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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

November 11, 2009

Lida & Doc's Ride Story: Cave Country Canter

Photos by: Lida Pinkham Cave Country Canter 2009 Mud & Rock...
I think Stacey summed up the ride pretty well. I thought it was a tough ride and I'm glad to hear others did too. Whew! Doc was a trooper. If I had really known what I was getting him into, I might not have done it. But I think we both made it out OK. Doc was pretty pooped yesterday. I actually caught him laying down when I went to check on him last night and that is a rare thing. I checked him all over, but aside from being a little stiff, he seems none the worse for wear.

Thanks to Stacey and Barney for letting us ride with them a bit. Doc blew through quite a bit of steam at the beginning of the ride. (No coughing, yeah!) Not sure how far we had gone, but after about 1 1/2 hours, he was pretty pooped and started to really slow down, so I told Stacey to go on ahead. I had a feeling we would be taking the rest of the ride slow. When I saw Doc's muscles quivering on a hill, I decided maybe I should let him have a break. So we stopped and hung out for about 10-15 minutes. I ate an apple, fed him treats, and let him rest. This really put us behind, but after that he really perked up. We had all A's at the hold after 19 miles. He pulsed down right when we came into camp. No waiting.

I thought the 2nd loop was a bit more challenging than the first. There was really only 1 place where it was flat and I felt I could really move Doc out. It was a short stretch along the Ohio River - beautiful, but also VERY HOT! Doc was really dragging on the way out, but then we had to turn around and head back and boy did he perk right up.. We're headed back - yeah! Just when I thought he was all out of energy, he cantered for quite a ways on his own. Little buggar!

As we were heading back, I was watching the time and wondering if I would make it back in time to complete. I thought I had to be back by 2:00 p.m. and as I watched my watch 1:45, 1:50... I didn't think I was going to make it and then 1:55 - ahhh the end was in site. We popped out of the woods and I saw the camp sites. I hopped off Doc and walked back in. We pulsed down at 1:58 - just 2 minutes after we got back in. Turns out we had until 2:15 p.m. Nothing like getting in just in time. :-)

So did I pick 2 tough rides to start LD with or what - Spook Run and Cave Country. The mud was unbelieveable. I have not seen anything lilke that mud. I love the way Michelle described it on Jacke's blog... She called the mud "bogs". Doc's easy boot gloves were incredible. The front 2 never budged an inch. One of the hind boots came off on a hill on a log. I think he just slipped and twisted it off somehow. I was able to put that one on and it stayed put the rest of the ride. The other came off in one of the boggy muddy places and I heard it come off and was able to stop and retrieve it. It was too muddy to put back on and I knew we were on the home stretch, so I just packed it away. So I lost no boots. I am impressed by these glove boots! I could see if you were serious about making time, you might want the glue ons, but I think these are going to be good enough for as serious as I want to get.

Doc was a great partner for the entire trip. Except for his extra enthusiasm for the first 20 minutes of the ride. I don't think I could have asked for him to do anything better. I even rode most of the ride in a rope halter so he could eat and drink more easily. He was drinking out of muddy hoof prints like an old pro. I think for next year, we need to work on getting more miles under our belt and picking up the pace just a wee bit so we don't cut it so close at the end. :-)

So Doc & I have our first 60 miles toward the first mileage award, right? Don't you get something for 250 miles. :-) Maybe that can be a goal for next year.

(Congratulations on another 30 miles Lida & Doc)~E.G.


  1. Lida,

    How tight are you pulling the velcro on your gaiters? I've canter Phebes for long stretches, sunk into bogs to the hock and no pop offs yet. You might want to try the power straps to really snug up those hinds too if you face deep mud again.

    Isn't that ride incredible? CCC was my very FIRST LD ride and on my beloved Puddin'. Next year I hope to try it on Phebes.

  2. I am pretty sure I had the gaiters snugged on pretty well. I just think after 30 miles of mud it was too much. :-) They stayed on with no problems at Spook Run which had quite a bit of mud, but nothing even close to the mud that was at Cave Country. The one boot that came off first was his left hind. That foot has a little flair, so I am sure that is part of the problem and he slipped on a small tree limb, so I think he twisted that one off. The other was his right hind and I think that just succumbed to that very thick suction like clay mud. But I heard it come of and was able to retrieve it. I was pretty impressed. If I have too much more trouble with them coming off, I might look into the power straps, but I hope not to see that much mud for long, long time. :-)