What is great about this ride is it's practically in my backyard, Ridecamp being some 30 minutes from our house and the 1 hr old and finish at Auburn Overlook, the end of the Tevis trail. It's also on trails (at least the last 25) that Ali'i knows very well.
Besides adding another 50 miles to Ali'i's ride record, he also added Toss #4 to my record. This is becoming a habit. I think I've had enough. But, more on that later.
Our day started around 10:00 on Friday where I went into the pasture to retrieve my darling boy. He was standing with the two other geldings and a passed out Khaliq.
I walked all the way across the pasture and she did not wake up. In fact I thought I heard her snoring.
Grass still in her mouth. I guess I could have done the same thing last night after riding. Eating my steak and just passing out and finding I still had some dinner hanging out of my mouth to eat when I woke up this am. I was pretty exhausted.
I grabbed Ali'i, bathed and trimmed his hooves then took him to Ridecamp to vet in. After the ride meeting there, I went back home and didn't sleep at all. Sue was called beforehand as I needed a favor and was kinda desperate ~ could she get up at 3 am and meet me at the Overlook, leave her vehicle there, drive with me to the start, then after I left, drive my rig to the 1 hour hold & finish, pick up her car and be home by 6 am??? I felt bad asking anyone to get up at zero-dark-thirty, but she didn't care about that, she just was terrified to drive my van and new horse trailer. I told her it was no big deal, just watch corners with the hind trailer wheels. She'd be driving it at 5:30 and there wouldn't be much traffic. I let her drive it with Ali'i into Ridecamp and told her after he was out, she could go 110 miles an hour and fling around corners if she wanted. My horse trailer is insured and worse things could happen. I needed her help. Thank you Sue!!!!!!
At the start I fed Ali'i his mush, gave Sue a fluffy horse blanket to wear and saddled the baby boy up. At 5:25 I got on my horse with my stomach in knots and we walked around til the ride started. I started very shortly after the main riders left and Ali'i and I were in a perfect pace ~ nice slow, controlled start and he wasn't bucking or rearing, so I was very happy. 1/2 a mile down this levee there was a left turn over a road, then onto single track. This is where Ali'i got view of a horse in front of him and I could feel him turn it up a notch. 100 more feet down the trail there was a huge mud puddle and the little dick that he was, decided to dart right into a tree, then fling violently to the left. This is his classic move and I'm sick of it. Off I went yet AGAIN, fell on the same knee to re-bruise and cut and he stood like a tropper waiting for me to get back on. I really didn't hurt myself otherwise, but my knee stung for several miles. Luckily the falls have not trashed the actual knee, but more the skin. At the finish some woman in shorts had some sort of injury to her upper leg ~ she had a grapefruit sized bruise (??) sticking out on the back of her thigh and it wasn't pretty. So, I'm really not complaining....
Immediately after getting back on my horse several riders passed me and this one woman asked what kind of 50 I was going to do, slow or fast. I said slow so she asked if she could ride with me. Her name was Maryanne and she was absolutely wonderful to ride with. I must of had "Super Slow & Kinda Scared" on the back of my windbreaker. But I'm ok with that. We ride, we finish, we have fun.
Maryanne was riding a very sensible desert bred Arabian named "Alsab" (I think that's how you spell it), who was only 9 and gelded at 5. He was handsome, quiet and non-spooky and she didn't mind riding behind me for 50 miles. She liked my pace and never complained. Perfect riding buddy!!
This trail along Folsom Lake (The Pioneer Trail) is single-track, bushy, cliffy, narrow, rocky, and frankly I don't know how anyone can go very fast on it. At one point I was leading about 10 riders and kept asking if anyone "wanted trail" and no one was complaining to get in front. Parts of the trail had worn down so low below the ground (at least 18", if not more) that I had to pick both legs up to keep from getting smashed by granite rock outcroppings or trees or just the plain dirt. And the trail itself was only about 18" in width in many spots. Several times we ran into tree limbs on the side of the trail that looked benign but after you ran into them and they bit you, and the person behind you and the person behind them, you'd realize it's not a bad idea to be convervative, unless you want to look like the woman with the grapefruit on the back of her thigh. Running into something at a walk hurts. Running into something at a fast trot REALLY is awful!!
Here is the first vet check at around 17 miles. I thought we had only gone around 10 because it was so fast and I was riding the Little Engine That Could. Ali'i was so hard to hold back, but I was able to keep him in a controlled trot and he was doing a beautiful job keeping his head down, which means he was keeping his back rounded. That was a good thing. And he looked pretty doing it! My arms were tired though.
Maryanne and I got to the 1 hour hold in Auburn around 10:20 am. We made good time and Sue had parked my trailer in literally, exactly the spot I wanted it, if I could have told her. I used to park on the other side of the parking lot, but I love the sound of the water. I would of had her move it 1 foot to the left, but beggers can't be choosers!! It was dark when she got there and it actually wasn't as bad as it looks. Cameras do weird things with perspective.
Maryanne & I were off for the second 25 miles at 11:20. Renee, an EasyBoot Team Member, who rode with us on the first 25 caught up with us and she mostly rode the last 25 with us. She has a cute little bay Arab, smaller than Ali'i but chargy like him. She also liked riding behind us, as her horse is better behind. Al'i is AWFUL behind other horses, especially the first 25 miles, so this was a good ride to be in front. There's a 10 mile loop that we've ridden so much and it's not my favorite because it's so rocky and lots of stop and go and he had started to get tired there. We got passed up by a few people, but took our time, had another vet check at 43 miles in Cool, then it was on to Auburn with 7 more to the finish. At that point Ali'i kicked back into high gear (as did Maryanne & Renee's horses) and we were in by 4:20 pm. Renee was fun to talk to also about being the EasyBoot Team Member as I had almost signed up to do that. I still might next year....but only if they print cute tank top t-shirts in pink!!!! She really liked doing it, so good to know! And you get a d i s c o u n t on boots.....
T & I then eat our food and drink a beer. I am not a beer drinker, but do love them after a warm ride. YUMMMMMY!!!!!!!!
I was really not that tired, my knee really doesn't hurt that bad, but I was ready to go home, feed the dogs, take a shower and go to bed ~ but before that we wait for our awards!!
Good boy Ali'i!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!