OD 2018 50 miles

The real title should be, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW”

Let me begin the story with my elyte woes.  I have always used OTC Jug.  I like it.  No sugar, high amounts of the things the horse needs, and it smells horrid, so it has to be good, yes????  Well, every place I’ve tried to get it, it’s on back order.

So, I asked around and got some suggestions, and picked up a different elyte.  I looked at the label online and it looked like it was similar to the OTC Jug.  How different can one elyte be from another (I ask tongue in cheek).  And so, I begin this ride without my usual stuff.  THINK! You don’t know what you don’t know.

A little side note for those readers that do not know this trail.  OD is the toughest trail on the east coast.  It’s all climbing and rocks and boulders and did I mention climbing boulders and riding on rocks?  It’s also one of the most beautiful trails I ride on and so I keep coming back.   This time of year can also be brutal with humidity soaring into the 80% and higher range, so horses and humans have to work harder at keeping themselves healthy and hydrated on trail.

For the very first time, in the history of my attending OD, I made it to the ride in a record 4 hours driving, which included stopping for gas and a pee break as I got off I-81, without any traffic incidents. My crew, on the other hand, took 6 1/2 hours to drive a normal 3 hour ride. Poor Naoma, they hit three accidents and the third accident had them detoured off onto some crazy back road and everyone was driving 3 mph.  She kept texting me approx time to arrive and it kept getting later and later.  I was hoping they had enough refreshments in the car so they didn’t die in the wilderness of The Shenandoah  Valley.

I should have known at that point that life was going to be interesting at the OD ride.

I arrived and was directed to park at the end of camp.  This is about 20 miles from the check-in, vetting, and food tent.  I am so glad I packed my bike.  I left Penny on the trailer while I rode my bike that 20 miles to check in.  Emily looked kinda haggard when I got there, and I just added to her confusion when I checked my packet and was like, “Hey, I need meal tickets for Saturday, not Friday.” She swapped them out.

On my way back 20 miles to my trailer, I realized, just as I arrived at my trailer, that no .. I needed dinner tickets for Friday, because today is THURSDAY.


So, I ride my bike 20 miles back to the check-in and admit my failure to know what day of the week it was, and can I please swap these Saturday meal tickets for Friday meal tickets.

Emily was quite relieved to hear that it was my mistake, not hers.  You’re doing a good job Emily, I’m sorry to add to your stress.

AND … I ride back to my trailer another 20 miles.

Penny Pony is actually pretty quiet on the trailer, eating what little hay is still left in her hay bag.  She sees me and starts a ruckus. I keep explaining to her that I have to set up her pen before she can come off the trailer, just be patient with me.  I don’t move as quickly as I used to.

Pen all set up and Penny Pony is off the trailer.  Whew.  Now to get all the other things going.  I am hot.  The temperature isn’t so bad, maybe upper 70’s, but that freakin’ sun is beating down on me and sweat is running off me in rivers.  I hope this is not a prelude to the weather for tomorrow.  I will die. I am trying to get as much done as possible before I pass out from dehydration.  This is crazy!


Once everything is finished, I grab Penny Pony and walk 20 miles up to the vetting in.  Remarkably, again she is being very quiet and well behaved.  This is not normally her attitude when she arrives in camp, but I’ll take it.  Calm is good!  On the way to vetting, I had noticed that the OD ride management considered that us riders would be passing out from dehydration and they were kind enough to set up a human swimming hole.  Oh yes, I am all about jumping in there in a couple minutes, after I vet-in and walk Penny Pony 20 miles back to our camp..

Ah, all done with everything.  Now to chug down three bottles of water, put my chair in the shade where Penny Pony can see me, and read some of this exciting book I started last week.  (I have been so busy I haven’t had an opportunity to read since about January)

I met my neighbors, Amie and her mom.  Penny Pony and Amie’s gray Arabian gelding, Lugnut, were making goo-goo eyes at each other.  She came over to tell me he was quiet the Ladies Man.  That cracked me up.  We got to talking and I was really enjoying myself, sitting in the shade, with cold water, and shade. Freakin’ sun.

And soon it was time to go up for the dinner and ride briefing. And yes, I rode my bike another 20 miles up to the management/food tent.  I have definitely burned off whatever calories I am about to eat.

As a ride manager, I am saying this next part of the story with tongue in cheek, and with total love in my heart.

We got the lowdown on volunteers, and all the hard work and physical effort that went into making ride camp and the trails ready for the ride.  Diane started talking about the trail marking but was having a hard time keeping people quiet.  She stopped talking, waited — and waited — and finally started counting

“1 .. 2 .. 3” … she says, “When I get to five, you all get punished.” The tent grew very still and someone in the back  hollered, “Punish me, baby.”

We all cracked up and Diane continued to turn the meeting over to Dr. Nick.  However, because she got distracted, then a little red faced at the crack-up comment, she completely forgot to finish the trail marking for us 50 milers after leaving Laurel Run.  I raised my hand and Diane said to wait until she was finished and I said, “But, we don’t know what color ribbons to be on after we leave Laurel Run.”

And again, poor Diane gets red faced.

I’m sorry, I did not mean to embarrass you.

Lowdown.  15 miles to Bird Haven on blue/white stripes.  16 miles to Laurel Run on red/white stripes. 13 miles back to Bird Haven on blue/white stripes and 6 miles to finish on blue/white stripes.


Diane was very clear to everyone that Bird Haven is private property and due to some people not following the rules last year, they are banning dogs from the hold this year.  Don’t touch the trees, take care to clean up every bit of your hay, grain, etc when you are finished, do not go where the caution tape is, do not ride in the high grass in and out of the hold, stay on the mowed path….goodness.  I am thankful that they allow us in there because 130 horses, 80 of them in that hold twice, is gonna tear up the ground.  Bless the owners for allowing us the privilege of being there.

Riding my bike another 20 miles back to my camp, I am remarkable (and pleasantly) surprised to find Penny pony quietly munching hay in her pen and not spinning circles trying to escape.  I filled her bag with more alfalfa, as she had decimated what was in there, and ate all the grass in her pen, and top off her water.  I see that the grain I gave her before I went up to the dinner was still mostly untouched in her pan, but that didn’t concern me much.  She was eating everything else and had drank 3/4 of a bucket of water.

I sit in my chair as it’s getting dark and revel in the sounds of camp.  I love being at rides, whether it’s to ride or to volunteer.  This is heaven.

It’s getting too dark to see my book anymore, so I fill a bucket with water and take my spit bath in the back of the trailer.  Gods, that felt great to get all that sweat and grime off me.  I put on my pajamas and crawl into the trailer to read a bit more and go to sleep.  Naoma’s last text said 10:00 pm for her arrival, and as start time is 6:30 am, and I’ll be up around 4:30 am, I figured I could go over everything with her in the morning.  I have all the hold stuff nicely packed in the my christmas present from Marc (a very nice folding wagon) so she was good to go tomorrow.

Yes, just as I get settled, I hear a car, then I hear Naoma.  They’re trying to be quiet, so they don’t realize I am just reading in here.  I get up and give everyone hugs. What a very long trip for them.

Sleeping .. zzzzzzzzz

4:30 … yep, right on time I wake up.  I actually slept very well  It was coold overnight and I needed a blanket.  I go to feed Penny Pony and she has drank another 3/4 bucket of water.  GOOD GIRL!  Her alfalfa is gone so I throw some grass hay in there for her to snack on but notice her grain dinner from the night before is only partially eaten.  I t was freshly packed the day before so I’m not sure why she’s not liking it.  I make a mash for her and put that in her pen.  She sniffed it but wasn’t over interested in that, either.


I start getting things ready for riding and Naoma crawls out of her tent.  I give her creamer and send her 20 miles up to the food tent for coffee.

In the meantime, I brush Penny Pony and put on her interference boots and she’s being just too quiet.  No dancing around, no hollering at her neighbor, now jumping on my head.  is it possible that she is finally understanding how this whole camping at a ride thing works?

I pull her out of her pen and tie her to the trailer to tack her up.  It’s 6:00 am and now I’m too frazzled to drink the coffee.  Penny Pony is more concerned about where her friend went and apparently Lugnut is also concerned where his new girlfriend went, so Amie and I decide to start the ride together.  After all the other yah-hoos get going!  Yeah, that’s my plan, start last and pass people all day.

I didn’t drink the coffee that Naoma had to hike to get.  She made a face at me.


I’m on.  Walk around a couple minutes and realize that I need to pee one more time.

I’m off.

I get back on and we’re walking. Walking walking.  Penny Pony is on now.  She’s ready to go and Lugnut is also very ready to go.  We take a walk away from the finish line, up the road and Penny Pony is like … “Uhm, I’ve been here before and this is NOT the way to the starting line.” Lugnut is like, “I don’t care what direction we’re going, can we just get GOING?”  Too funny.


I hear them open trail, I get myself mentally prepared, and turn Penny Pony back to head towards the start line.  It was chilly when we were getting ready to go, but now that my adrenaline is going, my light jacket feels like a winter coat.  I pull it off over my helmet and tie it around my waist.  I look over and Amie is also heating up and she has pulled her hoodie off.  As we pass the start line, she throws her hoodie at someone and we’re on a roll.


Penny Pony has a natural 12 mph pleasure trot and when she’s geared up, it can hit 19 mph.  Yep, Lugnut is cantering to keep up with her trot and Amie is like, “Wow!  What a trot!”

Yep. One day, when Penny Pony gets her head on straight about this sport, I’ll let her start out front and stay out front.  But not today!

And yes, I am that asshole rider on the asshole horse that I used to complain about years ago when I rode nice pleasurable horses in this sport.  This causes me embarrassment, but also challenges me because most the asshole horses are now top 10 contenders and they’re strong. One day, I hope to have a Top 10 horse and not an asshole horse.

BEAR WITH ME!  If I passed you rudely, forgive me.

We get on trail and start passing people up the mountain.

Sorry, passing on the left.

Sorry, my horse is an asshole, passing on the right.

So sorry, I cannot keep my horse off your horse’s rear end on this narrow single track trail, can we pass when it opens up.

And at one point, Penny Pony was being very strong as we came up on two mules. Although their comment was funny, their tone when they MADE the comment was not funny.

“Can you get your horse off my ass.”


So sorry, we’re passing through, so sorry.

Then we had horses on our rear through a narrow singletrack and Penny Pony kept trying to look back to see who was trailering her.  Because she kept doing this, the brush caught me in the face and ripped my glasses off.



Fortunately for me, the rider behind me saw them and I was able to get off and pick them up before anyone stepped on them.

Whew. Those riders passed us while I was getting myself all settled again.

Then (and this was a big “whew” moment) we got into a pocket.  No horses in front, no horses in back and Penny Pony and Lugnut settled into a nice steady trot.  I was great. I was on a loose rein, sometimes he’d be out front, sometimes she’d be out from. The trail was great, Amie was fun company, and I started to relax and enjoy the ride.  For the next 5 or 6 miles!

(see a little walking video at this link) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aci6knAgo2M

During these five or six miles, Amie and I had great conversation and I got to know her a little bit.  At this time, I still do not know her name.  Yes, I am bad about that kind of stuff.  Everyone knows my name (apparently) as rider after rider that we passed was like, “Hey Dodie.  Have a good ride.”

Then we came out of the trail and onto the downhill road.  Oh yes, Naoma knows this spot well from last year.  And yes, Penny Pony remembers it too.  She gets on the road and she’s ready to go.  And here comes that 19 mph trot.  And we’re trotting, and we’re catching horses so she’s trotting faster, and then she’s trying to be the winner so she’s breaking into a canter, I cannot get her back down to a trot and we’re cruising at a canter that begins to turn into a hand gallop, then that hand gallop turns into a full blown runaway horse.

HOLY F&^%#@ and hang on, Dodie.

I see the sign for the photographer and can’t WAIT to see this picture. (Exactly what went through my mind was, “This is gonna be one screwed up photo.”)  I am bracing on the reins and I’m attempting half halts, and side pulls, and anything I can to get this horse to STOP RUNNING AWAY WITH ME DOWN HILL.

(note to the reader, I did not pee my pants! but as you see from these photos, I was in complete concentration.)

Finally, I run her into the side of the hill.  Literally. And she stops.  I turn her around to face uphill and wait for several minutes until Lugnut and Amie are coming along.  Lugnut greets Penny Pony, and she greets him back.  I wave to Amie as I am wiping sweat out of my eyes (or maybe they were tears, I’m not sure) and as she approaches me, Penny Pony whirls to go downhill at speed again.

OH NO, we’re not doing that.

I put her behind Lugnut and use him as a brake.

Amie, I am so sorry.  I hope that didn’t stress you out, I had no idea what else to do.

After about 1/4 mile, Penny Pony relaxed and now I have her attention again.


Rivers of sweat were rolling off me and I thought about how badly that could have ended. In fact, Emily (injured rider from my ride) popped into my mind and I have to remember to send her a “How are you doing?” note when I survive this ride.

We’re a mile from Bird Haven and Penny is getting all worked up again.  I attempt to get off to walk her, so her pulse will come down, but she’s having none of that.  She ran me down, dragged me across the road and through the weeds, and finally I decided I needed to get back on her or I was gonna get killed.

Thankfully, Amie was very patient with all this nonsense, and when she could have (should have) just ridden off to do her own ride, she stuck with me and my crazy race-brain horse.


And finally, we make it into Bird Haven.  Penny Pony drank long and hard at the creek crossing just before the hold, and that made me happy … because when I looked at my phone and saw that we came into the hold way too fast for this terrain, I was concerned she’s burning herself up.  I yelled “NAOMA!” as we came into the hold.  I was supposed to text Naoma a couple miles out but we were moving too fast to safely take the phone out.  Turns out there was no service in BH hold anyway, so yelling was the right thing to do!

I told Amie to grab her gear and come over to share my crew!  She was so thankful.  Lugnut pulsed right down.  He also lost a shoe so she had to take him over to the farrier.  What a really good boy he is.  He is quiet and mannerly in the hold and he was no trouble at all.

 Penny was kinda looking at her food but she was still panting hard so we spent about 5 minutes just dumping cold water on her.  Naoma took Penny over to vet and her pulse was still up so back to the hold area and more water.  She was still panting very hard and that made me take pause.  She isn’t an Arabian but she normally comes down pretty quickly.  It was getting humid and we blew off 15 tough uphill mountain miles really fast so maybe she was just a little over heated.

THINK, you don’t know what you don’t know.

In the hold, Penny Pony was not interested in her grain or her slurry.  She was (however) totally interested in eating Lugnut’s alfalfa hay and tasting his sweet feed.  She did eat, but not the stuff I wanted her to eat.  I thought this odd and wondered if the bag of feed I just got was bad or something. Took Penny Pony about 15 minutes to cool off, settle her brain and get pulsed in.  So we’re running 10 minutes behind Amie and Lugnut on the out time. That’s okay, Penny Pony will probably catch right up!  Adam took care of Amie, Naoma took care of me.

The kids? They were having a blast using the metal detector and finding goodies. THINK!  You don’t know what you don’t know – the kids got into trouble from the BH owners for playing in the creek and for using their metal detector.

I ate and drank and peed.  Okay, I’m feeling pretty good considering the scare I had earlier, so Amie gets out on trail and I start getting all my stuff together to get back on.  I refresh my drinks and put an extra on in the back in case Laurel Run is out.  It could happen!  I give Penny Pony her elytes and a 1/2 BCAA … And it’s time.

Well, Penny Pony is like, “WTF?  What do you mean I have to go out alone?” (Yeah … this is something we will need to work on at home.) But it also made me wonder, at the time, if she was trying to tell me something.  Usually she’s like, “Riding?  Oh hell yeah!”

A nice young lady on an Appaloosa comes along behind us and asks if I need a tow.

Yes, please,  And thanks for asking.

Once we get out on trail about a mile, Penny Pony gets it and she’s like – You’re too slow, and she gets her mojo on and we’re off.  I rode most of the Lauren Run trail, 16 miles, alone and Penny Pony did great. In fact, she did REALLY great, on a loose rein, not getting excited when a couple horses came up behind her for a bit, and not begging to run and run and run.

(little walking video of me and Penny Pony riding on top of the world)


My fun meter is way up and I’m feeling in heaven. Like literally, we’re on top of the world. This is Penny Pony’s first competition where she has to do it all by herself, and she’s doing great.  We do not do a lot of riding alone because of me.  Not that I can’t, but I choose not to.  If I come off on trail, and I’m alone at home, someone may never find me for hours.  At a ride – well – there are lots of people behind me on trail, someone will see my green glow in the weeds.


We do drive buggy at home, alone.  So she is accustomed to having to go out by herself.  I was thrilled when she decided she didn’t need a buddy and left that Appaloosa all on her own.  She’s learning.

We came out onto the crossing where we have to (literally) pull a very steep one mile trail.  Then we do another two miles, still uphill, along a ridge.  We stopped at the water tank there and Penny Pony tanked up.  I mean, like you could see the water level visibly diminishing.

WOW!  Bonnie was taking numbers there and since no-one else was around, I asked her if she would give a half an elyte to Penny Pony so I didn’t have to get off.  Bonnie was awesome!  Slipped that right in and Penny Pony didn’t even notice.

And off we go.  Up the hill, and Penny Pony is like, “F^&%^%$ you, Dodie.”  I had to agree with her.  That climb looked very daunting.  I haven’t done it for three years and had forgotten how utterly steep it was.

She started up the hill and was bring a perfect endurance horse.  She’d go about 100 feet, then stop and eat grass on the side while catching her breath.  Then she’d dig in, push herself upward another 100 feet and stop to eat grass while she caught her breath. And on and on.  I heard a horse coming up behind me and it flitted across my mind, “Oh Poop!” because Penny was taking it easy and working her way up without overly stressing herself and now that another horse was coming along she’d want to blast up the mountain and give herself a heart attack.

Oh poop…on a stick…

I realized at this point that Penny Pony was getting tired.  Although she made every attempt to keep up with the gray gelding passing her on the two mile incline, she simply wasn’t up to it.  He got on ahead of her and she seriously wanted to be the winner.  We made our way up until the trail leveled off and then she perked up.  Within ten minutes, she caught up to that gelding and passed him by.

Once again we were on our own and cruising along at Penny Pony speed. On a loose rein and perked ears.  This felt awesome.

We come out on the flat and there’s a creek crossing.  Penny Pony stopped to drink and drink and then she ate some grass alongside the trail,  We were still in our pocket of aloneness, so she was taking her time and not feeling any pressure.  All on her own, she came out onto the gravel road and turned left towards VC2 (Laurel Run)  I swear she could read the sign on the tree.  I laughed out loud.

Off at a nice relaxed trot and we’re moving along.  She slows down and I let her move at her own pace.  The riders behind us caught up to us just as we were turning into the vet check.  Penny Pony didn’t stress over it and she quietly merged into their group. (funny story about this photo, the ride manager Diane was taking them from a truck and as we were passing, Penny Pony and I almost fell into the ditch.  Sheesh)

Shockingly, she walked into the vet check and called out.  I looked up and there was Amie and Lugnut! HEY!  Lugnut called back to her.  Too funny!

I asked Amie when she was out, and she said she had about 10 minutes then she was gone.  Nice!  They are cruising along today.  Lugnut looks great.  Amie told me to come park Penny Pony in her spot and eat what was left over.  A volunteer came by and I asked him to find my bag, #516.  Within a minute he was back and he started unpacking my bag as I was pulling off Penny Pony’s tack.  She had her face buried in Lugnut’s pan, eating and eating.

She was panting pretty good and the sky was darkening.  I was praying for a passing shower as I started getting water on her.  She never lifted her head out of the feed pan until it was all gone.  Another volunteer came by to help me cool her off and she brought a little scoop of feed.  Penny Pony was like, “Oh Yeah, give that to me.”

Side Note: Penny Pony has gotten very smart about holds.  Last year she was frantic at the beginning of the season.  As the year went on, she became more interested in her food than in what everyone else was doing.  At laurel Run she was pretty much back into the swing of being an endurance horse, standing still while I pulled her saddle and leg protection and patiently waiting for the “goodies”.

I listened to her heart and it seemed a wee bit high but I thought she might get settled by the time I got her up the hill to the pulse takers.  Nope.  It was at 70.  There was a water trough there, and the one pulse taker gave me a bottle so I could keep wetting her down.  She was ferociously attacking the grass next to the water trough as I wetted and wiped, wetted and wiped.

But she’s still panting.  I am running out of my 30 minutes so I take her over to the pulse taker again.  Nope, still about 68.  Time to see a vet.

AND THE SKY OPENS UP.  The rain feels really good.

Dr. Marshall observed her eating, then drinking.  He palped her back, asked me to trot, listened to her guts which were As all four.  He thought she might just be over heated, but he did want me to get down to Dr. Lynne right away so he went off to find me the horse ambulance.

I walk back down to where my gear was and hastily stuffed everything into my bag.  Another volunteer came up to help me.  Penny Pony wasn’t going anywhere, she was nose deep in a pile of hay eating every bit of it like a vaccuum.  To me this is a good sign.  She is always a good eater and drinker, and she’s doing a lot of that right now.

Off we go to camp.  I text Naoma that I was pulled.  She asked if someone should stay for Amie and I quickly answered, “Yes!  She’s on the move, keep her going!” Naoma said she’d grab my stuff and meet me at camp.

Dr. Lynne examined Penny Pony.  Everything is As except for her hanging pulse.  She watched her eating and offered her a slurry with elytes in it.  Penny Pony turned her nose up at it and kept eating grass.  Dr. Lynne’s biggest concern was that her pulse wasn’t coming down.  it is still hanging around 70.

We’re at one hour since our pull.  Dr. Lynne sends me to my camp with instructions on cooling her off and letting her rest.  Come back in an  hour.

OH NO NO NO … I have to walk 20 miles to my camp, wait then walk 20 miles back to the treatment vet.  My legs are gonna fall off.


We do that and when we come back in an hour, Penny pony is still panting and her HR is still 68.  She peed, pooped a million times, ate grass for an hour and yet her pulse is not coming down.  Dr. Lynne told me she had five other horses all doing that same thing.  Because Penny Pony is eating and drinking and her guts sound good and she’s not acting in pain, Dr. Lynne doesn’t want to do anything yet.  She says to take her back to my camp, give her a triple dose of elytes and come back in an hour and a half.

NO NO NO NO NO … 20 miles down, 20 miles back.You’re killing me!

Naoma and Katana were a great help.  They loaded all my stuff up and brought it back to our camp.  Naoma cleaned most of it while I started putting stuff away.  We set up a canopy for Penny Pony, thinking the shade might help her cool off.  Katana held her on a line in the shade under the trees so she could eat grass and she didn’t bring her head out of it for that entire hour and a half.

Oh dear, now it’s time to walk that 20 miles to see Dr. Lynne again.  Katana walked Penny Pony, Naoma walked, I rode my bike.  Penny Pony is still panting and her heart rate is still hanging at about 64 now.  It’s down some but it’s now 3 1/2 hours since we were pulled.  She should be mostly recovered. I am beside myself, believing I had broken my pony.  I felt totally helpless.

(Thank you Dr. Lynne, for your bedside manner while I was beating myself up.)

Dr. Lynne made up a nice white pasty mess of Magnalax, elytes and calcium.  She syringed it all down Penny Pony and then gently wiped Penny Pony’s white mustache away.  She felt she might have the beginnings of an ulcer and maybe Penny Pony had an upset stomach.  Within 15 minutes, Penny Pony stopped panting and hung her head, closed her eyes and fell asleep.  Dr, Lynne took her pulse and it was 40.  Her breathing was 8. Dr. Lynne says, “Ah ha … she needed a calcium boost.”


Why has no-one ever told me about calcium???

In 19 years of doing this sport, I have never heard of a calcium deficiency.  But in the past three days of telling people my story, every one of my friends is like, “Oh yeah, you should have calcium on hand to give at a hold.”


You don’t know what you don’t know.

So I quizzed Dr. Lynne and Dr. Marshall about elytes, calcium, other supplements and then they told me to look at the ingredients on the elyte I was using (OTC Jug) and compare it to the one I purchased because the OTC was not available.  I did and found the OTC had a much higher percentage of calcium that the one I had with me.  AND, it was actually higher in a lot of things.  So, now I order a crate of OTC and hope it gets off backorder soon.  And yes, I do have a bottle of calcium in my trailer now!

In the meantime, Adam crewed Amie and Lugnut through Bird Haven and they arrived at the finish line in 10th place. I was thrilled to hear they did so well.  We had a lot of conversations about Lugnut and his learning curve (chuckle)


At some point during my 100 mile walking back and forth to the treatment vetting area, Evelyn found me and told me that she had a black hoodie hung on a chair.  She was pretty sure it belonged to the person with whom I started the days’ ride.  AH!  Amie’s coat.  YAY!

Allow me a moment to talk about Evelyn.  Relatively new to our sport and on Saturday she rode the 100 mile Beast of the East, Cavalry-Style…and not only was one of the 18 of 32 finishers, she was Top 10.  I was very excited to hear that! Now, if I can just get Penny Pony’s brain adjusted, get some more miles on her, maybe I can do a very easy 100 miles with a full dozen crew….


And if you think that I had a horrible day, you’re very wrong.  I had a blast.  I met new people, I enjoyed all but about 3 miles of my 30 mile ride with Penny Pony. I love to ride the OD trails and I was very very pleased with Penny Pony’s overall work.  We had a hard start to this season and winter/spring conditioning has been hit or miss with the weather in Pennsylvania being crap.  If she did that well in what I consider a “under conditioned” state, just imagine what she’s gonna be like when she gets caught up in her conditioning.  For all her quirks, I love this mare and always enjoy riding her, even when she’s an asshole!!!!

(story still under construction)