Rainbow, who deemed it her job to keep them out of our campsite.
We settled in, well knowing that there was to be a weekend long endurance ride competition. I was concerned because rumor had it that there would be over 100 horses on the grounds. Also, I suspected that the adjacent horse pens would fill up.
Thus, it was last Thursday that Pete and I were faced with a decision. We could either leave our campsite and find another, or we could stay put and see what happened. We decided on the latter because we were too lazy to move.
The trucks, pulling trailers with living quarters began pulling in on Thursday evening. And this continued all day Friday. And the pens did fill up. By Friday evening we’d adopted the adage if you can’t beat them, join them. We volunteered to help get the place ready for the upcoming event, and to work during the event. As we understood it, there would be two 25 mile and 50 mile rides: one each on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday Pete hopped into the fray and began giving an assist with taking horses’ heart rates. I first went for a ride with CJ. Raudi had gone into season and had been a ditz the previous day. But she was just fine on our ride. After, I began working in the heart rate area. There were a lot of horses and a lot of activity – any concerns I might have had about working with big horses soon disappeared.
On Sunday I decided to do the 25 mile ride. Pete was most interested in continuing with volunteer work, so I recruited Haley Peters, age 12, to ride Signy. We met the day before when the horse she was riding was pulled because his pulse was too high.
My asking Haley to ride Signy turned out to be fortuitous. Before we set out, I told her to let Signy set the pace, which she did. She was patient, and never once pushed Signy any faster than she wanted to go. The end result was that Signy’s pulse was low both at the midway point and the end point of our ride. I was also pleased with how Raudi did. She never once spooked, not even when a group of 50 mile riders came racing up behind us.
So all in all it was a very good day. Perhaps most importantly, Pete and I met and hung out with some incredible people – all horse lovers, all very knowledgeable about endurance riding and horse care.
We had such a good time that we are next going to Cody, Wyoming where we’ll visit with Dorothy, who is a long time endurance competitor. And after, we may in two weeks’ time head down to Evanston where we will participate in another endurance ride.
Next: 156: 8/8/13: Thermopolis, WY-where the wind don’t blow so strange