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Friday, March 5, 2010

20 MT LAST POST!!!!! (I swear...)

While talking to Bethany (redgirl - my sister) on the phone the other night, she gave me the verdict.  NO MORE 20 MT POSTS. 
Now, Bethany is the unfortunate (or rather fortunate?  I haven't decided yet) sister that did NOT inherit the mental illness that IS my brand of radical horse love.  Even though she practically admitted that it gave her great pleasure to hear how this 100 mile cut me down to size and made me human (apparently - according to my sisters - I can walk on water and turn objects into gold by just touching them, so it's refreshing to see me reduced to a sniveling, crawling thing), she said that as a non-horsey person she is DONE with me going on and on and on and on and on about the greatest experience in my life - finishing the 100. 
So to appease the non-horsey readers of my blog, I present one last 20 MT post - "What Happened During the Ride that I Never Intended to Post About". 
This should make us both happy - I get to continue to reminisce about the 100 and she gets to be entertained. 
Juicy Tidbit #1 - In which I turn into one of *those* people
Approximately 5 miles into the last 35 mile loop I want you to guess what I did.
Answer A:  Cry
Answer B:  Start laughing hysterically
Answer C:  Call someone on my cellphone.
OK - I admit it.  I picked up my cell phone and call my boyfriend.  At 8pm at night, after trying to cry from joy - and realizing I wasn't the crying type - I had to do SOMETHING to share the joy.  So out came the cellphone and I called Matt.  I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the ride management.  How DARE they hold a ride where there is such great cellphone coverage?  Matt sounded a bit....worried.  He spoke gently, as if he was talking someone off a cliff.  I must admit I was a bit miffed that he didn't revel in the experience I was having and hung up the phone after a 5 or 10 minutes.  I HATE people who do this - how dare they ruin my experience by talking on the phone?  So now I admit I'm one of *those* people.  I PROMISE not to do this at Tevis!!!!
Juicy Tidbit #2 - Wear the right kind of underwear to a ride - you may have to show it off
I mentioned that I changed my tights at the lunch ride check in front of EVERYONE without any pretense of modesty.  Well, I left out exactly how that went....
I was wearing a long shirt so I stooped slightly to gently slide off the old and slide on the new....I've done it a thousand times.  It usually goes off without a hitch and no one is the wiser....I'm not fanatically modest, but there's a limit to what I consider appropriate. 
So, imagine my dismay when the pants would NOT come off.  I'm trying to balance on TOP of my shoes, in my socks.  I can't get my wet pants OFF.  By this point I'm hopping around like a lame bunny rabbit trying not to get my socks muddy, still trying to be "discrete" as my robin's egg blue clad bottom is bottoms up to the sky and I'm swearing like a sailor.  At one point I totally lose my balance, and I'm on one leg with the other leg pointed straight sideways in some sort of bizarre balance beam move, letting everyone see another "angle" of the granny panties.  Finally the pants are off.  Have I mentioned that I'm changing next to the road where people are trotting horses out?  Yep, every 30 seconds I had an audience as another horse trotted by and the vet and the whole world looked on, including me in their gaze.  After 10 long minutes of doing my best balance beam and rabbit impressions the new pants were on.  Whew.  I smiled and pretended that nothing had happened.  After all, people only get more embarrassed if they think you are embarrassed!  LOL.  Note to self....If your legs are as white as a baby's bottom, you're going to get noticed.  Make arrangements accordingly.
Juicy Tidbit #3 - Melinda is not a nice person
Around the 40 mile mark I had been making good time down the back side of a LONG hill.  Walk, trot, walk, power TROT, walk.  Suddenly a women catches up to me.  "I've been trying to catch up with you FOREVER.  Can we walk for a bit?".  A cold shiver of fear ran down my spine.  Already someone was trying to control me ride after only 2 seconds!!!!!  The relaxed horsey I had carefully cultivated in the last 10 minutes was about to fly out of the window.  And then I did something that was REALLY not nice.  "I'm a hundred miler and I need to trot where I can, like NOW".  I took off like a bat out of hell trying to lose her.  I power trotted and cantered and hand galloped.  She stayed glued to my butt.  Finally I slowed to a walk and she continued to go on past.  I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief and continued my ride.
Fast forward to the awards breakfast.  A women came up to me to THANK me for giving her horse the boost it needed.....apparently after my little "speed session" her horse gained motivation and took off and she didn't have anymore problems with him.  I congratulated her on her ride and wondered if she really knew what I had done.....Melinda is not a nice person.  I can pretend, but apparently the evil, selfish person I really am lurks just below the surface. 
Juicy Tidbit #4 - Farley finished INSPITE of my decisions
I was told by Ride management that at the high way crossing (first one) on the 35 mile loop there would be water and hay.  I knew this was JUST the motivation that Farley needed - Hay (did I mention she's a little piglet?).  Dave caught up to me just before the crossing and we all stopped and drank.  I started looking for hay...but there wasn't any.  None at all.  The volunteer didn't know anything about hay.  Just then a trailer pulled in for one of the other people Dave was riding with.  They started to unload hay for her and her friends.  I considered asking for some, but it's a testament to how far gone mentally that I was, when my thought was "it's their hay and I don't want to be told No, and I don't want Farley to have to watch others eat" so I continued down the trail without letting her eat, or even asking if they minded if I had some of their hay.  For the next hour I encouraged her to eat on the trail, but of course that isn't the same as letting her gouge on hay.  Dave, when he caught up to me later told me I should have stuck around because their friend had brought hay.  I made some lame excuse, but the truth is I SHOULD have asked and done best by my horsey and not let my personal feelings of guilt rule the moment.  The hay that I remembered at the railroad underpass ~15 miles from camp was mostly gone.  FINALLY Farley got to eat at the vet check ~10 miles from the finish.  But I was too tired to unbridle and then bridle again and feared if I took extra time to bridle back up Dave would leave me, so the bit stayed in.  Unfortunately, Farley can't eat as well with that Myler mouth piece, so I don't know how much she actually got to eat.  The frenchlink works much better for eating (almost as good as the hackamore) and I should have switched to it at the dinner hour hold......
I think that half of that special, bonding, relationship feeling that I feel with my 100 mile horse is gratefulness that she forgives my mistakes and doesn't hold them against me and she gave me the incredible gift of completion even though I didn't do the best thing for her at every opportunity. 
Juicy Tidbit #5 - Farley tried to kick another horse
Farley is a sweet little horse that I usually don't have to worry about.  She can be bit more testy when she's in season, but she's normally still OK.....We usually ride by ourselves during rides, except for short periods of time, and all our conditioning is done on our own.  As a result, she is more comfortable travelling on her own during a ride.  S* was a wonderful women on a cute little mare, who followed me most of the first 30 miles or so.  Her horse needed a partner. 
Now, I will admit that most of that time she followed Farley too closely, and I would have like to have had a little more space.  Farley was a bit tense, but it was manageable and so I allowed it because it is good Tevis training when we are stuck on a single track in a long line of people.  One of the problems was S* most travelled with her mares nose slightly to the side, in Farley's flank.  This seemed to piss her off more than when she travelled directly behind.  I did ask a couple of times that she give me more space.  Then, during one section when Farley was getting frustrated with my attempts to rate her to a reasonable speed, she had had ENOUGH and took a swipe at the mare behind her.  I disciplined her and S* apologized for being too close. 
I do feel bad and embarrassed that Farley kicked - it's unacceptable.  On the other hand I totally understand - in season, pissed off at me, and being followed too close for 20 miles takes it toll.  I'm a little irritated that people think it's OK to be very very close to a strange horse.  Especially one that is obviously not happy about it and the rider has requested several times for more space. 
Since Farley is NOT a kicker I was not as forceful as I could have been with my requests and did decide it was good training, so technically I could have prevented the occurrence by demanding space....but isn't it ultimately up to the following rider to stay out of kicking range of a strange horse?  And as long as the other horse isn't actively going after you (such as backing or lunging) I don't think it's too much to ask that everyone keeps a respectable distance. 
OK enough of that.  Responses to comments! 
Heather - this is in response to an OLD post.  I agree with you that passing when coming directly at someone is different from passing from behind.  Farley had a huge problem with it at her first ride too.  In that case I think passing at a trot, (slower) is more appropriate than a canter.....
Carolyn - Buckmeadows is near Yosemite.  Hey Everyone! - I think I've decided on Buck Meadows!  They are offering a 75 mile distance this year....and with it being 2 weeks prior to AR (Auburn), if something happens or the event is cancelled, I can use AR as a back up ride.  I think Buck Meadows could really use my support AND the allow camping after the race. 
LifesHighway - It was interesting to look through the EN edition this month that is the year book and compare the number of rides and the type of rides in each region.  I was a little surprised to see that the west/pacific southwest does NOT have the most 100's!  I think the midwest had a lot.  The west definitely has varied terrain as long you enjoy rocks and hills...I admit that jobs are a pesky thing... LOL.  *Ideally* I would live near Ridgecrest in the winter and move to the Auburn area for the spring/summer.  Then I could ride year round and have GREAT rides year round!  I guess the central location I live in is good enough if I actually have to make a living.....2 hours from Auburn, 2 hours from Yosemite, 2 hours from Bay area, and a drivable distance from Ridgecrest for a 100 miler.
AareneX - OK - think the cold scrambled eggs in ziplock, sucking it through a corner may be the most outlandish idea I have EVER heard.  I don't think we are making great strides to convince other people we are "normal" with that suggestion!  LOL.  That being said, it does sound good in a strange sort of way.  Especially as breakfast in the morning....


  1. LOL! I loved this post! You are hilarious! The pants changing scene is totally something I could see myself doing too LOL!!

  2. Yes! This is the type of post I find MOST interesting!
    Believe me, I can totally see you in the pants scene, in fact, I think I've seen it before! Only not wet and clingy.

  3. Hey now...I didn't say NO MORE POSTS...I said you had a week to write them. That technically gives you 2 more days. But..if that's what made you write this brilliant post, then I am all for such a deadline :P
    Ditto with mom on having actually SEEN said pant incidents. Your robin's egg panties do compliment your bone white skin rather well lol I would reccommend plaid or cherry patterned ones for next time. Plaid (for sure) shows class with a little festiveness in the pattern.

    And. I AM the fortunate one for not being horse crazy, thankyouverymuch

  4. Lol...if your goal is to appear cool/dignified/normal, you have chosen the WRONG SPORT!

    (p.s. at least you were wearing knickers...)

  5. You can get tights that will keep you warm even if they get wet, and also block the wind.


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