Oh what a day....I thought I'd saddle up in spite of the Indiana heat and humidity and at least get some slow miles in today, and get her loosened up for a better ride tomorrow. I've been wanting to get better with the booting and let her get more used to the boots, but since I was planning on puttering along I did not vet wrap her hooves. We made our way peacefully out to the trotting track. We picked up a trot, then an easy canter, and then transitioned back to the trot. This is nice I thought.
ROLL BACK and I'm skidding into the dirt. I had the reins in my hand but let go as I was afraid of becoming entangled and dragged. Phebes bolts. I desperately scramble to my feet and call for her, the horse is LONG GONE. It is hot, humid, I'm in the hills, the water bottles and my walkie talkie are clipped to the horse. I'm frantic I'll lose her, that she will get to the road and get hit, or become entangled in the sport reins. I start back tracking, looking for hoof boot tracks to figure which way she went. No sign of any. After climbing one of the worse hills I think I hear brush thrashing around somewhere behind me and scramble back down the big hill, calling and looking for her. Instead I find some men clearing brush outside of the woods. So back up the hills and down the hills, calling, sweating, heart hammering, at one point having to sit down on the trail and try to get my breath, and praying, literally praying that my horse would be alright, that I would find her, and that I wouldn't have a heart attack in the process. I kept hiking towards home, trying to think which path she would take. I found her in the neighbor's hay field finally, just a few hundred yards from home. She had a leg through the reins which I get undone. ALL FOUR HOOF BOOTS ARE GONE. Only the ripped gaiters remained on the hinds and the front boots were just gone... $210...poof!!! By this point I have heat exhaustion and though I'm so hot I'm about to pass out creepy crawly goose flesh popping up on my skin, so I drag myself up on my sweaty horse that must have galloped ALL THE WAY BACK by the looks of her. I puke all the way to the house, hanging onto her mane to keep from falling off. Untack her, and stagger to the house to peel out of clothes, crank up the air conditioning, and lay sick and deflated in front of a fan. I never handle the heat well, but hiking hills in this heat was just too much for me. I thought Phebes seemed a little bit off on her left front this evening when she came up for chow. I'll have to keep an eye on her. Oh what a day. ~E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association