Sunday, October 23, 2011

Awesome Ride

We made it back all in one piece from the Sand Hills of South Carolina, so of course I am counting it as another success!  I was a little off on the ride distance, it was actually a 35 mile ride not 30.  This is apparently very important in the endurance world because it adds 1:15 min. to the allowable completion time which then gave us 8 1/2 hours to complete the 35 mile.(this included the 50 min hold and 2 vet checks)  There was a little scare for J at the pre ride vet check when they said Jessica was off on her left front.  This was something she has never had an issue with and I didn't think she was off,  she always just nods her head when she trots.  They left it up to us whether to ride or not so since I was use to how she moved I thought it would be ok. 
 The weather was beautiful, temp probably in the 40's for the morning then getting up high 60's low 70's by the afternoon.
 No, J was not going the wrong way.  We had to check in with the timer 15 min. prior to the start, then watch  all of the high strung Arabians with their nervous energy.
 Hank, on the other hand was his usual calm, cool and collected self.  And thank you Aimee for letting me use your real endurance saddle, it worked great. (But I did lose that springing feel to the padded stirrups after about 2 hours.)
 We let most of the craziness go first and started about 30 seconds later.  With the pace they set the lead horses are pretty much gone in 30 seconds.  This was my view for most of the race - Jessica and J in front through the pine trees,
 Jessica and J in front on the sandy road,
 Jessica and J in front through the hard wood forest.  As you can see the trails were great, not a rock in sight, gradual slopes, most areas wide enough to ride side by side or pass easily.  There was lots of deep sand which we are not use to but the horses seemed to handle it well.  Jessica was raring to go and J was holding her back most of the first 18 mile loop.
 There was one optional water crossing about 1 1/2 miles from the vet check along the end of a small pond.  Jessica decided this would be a great time to cool off she she laid down right in the middle of it.  J was very unhappy about having wet feet for the rest of the ride but he said he could feel her instantly get cooler.
We came into the vet check in 2 hours 57 min. and they pulse down right away.  There was no issue with Jessica's soundness and both horses got all A's from the vet.   Because it was still slightly cool and we didn't want any cramping we kept blankets over their rumps.  They were both good at drinking and eating and J and I had time to eat a little lunch.
Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion...

5 comments:

fernvalley01 said...

Great so far! Looks like a beautiful place to ride

Aimee said...

Can't wait to hear about the conclusion! Shannon and I were thinking of you guys this weekend, and discussed Shannon's possible future involvment with endurance. I think he feels better knowing Joe does it and can survive it! I'm glad the saddle worked well for you two. Hank never ceases to amaze me!

Crystal said...

Looks like a nice ride. Guess its good toknow your horse when she is not lame even if they say.

C said...

I'm glad to know that all went well -- but I look forward to hearing the ending.

The Japanese Redneck said...

I can never tell which leg they are limping on unless it's very bad.

Glad ya'll are home safe and sound.

Looks like a lot of fun.

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