RIDE SUCKER.....RIDE! That's what it says on the back of my latest ride prize Tshirt. Pretty funny but true. We say that a lot, along with Shut up and Ride!
Truth is - Oreana endurance rides declare the new ride season open, and also close it in the fall. You know spring is here when you can go to Teeter's place on Bates Creek and saddle up and enjoy the sagebrush, sand washes, creeks and friends.
I have concentrated on slowing Thunder down, I joked about turning him into a "plodder". When Linda and I rode out of camp, nearly last, as we checked out and they asked us how you doing this morning, "I told them just plodding along." Thunder was calm, on a loose rein, relaxed. I kept telling Linda, "Wow if he can do this all day I'll be thrilled." Sometimes I wondered if it was really my Thunder. I think he's growing up. We rode across the flats above Pickett Creek thencircled back around to cross Bates Creek. Thunder loped a bit on the shoulder of the road, relaxed and easy, just having himself a very good time. Then we turned west again, passing a few riders here and there, and looked at those beautiful snow capped mountains to the west. Then it was down the Pickett Canyon trail and across Bates Creek with a mile and a half in. Thunder was thinking he was done, so he spooked and played through the wildflowers.
His pulse was down to 60 immediately, we vetted through and got 30 minutes to eat and change what needed changed, add what needed to be added, replenish water and all that before returning to go out. This time it was a 25 mile loop. Yeah we get to go somewhere. This loop went through the Brand's place and up the hill, swept out across Hart Creek via sand washes, and then turned to bring us back over more hills. We had lots of water and our horses drank every time! Then down Pickett Creek trail and into camp again, still shying at all those fun things.
Again the pulse dropped right away and we thought we were around 20th. This time we got to hang out in camp for 40 minutes. The final ten mile loop took us out to the Hart Creek rim and we could look down at where we had been earlier in the day. As well as the interesting sandstone formations in the landscape. It was a beautiful view. We could see riders off in the distance but we basically had it all to ourselves as we left the rim to go down the canyon trail one final time. The horses got a good drink in the creek and as we trotted out Thunder found a pair of alligators (logs) and shied twice from left to right in a heartbeat. Yeah, he was tired. LOL!
We trotted in and plodded across the finish line and the timer says "Do you want to tie?" Linda and I said we don't care. Well you can, to which we replied, doesn't matter. Then the guy says, well you are Top 10. We loked at each other and left and said NO WAY, we were sure he must have missed a few finishers. But nope we had plodded our way to 8th and 9th!! That was a shock. We didn't go fast, we walked when we needed or wanted, trotted and tried to keep it down to a dull roar and loped occasionally. Our finish time was 6:05. We had a great ride, the top 10 was just a surprising and welcome bonus!
Linda's mare and Thunder looked good, they vetted well and we didn't bother to show for Best Condition. The time factor was too big so we just got our completion and was pleased with that.
Sure hope my horse stays in this relaxed enjoyable pace mode, maybe I'll plod through a few more rides!