(NOTE: I apologize for the lengthy delay in getting this post out, but I figured better late than never. Next up, my ride story from Blackwater Swamp Stomp!)
Broxton Bridge Day 3 (January 29, 2017).
One good thing about sleeping in the driver’s seat of the truck was it allowed me to keep a close eye on the horses all night. I discovered that all it took was a light tap on the brakes, and the lights would glow so I could view the horses in the rear view mirrors. (Both horses were tied to the trailer overnight. For various reasons I personally am not a huge fan of portable electric paddocks, although I do see a high tie in my future!)
Since my camp stove had died the day before, Ashley went to the office to heat water for tea and oatmeal for breakfast. But I wasn’t hungry so I stayed behind. I thought I was going to get a head start on tacking up, but then I realized I’d misplaced my cell phone and spent about 15 minutes looking for it instead.
Once tacked up, we headed over to check in. Ashley and I decided to ride together this time. Once again we started out with a group of LDers.
Our horses were hot, but not out of control. Ashley’s pony Thunder – despite only being 13.2h – set the pace and Justice and I were hard pressed to keep up!
I had already decided to allow J to move out this time around. And move we did. After a while my friend’s pony tired a bit, so we assumed the lead.
Honestly much of the ride is a blur. Justice was still jerking on the reins occasionally but not nearly so much as the day before. At one point we passed a group of juniors (and their sponsors I assume), then they passed us when we stopped to water our horses. We easily caught back up to them again and hung out behind them a few minutes before we asked to pass. From then on we saw them occasionally, but always stayed in front of them. I thought it was interesting – technically they were maintaining about the same overall pace as us but our horses trotted much faster, and we would have much longer walk periods. So for instance we would trot 10 or 15 minutes and leave them in the dust. Then walk another 10, and by the end of that they would’ve caught up to us.
As we neared the vet check, we decided to keep moving and trot in. We were both curious to see how quickly our horses would pulse down, given that we were coming in hot. My friend stripped tack and headed almost immediately to the vet check. I opted to sponge J a few minutes, and take his heart rate myself before heading that way. I was thrilled to find that within 10 minutes he was at 48, and despite the fact that it was slightly warmer than the previous day he vetted out even better, with all A’s and a CRI of 48/48! Honestly I think we could’ve gone back out and done another 10 miles!
We had to leave by mid afternoon, so the horses had a few hours to eat and chill at the trailer before we headed out. They both had a well-deserved week off, as did their humans.
All in all, the experience did not disappoint! Everyone was super friendly, and we learned so much. I cannot wait for our next ride!