital ascent back into a descent.  I’m ready.  This is the test of this saddle.  So far on this loop I have been very comfortable and have not heard one peep from Miss Daizy about the treed saddle she’s wearing to compete in for the first time.  Down hill will tell.  She is an amazing downhill horse and can full on trot down the steepest of hills without missing a beat.

If she likes her saddle.  If *I* like her saddle.

And we’re going.  And she’s trotting.  And she’s moving freely.  And the saddle isn’t sliding up her neck.  And I’m grinning ear to ear because I am easily keeping her rhythm and posting with her cadence and we’re going downhill.  And I am still riding square.  I have not started slipping off to the left, my hip hasn’t dropped away and I look down and see the saddle is still sitting perfectly even on both sides of Miss Daizy’s back.


Oops, wait for Czar and Joy.  Did I tell you Miss Daizy is an amazing downhill horse?

Now, this is only 13 miles into the ride and we’ve done a couple conditioning ride this long so although I’m grinning ear to ear, in the back of my mind is a little voice telling me to see how this downhill feels next time around at the end of the 25 miles.


We cruise on into the first hold and get our slips.  Here comes the confusion about my number *8*.  We call out our numbers and the timer hears *A* instead of *8*.  So they marked the *A* horse, from the CDR, as into hold.

Uh oh.

Of course, I know nothing about this at the time.  And I didn’t look on my slip to confirm my number, because that’s never an issue.  All I looked at was the time in so I knew when the ten minutes was up that we had to be pulsed in.

Although it’s warm, and humid, and we just worked a strong thirteen miles, Miss Daizy was all about her slurry so I didn’t bother taking off her saddle or sponging her.  I had been sponging her out on trail and we had a very long drink and a good soaking sponging at the top of the two mile descent.  She’s eating and I’m watching time.

Here we go.  Ten minutes.

Czar already went over for his pulse so Miss Daizy and Joy went together.  Miss Daizy was at 52/48.  While I was there getting pulse, I heard that lots of horses were inverted and had to have their temps taken.

Wow.  I knew it was heating up and humid, but I didn’t think it was that bad yet.  I am feeling pretty good, actually, and I do not tolerate the heat well.

We go for our trot out and …


All I’m trotting is a bridle.  She ducked right out of it as I started her down the trot out lane and then she headed for the nearest bucket of food.  How embarrassing is that?  And yes, I got fussed at for losing my horse in the vetting area.

Got her bridle back on and all is good to go!  Whoo Hoo.  We have 14 minutes to get ready to go out again.  Due to the heat, they had extended the hold time from a normal 20 minutes to 30 minutes.  I have time to smoke a cigarette and let Miss Daizy eat some more (and she was a gargantuan piggy at the hold, eating her food, Joy’s food and anything else she could reach).

Time to go.  I realize we forgot to bring a mounting block to the hold area.  I’m looking around and Mary Coleman sees me looking all concerned.  She hollers out to me, asking what I need.  I ask is she has a mounting block at her area.  She says no, but she has an empty bucket, come on over and use it.


In the saddle less than a minute and they call us to go back out.

Miss Daizy, I swear she knows her number at this point, because she hears 61, 62 and 8 and she starts up the hill.

She’s so smart.

And they’re off for the second loop.  And it’s really heating up now, I can feel in on my back and my thighs.  The sun is hot hot hot.  It’s really still morning but feels more like afternoon when the sun breaks through the trees.

pant pant pant

Miss Daizy has the groove now.  She trots on, realizes that she’s losing Czar and Joy so slows down all by herself.  I pretty much just went along for the ride on the second loop.  Nothing too exciting happened until we were coming back down the two mile hill and some riders were coming up the hill heading out for their second loop.  The two riders were in the middle of the lane on the grassy area.  We were trotting down on the side.  As we passed them (very close because they didn’t bother to move over) the rider in front said …

“Don’t slow down or anything.”

What???  Seriously???

And yes, I’m yelled at again.  I wish I had retorted, “Don’t move over and share the trail or anything.”


And so we come back into the hold and we split the ride time.  We had 4 hours 20 minutes to 4 hours 50 minutes to complete our 25 miles.  We did it in 4.5 hours.

Ro suggested going to the trailer first to dump tack then go to the vet in area.  We have 20 minutes to get our pulses so this is an excellent plan.  While I was swiftly untacking Miss Daizy, Kimberly came over and found me.  She was supposed to ride Steel this weekend, but due to Steel giving herself a major leg injury, Kimberly brought her greenie horse instead.  I didn’t get to see her again all weeekdn so I don’t know how she did with Sandman.

Back up to vet in and Renee is there with some wonderful man sponging her horse.  HEY!

finish day 1We pulse in.  42/30.  Nice!  We do our trot out and as I have her halter on now, she couldn’t ditch me and go find someone’s food bucket to smooch out of…she trotted out beautifully.  Now we wait for hands on.  I don’t know why, but we all sat under the tree and were having great conversations while our horses dozed.  Of course, I got yelled at again.  maintain control of your horse at all times for safety and liability reasons.  Yeah, because Miss Daizy is so crazy she’s just ripping through camp.  This is photo evidence of what a safety violation she really is.

Because she is well trained at her ground tying, and at an endurance ride I park her in front of a bucket and ground tie her, I forget that most horses won’t stand around like this.  I did apologize and pick up my lead rope so that everyone thought she was now under control.

HANDS ON.  Here is my final test.  When we vetted in, I explained to the lay judge that I was competing in a new saddle and I wanted her to be very very thorough on Miss Daizy’s back and girth area.  She was.  Then when we did our Saturday Hand’s On, I reminded her about the new saddle and she was very very thorough.  She gave me a big thumbs up and grin and said no changes.  her back and girth area are perfectly the same as when we started the ride.

Thank goodness.

She did get a nick on her right hind, probably a rock or maybe the boogie man at the downed tree bit her.  Nothing else was changed.  She was in great shape!  I am in great shape (not that it matters, because the rider being lame does not count) and I don’t feel any agony, any where.

YAY!  We finished 4th place for the Saturday ride and since everything was good fer her, and I was feeling nothing at all in my back, I signed up to ride again on Sunday in the 25.  Roa nd Renee are both entered in the two day 50 so I can ride along with them again on Sunday.  It’s going to be great fun.

rainingWell, until it started pouring the rain about 5:00 pm and it rained all evening and well into the night.  Buckets and buckets of rain.  So much rain, coming down so fast, that Miss Daizy’s pen turned into a lake and all my bedding and pillows were drenched.  It was demoralizing, to say the least, to have to sleep on wet bedding.  I swapped out the fly sheet for a rain sheet and prayed that Miss Daizy would eat over night, even though she was miserable standing in the rain.  At home she would have bunked out under the pine trees.  I didn’t have a pine tree to offer her, just a little rain sheet.



I was exhausted, the heat and humidity had kicked my butt, so I fell asleep almost immediately, even though my bed is soaked.  Didn’t hear a thing all night and slept until 4:30 am when I heard that rooster crowing again.  Where *IS* that rooster, anyway?  We’re at a boy scout camp in the middle of nowhere.

I lay there a moment and do a mental inventory of my normal aches and pains. I do not appear to have anything new going on.  I sit up and my back feels great.  My shoulders and neck feel great.


I stand up and …

… almost collapse …

Oh my, what happened to my calves?  They are screaming and refuse to move my legs forward.

I stand there a moment and do a mental leg check.

Thighs?  Good.  Check.

Knees?  Good.  Check.

Hips?  Good.  Check.

Feet?  Good.  Check.

Ankles?  Well, the left Achilles tendon feels very tight and when I move my foot around, it is achey.  Hmmmm.


Oh my gosh.

Obviously the new saddle positions me differently because all the normal sore spots are totally fine and the usual fine spot is screaming at me.


I exit the trailer, gingerly, and slowly make my way around my camp to feed Miss Daizy and use the porta-john.  This is an exercise in mind over matter because this has to be the most painful thing I have done in a long long time.  Even more painful than walking around on a broken leg for two weeks before finally going to the doctor.

Oh my gosh.

I barely make my way to the mess hall to get some coffee.  It’s uphill and I know that coming back downhill is going to be horrible.  While I’m sitting there drinking the coffee, I start to talk myself out of riding today.  I had a million arguments for why I shouldn’t tear up my calves anymore, and only three arguments for quit whining and ride my horse.

And then it happened.  A hot flash welled up from the bottom of my feet, surged through my body and sweat started dripping off my face.


It is very very humid this morning, so humid that it is foggy.  So getting a hot flash, when I’m already struggling to be cool, was not funny.

And yes, dear reader, I *AM* going to talk about this stuff because no-one else does and when it all started with me, I had no idea what was going on.  It’s like the world’s best kept secret – menopausal symptoms – because no-one (and I mean NO-ONE) ever talks about it.


And then my heart starts racing and pounding in my chest.  Feels like a freakin’ freight train.


I stand up from the table to ask Ben about starting order and …

… almost collapse …

oh man, oh man, oh man.

Ben says I’m starting with #2 … WHAT????  No, I’m riding with Ro and Renee. (It strikes me that maybe they don’t want to ride with me after trying to keep up with Miss Daizy yesterday)

Ben, please fix that … I should be with 61 and 62.

He fixes it and I give him a kiss on the cheek.  Then, I grit my teeth, wipe the sweat off my face, and with great determination I face the hill taking me back down to my camp.

Eventually I made it and I didn’t die.  I pulled the rain sheet off Miss Daizy so she could start to cool down.  I can’t tell if it’s really hot or if my hot flash is still working on me or if my body is reacting to the pain of walking down the hill … because I’m sweating like I just ran a marathon.

Renee gets up and we have a brief discussion about the weather.  I pull up the forecast for the day and it looks like we will not get rained on.

YAY!  (or maybe BOO considering how humid and close the air is right now)

Currently it is 73 degrees with 92% humidity. Oh boy.  Horses are going to be suffering today.

Time passes.  We are saddled and on our horses and we’re out on trail at 7:13 am.  Miss Daizy was very chillaxed waiting to go but once I put her on trail, she’s on fire.  So springy and happy and moving out like she didn’t just do 25 miles yesterday.

Do not ask about my calves.

day2aUp the two mile ascent and working trail in the fog.  It is heaven to be riding again today.  I’m really glad I didn’t let my calves hold me hostage and keep me off trail in camp.  We go and go and go and get to the vet trot by.  After we trotted up to the vet and the lay judge, they asked us to trot away from them down the trail.

Hmmm, they didn’t ask that yesterday.  But okay, let’s do it.

And we’re moving along at a great pace, Czar was actually in the lead and stepping out nicely on this grassy trail when (oh no) the bushes to the left of us rattled and something went crashing through the brush.

spookingCzar spins and jumps sideways. “It’s a bear!” (No, Czar, it’s not.)

Miss Daizy spins and heads into the woods on the right side of the trail. “It’s a horse murderer.” (No, Miss Daizy, it is not.)

Joy jumps up and looks around at Czar and Miss Daizy. “Should I be scared and do something? (No, Joy, you should not.)

And I am hanging on Miss Daizy’s neck praising the new saddle that was so secure and saved me from falling on my head.  I lost my right stirrup but that was it.  I was still firmly in the saddle and let me explain.  Miss Daizy tucked, spun and run.  I should have fell on my head.  I decided right then and there that I loved this saddle.

Now Czar doesn’t want to lead anymore so I put Miss Daizy out front and ..

Uh oh … the scary downed tree.

Czar – Nope, that bear is behind that tree.

Miss Daizy – Nope, that horse murderer is behind us so let’s go.  Come on, let’s go.  And she went right over the tree without hesitation.

trail_day2And we’re off and trotting again.  The first loop was amazing with the fog all around us and the sun hiding behind clouds.  It peeked out once in a while and when it did, it lit up the forest with little jewels of sparkling light on the leaves.  In a couple places, we were trotting three abreast and it was a wonderful morning.

Stop asking about my calves!  I will tell you that by the time we reached the scary downed tree, they were numb.  Couldn’t feel them anymore so I wasn’t worrying about them anymore.

On the other hand, my menopausal self was having a blast shooting hot flash after hot flash my way.  I was so hot that when we stopped at watering tubs for the horses, I was sponging me as much as I was sponging Miss Daizy.


And down we go.  Now on this first time down off the mountain, back into base camp for vet check, I noticed that Miss Daizy is not happy going Czar speed.  Czar does not go down a hill quickly and Miss Daizy likes to spring forward into a lovely floating trot.  Yesterday she argued about going slow, but did it.

Today she’s doing more than arguing.  She’s all out fighting against going slow and the more I tell her to slow it down, the bouncier she gets.  All her downhill energy is going into an up-n-down trot.  This is not fun.  This is painful.  This is annoying!

I briefly thought about just letting her move on down the mountain and waiting for them at the bottom, but then I thought that Miss Daisy should be listening to me better so I bounced along down the hill.

Ride you own ride.  Why must I always forget Rule #1???

We’re doing good on time and the vet-in has one hitch … A large group of riders came in just before us and the vetting was going very slowly.  We have 30 minutes for our hold and we’re rapidly running out of time standing in line.  AND! while waiting in line for the trot out, I allow Miss Daizy to rub her itchy head on my butt and she rubbed her bridle right off.

sigh – not again.  And yes, I was mocked.

The rest of the vet-in is no trouble with a 44/40 pulse/resp, perfect trot out and she’s eating everything in sight.  In fact, she’s eating EVERYTHING in sight.  And sadly, we’re out of time and have to get back on trail so she was unable to get her fill of eating.

This becomes a problem as we go back out on trail.  She is trotting five steps, grabbing a mouthful of grass.  Trotting five steps, grabbing a mouthful of grass.  We’re going along like this for half the trail and we’re losing time.  Her voracious appetite is infectious and Czar and Joy also start trotting and grabbing a mouthful of grass.

Oh my.  We’re losing time.

I have to stop about halfway and bring my stirrups up.  Miss Daizy is REALLY not happy going slow down the hills and she’s doing some kind of hopping bouncing trot that is knocking my teeth together.  My calves woke up and started screeching in a high thin piercing voice that was giving me a headache.  After raising my stirrups, Miss Daizy was even MORE bouncier.  She was not happy with my new sitting position.  My calves, however, were much happier about going downhill.

We come into the hospitality check, about 4.5 miles from finish, and Miss Daizy jumps right into the thick grass there and starts eating like I have never fed her.  Ever.  I’m not thinking too much about anything other than getting this ride done so I can shoot myself and be over the calf pain, when I notice that Ro and Czar have left us.

Uh oh.

I look at my watch and realize we have about 50 minutes to finish this ride and we still have 4.5 miles to go.

reneeI yell to Renee to come on and we hurry to catch up to Ro.  And Miss Daizy thinks this means “race”

And they’re off.

And we’re cantering and Miss Daizy is in heaven.  I can tell that she is thrilled to be moving at Miss Daizy speed.

And we’re road trotting down the hills and the bouncy is gone.  Wish I had my stirrups back down for this.



day2And we reach the two mile descent and Miss Daizy is in no way ready to slow down.  We come off that mountain quickly and Miss Daizy is working ears forward, tail up and extension in her trot.

And we make it back with plenty of time to spare!

YAY!  – Now, let’s get the saddles off.  20 minutes to P/R.

I dismount and …


Calves are awake.

However, the back feels great.  The knee feels great.  And I am not tired.  This is a big change from the last several competitions.  The saddle is working well.

Time.  We go for P/R and I see Ro and Czar standing off to the side getting a temperature check.

Uh oh – that means Czar is inverted.

Miss Daizy finished the ride with a 40/12 pulse/resp.  Now up to trot out.  I had wanted someone to do my trot out for me because my calves are screaming and Ro had volunteered.  However, she was having her own issues with Czar being inverted so I grit my teeth, put mind over matter, and did my own trot out.

Miss Daizy was still up from trotting down the mountain at her own speed so her trot out was a little exuberant.  Tail up, head up and flying around like she never did 25 miles.

Oh boy.

Now we wait for hands on.  Yesterday we waited at the hold area but today we were all tired and hot … very very hot … so we took them back down to the trailers.  I started breaking down camp and the corral panels so had Miss Daizy tied at Renee’s trailer with Joy.  I’m working working sweating when all of a sudden I hear Miss Daizy hollering and hear banging at Renee’s trailer.


I go around and find Miss Daizy standing there all alone.  Renee and Ro had left and went back up to the vetting area.  I did not hear our numbers get called for hands-on.  Apparently, they heard something I didn’t and they forgot all about me and Miss Daizy.

This makes me sad.

(Remember those menopausal symptoms?  Sudden onsets of weeping seems to also be a part of that change in life.)

I quickly grab Miss Daizy off Renee’s trailer before she breaks something and we head up there.  Joy and Czar are standing under the trees eating grass.  I hesitate for a moment before joining them because Miss Daizy is eating everything in sight and I think that maybe they left me because they were tired of Miss Daizy’s antics.

(Not sure, but I think paranoia is also a menopausal symptom.)

I move on in and join them and we talk for half an hour before our numbers are called.


When the lay judge comes over I remind her to be very very thorough with Miss Daizy’s back and girth because of her new saddle.  She is!  THANK YOU!  And she gives me the thumbs up that the saddle is working perfectly because Miss Daizy has no issues what-so-ever on her back and girth.

Thank you Jesus!

The vet comes over and checks her out.  He’s a bit more fussy than yesterday, claiming she has slight wind puffs on all four legs.

REALLY????  Because I checked that five minutes before coming up here and there was not one single wind puff or fill or anything other than that one teeny scrape she got yesterday.

Whatever.  It’s a CTR.

And we’re finished!  We now wait for awards.

Ro isn’t really saying much of anything (I found out later that she was suffering badly from heat exhaustion) and Renee is being Renee … here, there, everywhere.


I tie Miss Daizy to my trailer and finish breaking down camp.  Cindy came over and helped me on the last of the panels while she told me all about her adventure with Moxie.  She did the ribbons today with Moxie and rode both loops.  Cindy did a fabulous job bringing Moxie along slowly and now … Moxie is ready for her first competition!

I get everything done and I just want to sit down and forget that my legs have calves.  I decide I will just go on up to the pavilion and wait for the awards to start.

And I wait.

And wait some more.

And still waiting.  At least I’m sitting in the shade.

And it’s time.


They did the two day 50’s first.  Renee had been saying all day that Joy was very tired and she was upset that she made Joy go back out and work.

Reserve Grand Champion on the two day 50 goes to RENEE AND JOY.  And High Point Arabian.

Okay Renee, quit complaining!

Then they do the 25 mile ride.  Miss Daizy won the Rabbit award!  That means we finished the ride with the fastest time.

And then they start giving out awards.

And they keep calling names and giving ribbons and keep calling names and giving ribbons and I’m not getting called.  Remember that I was not on the listing to start this morning?  Well, it strikes me that maybe my sheets were lost or I was just a completion and not a placing and they forgot to give me my completion awards. (paranoia)

Day2_GrandCGrand Champion of the Sunday 25 mile ride and High Point Arabian.  MISS DAIZY!

What????  No way!!!!!!

And I get weepy. (mood swings)

And I’m so excited that the new saddle is working.