On January 28 I rode my first AERC endurance event, the 50 at Laurel Mountain.
I don’t have living quarters in the trailer, so the trailer was the living quarters. Gilbert thought he was getting a raw deal having to stay outside in the pen. Ok, maybe I was giving him treats from the ‘bedroom’ window.
I was so excited I woke up every hour from 2 am on thinking, ‘Is it time to get up?!’ If you follow me on facebook, you may have caught my 3 am live feed. Note to self: you’re judgement as to what should be live may be impaired at 3 am.
The start was very relaxed. So relaxed I didn’t even know we started. I asked Stevie where the start was thinking it was like fox hunting where you sometimes hack from the parking to the meet. Nope, we started back at camp. But what about vetting in? Oh, that car sitting there had a vet in it who watched us trot as we left camp? Hm. Ok.
Everyone in sight turned right at the end of the road. A few miles later, we saw the vet car on a parallel road and heard honking. The little groups were near enough to exchange exaggerated shrugs as we all wondered what the heck they could possibly be honking about. You guessed it, we missed a turn. We were assured there were at least 3 pink ribbons, and we ALL had just missed it. The 3 little groups of us that were off course examined our memories as we backtracked. Had we been talking? Were we paying attention? Where was the actual trail? The actual trail was running parallel and about ¼ mile away from the trail we were on. I was informed I would be disqualified if I cut across. I was annoyed. And frustrated. And angry because it was clearly NOT clearly marked.
I felt my mare start to get skittish and realized my tension was impacting her. I took a few (ok a lot) of deep breaths and decided I WOULD have a good time. It was the beginning of the day. Shit happens.
We cruised through the vet check…
and easily completed our first 50 (or 58 really).
The plan for Sunday was to ride a 25 on Gilbert. Stevie’s South African stud (human variety) was crewing and we decided he would ride Sunday too. Since Sparta came in well and was perky in the morning, off we went for another 25!
These two tired ponies get to rest and eat on the ride home while this one tired girl has to drive.
In more recent news, Sparta and I did about 14 miles yesterday in Temecula in preparation for 20 Mule Team next weekend where we’ll be doing another 50!