We have been informed that to have grain at the end we must finish Tevis...bummer.
Summer Breeze Ride Take Aways
I know that many people get so upset when someone says that LD isn't Endurance. My feelings are that it isn't an insult to LD in any way. LD is hard, it has its level, but it in no way compares to the difficulty of a 50, in the same way that a 50 in no way would compare to a 100. My first thought at the finish this weekend, even though I was on the outer fringe of a heat related issue, was this was so much easier than 50 and I was glad I chose an LD for a hot ride day. That said, Journey seemed to be a much happier horse post ride in that she still came to the gate when I called her and did not shun me post ride, which tells me she was not stiff, sore, otherwise grumpy or disgruntled. She "likes" the 25 mile distance. So reflecting on that I have to imagine that:
a) She probably should do more LD rides.
b) more LD rides might better prepare her for her next 50.
c) I should rethink how I'm prepping her for 50's, I'm not getting something just right.
d) Consideration should also be given to the idea that she may not be 50 mile material, but it is early on to be sure.
e) I would like to complete at least one 50 a year until I'm unable to do them anymore. The challenge resonates with me. It's just plain hard and as I age I expect it to get harder...
Just about everything went right with this ride as far as Journey was concerned. Nothing respiratory reared its ugly head. She was calm and well-behaved in the pulse gate, and with the vet. The three weeks of intermittent heat training on the hill seemed to toughen her up. She met pulse criteria super fast which tells me I should probably mimic my method coming in slow....for LD's even if it eats a little time on a 50 because I make it up at the pulse gate. Diane C.'s pump up sprayer for cooling is the freaking bomb...the look in Journey's eyes tells the tale on that one, she just looks like THIS IS TOTAL BLISS and the pulse rate plummets. It is also portable, easy to handle, and you can direct the flow right on those big vessels in the neck which carry a boat load of blood, cooling it in a hurry. All I can say is her recoveries were the best she's ever had, you could have knocked me over. I just put the monitor on her and watched the number head straight down.
The LD this weekend further cemented in my mind that it is not in my personal best interests to attempt a hot weather 50. An hour out from the finish of this one I knew I was headed the wrong direction. It sounds weird but before I cave with heat exhaustion I will get this weird goose bump thing going on and a prickling of the scalp. Very hard to explain, but I know I'm getting into trouble when it happens. Being out of water at that point was just extremely bad. I had used one of my water bottles on Journey thinking I'd be alright. But the temperature / humidity started climbing and there it was. My worst nightmare would be laying on a trail, puking, and trying to hang on to my horse, and the ensuing drama that would go along with that. Hence I did not sign up to ride yesterday. It just wasn't worth it too me, even though in the words of the vet Journey looked "really good."
Journey's ride time? Though I won't yet give you the time mentioned at the awards meeting as it isn't official until it is official...She was slower than dirt! *LOL* Even though we placed mid-pack, my predictions concerning her not being a hot weather horse were totally proven into fact as we had a very slow (in my mind) finish time. Mileage estimations for the ride were right on target, so it wasn't that. On the other hand she came through great, and that for me is of the greater importance than actual placement. She is a little square peg trying to fit into the round world of purebred arabians. She does the best she can and I simply love this little mare for her try. She isn't speedy, but she is like the "little train that could." She's tough for what she is...an accidental breeding of an Appaloosa to a "maybe" arab (no papers or pedigree), with a serious downhill build, wearing hoof boots, carrying a 24 pound saddle, tack, and a too fat rider (who tries to drop weight but apparently can't unless I survive on air). I'll take my steady little mutt appy over the antics of a high strung fast horse ANY DAY. (Please note that I have a deep admiration for Arabian Horses and their athletic ability. Love them.) But I love little Journey more ♥