We are a little behind, so this post covers 2 recent adventures!
On may 13th, Anna and Rob took Amira and Mojo to Cornish, NH for the VERDA Bare Bones 30 mile endurance ride. The kids all stayed home to take care of the goats and horses that didn’t attend. It was 2015 when just the two of us attended a ride without kids. This ride is mostly dirt roads with a very pretty covered bridge. The drive is only about 2.5 hours which makes it the closest ride to us at this point.
We arrived in camp on Saturday afternoon and set up the horse pens and our tent. The horses vetted in fine and we visited with some of our ride-camp friends. By dark, everyone is in their sleeping bags and out for the night. It got cold overnight (temps around 39F). It’s been a long time since we tent-camped at a ride and I now remember how much less fun it is. But we survived and headed out. The ride was uneventful and both horses did great throughout the day. Mojo even finished the ride with a CRI of 36/36. We let the horses recover and headed home. The kids had done fine without us.
Amanda turned 13 on 5/18 and we went out to Koto for a hibachi dinner.
This weekend we went to New York Adventure in New Berlin, NY. It was a 5.5 hour drive and we still only took Mojo and Amira. However, there were 6 humans so the travel trailer went too. Our friend Lucy is excited about getting her new Arabian into endurance and has signed up to crew and volunteer at some rides with us this summer to learn the ropes.
We arrived in ride camp around 1 and had some lunch before setting everything up. With so many extra sets of hands, setting up the pens (for only 2 horses) went quickly and we had plenty of time to walk around talking about how others set up their pens and sleeping arrangements. For this ride, Alex was riding Mojo in the 30 miler and sponsoring Amanda on Amira. This was the first time the kids went out on trail (at a competition) without a parent and the first time Amanda rode Amira at a competition.
The dogs were happy to sleep on the couch with Amanda.
The ride on Sunday morning started at 0730. The 75 miles had started at 0530 and the 50s started at 0630. There were 42 riders in the 30 miler, so it was a larger group than at many of the rides we attend. The temperatures were in the upper 40’s when we go up and the kids had some layers on while warming up the horses, but with highs in the 80s for the day, they shed the extra jackets before the start. They had an 18 mile loop first followed by the hold and then another 12 miles.
While we waited at base camp (some more nervous than others), our 4 extra bodies provided crewing assistance to riders coming in to the vet check. The staggered start times meant a steady flow of riders through the hold without getting too crowded at any point.
Amira and Mojo both cleared the mid-ride vet check just fine and went back out as temperatures continued to climb. We started to see some horses struggling to cool down in the hold. Alex and Amanda came walking back from the last loop (to help the horses start cooling) and everyone was in good spirits. Mojo made pulse almost immediately, but Amira struggled. We used 10 gallons of ice water plus all our other tricks (CMPK, electrolytes, and no-salt) and it still took her 28 min to make pulse which is very long even for her. But, ultimately she did make pulse and cleared the final vet check giving both Alex and Amanda completions. Alex was 28th and Amanda was 30th with 36 of the 42 riders getting completions.
We let everyone recover and packed up for the 5.5 hour drive home. Quinn got some trailer driving practice pulling the 30′ travel trailer with my 2500HD. We didn’t die.
The kids are anxious to ride some 50s this season, but the horses need some more conditioning and to work out a few tack tweaks. We have some more rides penciled in on the schedule, but will decide for sure over the next few weeks. Today it’s unpack and re-pack for next weekend’s adventure. Stay tuned…