Badger before his race
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
His number is 53...I was thrilled just to pass the first vet check the nite before the race.
What I learned:
Ok I learned this. Good shoes: a must.
Good fitting saddle [for both rider and horse]: a must
Positive attitude: YES!
Secrets for the rider:
I wore bicycling shorts under my riding tights ...along with my custom carved hard seat, no arse soreness.
I wore a zip jacket so when I got warmed up I could unzip while riding. Sweatshirts are a pain as they are hard to pull over the helmet.
Well ventilated helmet.
Good riding boots [mine were Durango laceups]
Wide stirrups with cush in them!
Comfy Bra [fer women]
Cell phone--priceless for getting directions when you get mislead onto the wrong trail.
Water, lots of it, at least two bottles on the saddle.
Excedrine migraine -- damn near kills any pain [I know b/c it helped with my hurting...um booby!!!]
A good energy snack for you.
Fresh hay and water at the vet checks. A touch of sloppy mixed beet pulp will make them suck down water. Sponge to cool them. Some give electrolytes. Loosen girth if you don't have to pull tack. [This is the only time I have ever yanked my nice beautiful saddle and tossed it carelessly into the dirt!]
Be kind and curtious to others b/c they may help you out. And don't be afraid to pull yourself and your horse.
Will I do it again, you betcha. But my training will not include endless hours of trotting, but things Badger likes to do...trail riding at a walk, climbing hills, taking photos...this way he thinks 'racing' is fun and not a chore.
25 miles is no sissy ride. It was freaking awesome to race down the trail in the morning mist flying after Arabs.
It is all about pacing and conditioning. But conditioning of the rider is super important also [as certain muscles are telling me today].
We did the LD. En route we got off course perhaps with the help of some bow hunters who had moved ribbons. [yes that really happened and was confirmed by the ride manager].
Badger vetted out strong at the halfway mark after 5 minutes of rest [17 miles distance we figure].
We had a mandatory hold of 40 minutes longer and then had 2 1/2 hrs to go 12.5 + or - miles back. My partner was not ready at 6:30 am so we'd already lost 15 minutes in the start of the LD. [hahah-sob!]
Our dis-course had taxed our mounts about 5 extra miles and so when we started back Sheba the Arab was ready to give up and my friend Glennie was ready just to call in and 'time out'.
I said, no way Josie! I pushed and pushed and pushed them...Badger led at an easy trot, we walked all up hills and downhills and trotted anything flat or moderatley flat. It became a very [for me] technical race.
I loped Badger most of the last two miles in, Sheba would start and stop but kept up.
You should probably walk your animal in the last mile but we didn't have time...and your finish time is when the vet checks your animal's metabolics and does an exam. Normally you would walk your horse around for about 10 minutes giving him/her water and sponging them.
We had to rip off the saddles and straight to the vet...no time for any pampering. The pulse was supposed to be below 60 BPM.
Badger pulsed in at 48 BPM and vetted all A's and A-'s for his vet check!!!!
We were dubbed the 'wrong way' riders and bets in camp were that we wouldn't finish within the alotted time.