Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kickin Butt...

Butch trots Farah out for BC (Photo by Jessica Anderson)
My Own!  I've asked myself a million times what it is that keeps drawing me back to this sport?  The challenge, the trail, the comradery ?  At Bare Bones - again - as at most every ride I've ever ridden - I learned.

Pulling into ride camp after several grueling hours of watching Butch maneuver us safely through lots & lots of traffic,  we looked for a place to park.  Not less than FOUR people approached our rig as Butch was jockeying here/there - to find that spot - approached his door to tell him that "You can't park there!"  So much for the "comradery"...  By the time the fourth person had said that - we were both pretty well...  well...  The middle of the field looked by then - like the "perfect" spot!  We sat up our camp within shouting distance of Anne-Marie & Lisa - who actually welcomed us to the neighborhood!   No longer on any team - we fend for ourselves :-)
Farah enjoys lunch after the ride~
Now - on to the ride!  It was a cool & overcast morning.  So few 50-mile riders that the start was pretty quiet.  The rest of us, fifty some who had signed up for the 30-mile ride - were busy getting ourselves & our horses ready for the 6:30 a.m. start time.  Butch helped me get Farah saddled, I mounted up & we started down the field.  Once I asked her to turn back in the direction of the start - the rodeo started!  Threats to buck, tossing her head - coming Up & Under that saddle!   Once we arrived at the starting line, she stopped, took a deep breath & dropped her head!  What she wanted - was to Be there & be out in front.  Good memory this mare!
I have my concerns, starting up front - it's a tricky position - with a lot of hot horses & riders - behind you!  Into the woods, out at the north end of the field & over to the water puddle that's between camp & the trails.  Just as we came to the edge - Farah hesitated just a split second & in the next - a horse had raced around us on the outside, jumped in & was across in two strides - headed up the trail!  Farah was so shocked it took her a second to realize what had happened :-)  She leaped across & headed up the trail bucking, tossing herself around & having a fit!  :-)  Once I got her head up & she actually looked up - she realized that we weren't gaining any ground & quickly galloped to catch up!

Before too long, we heard a horse come up behind us.  After a few miles, we made introductions - as it was obvious that the three horses were all fit & would be together on the trail.  The trail was easy to follow, footing was good - but dry & hard, with loose rock in places.   When we arrived at the first of the water tanks I was surprised when the front runner said he was passing up the water & was that "OK"?  No, I always offer water when it's there.

I was riding with a heart monitor for the first time & could see that Farah was traveling well within the parameters that I'd read were in the "normal" range.  When we arrived at the VC, it was wonderful to have Butch there to take the reins & cool her down.  We pulsed two-minutes behind our traveling companions.  No surprise to me - since I have learned that Farah's recoveries are Not Khari's!  I'd forgotten the stomach buffer that I use with electrolytes, so had that little nagging worry in the back of my mind.  She ate well & was drinking just fine, but the pace was faster than I would have liked.  I was actually glad that we left out of the VC on our own - Farah settled into her pace & we were having our best time of the day.

It wasn't long before we caught up to the second place rider, then began seeing bikes & hikers on the trail.  We were polite, but some of these other trail users seemed irritated that we were there at all...  Farah took over her favored lead position.
Bare Bones 30-mi. My 310XT tract
We trotted right up to the finish!  Yippee!  Butch hadn't made it back down from the out-check - so I had tack to strip on my own & hustled with a sponge & water!  Farah came down quickly - but it seems just a heartbeat slower than the gelding - that would give us third.   As we approached for our completion exam, Dr. Root asked me if we'd completed the entire course?  Thank heaven for GPS!  I showed him the face of my 310 - showing 29+ miles.

Butch got back just as I was heading to our camp to clean Farah up for BC judging.  We both worked the hour, while Farah consumed her mash & hay.
Farah & Butch
I was very proud of her!  She'd gone faster than we'd trained & I never like that, but we've been hard put to find riding companions who have horses fit enough for more breezing work...    In retrospect -I was watching that darn HR more than I should have been.   I wish I'd been smart enough to have backed off that pace & taken it a bit easier.

Farah did it all, did it well & gave me another amazing ride!   Big heartfelt THANK YOU to the amazing man I married!  I wouldn't & couldn't do it without YOU!


  1. Well, congratulations on another great ride on Farah! Maybe-BC must be so discouraging and frustrating - I'm sorry, C, that's really tough!

    You definitely married the best crew in the NW ;)

    1. Thanks, those BC's are elusive :-)
      Don't I know it! :-)

  2. Oh, that's disappointing! I know it's just stuff, but once it's stuff that's been in your hands it's a bit of a bummer to lose it. But better less stuff and more good ponies and people than the other way around -- well done!

    1. Oh it wasn't the "stuff" - it sure wasn't a nice cooler like the one we were awarded at Renegade :-) It was the let-down that stung...

    2. Heh, I meant bummer to lose it [because of the symbolism/BC]. Not that you couldn't go buy your own bucket if you wanted one. :)

  3. Got you! :-) But you are exactly right! Thanks Hannah!

  4. Lookin' good! All that riding is paying off for you guys! Wasn't that just her second ride?
    I'm setting my sights on OR100 and the Jubilee Ranch Ride:)

    1. Her third. The OR 100 should be fun! Jubilee looks beautiful! Good luck at either or both!

  5. Anne-Marie RousseauAugust 7, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    you can be our neighbor anytime :). and thanks for all the great advice!!


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