Contact information:

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

June 3, 2010

Arrival at Ride Camp...what do I do?

When you arrive at ride camp you will get your horse settled in first. If this is your first ride you can tie your horse to the trailer, set up an electric pen (most common) or set up portable corral panels to contain your horse. Make sure your horse has plenty of water, and plenty of good hay to munch on.

Once your horse is settled in you will set out to find where the ride managers have set up for you to sign yourself in. You will fill out a form, and generally sign a liability waiver, and pay your ride entry fee. This is when you should ask what time the pre-ride vet in starts also what time the ride meeting will be held.

Next chore on the list is getting your gear set up for the next day. ( Remember you will likely be getting your horse ready to go in the dark...and that really can take some getting used to. For this operation I bought myself a little light that fits on the brim of my hat or riding helmet. I love that thing because it is hands free and really makes saddling up, booting up, and bridling much easier. If you get one of these densensitize your horse prior to the ride, as they are really bright!) I set out everything I'll need in the order that I'll need it. This includes breakfast! I have a bowl, a baggie of cereal, spoon, and napkin ready to go. For my caffiene fix I have in the cooler a bottle of starbuck's frappacino (thanks Chris for that handy tip), it is quick, easy, and no caffiene headache. I lay out my clothes, boots, just basically have everything set up and ready to go as finding things in the dark is AWFUL! This includes your horse's early morning feed ration. I get up about four hours ahead of ride time (yes about 2 or 3 a.m.) and give my horse whatever concentrated feed I want her to have. When I get up about 5 a.m. she will get additional hay to munch. Keep water in front of your horse at all times.

Some folks saddle up and pre-ride a little trail, or walk their horses around camp. Also a good time to introduce yourself to your neighbors. Most of the time people are really REALLY nice. (Now and then you get someone who looks all "puckered up." Just pass those by, smile kills them *LOL*. It is very interesting to look at the equipment people are using, and ask questions about it. Don't feel bad if your stuff looks different. No sense in investing in a bunch of stuff until you decide you are a die hard endurance rider).

This is also the time to get your hold time stuff ready. Pick you out a spot near the vetting area(shade if you can find it) and fix up a couple of buckets of water, your sponges, your tote (with hay, feed, lunch, etc) and your chair.

Once everything is organized for morning you will be ready for the pre-ride meeting. In our region it is just before dark. Bring a pen and notebook, and take notes. Write down in questions you might have and ask them! Let ride management know that you are new and they or someone will give you information.

Head back to your camp, make sure your horse has plenty of hay, water, and whatever evening chow it may get. If you use electrolytes you may want to give a small dose in the evening. Then settle in and get some sleep. Morning will come early (don't forget your alarm clock)!


1 comment:

  1. EG, these last few posts have been incredibly helpful and detailed. I feel so much more prepared for what will come! I know I'm only doing the intro/social ride to start with, but I would have arrived on site completely unprepared! And still I have so much to learn!

    Thank you for these beginner posts! I am sure I will be referring back to them frequently! Both TK (my skinny beast) and I thank you! :)