Wild West was a sucess, even if "WW" should stand for "Winter Wonderland".
I'm incapable of stringing words together in comprehensive and (more importantly) entertaining sentences so here's the bare bones, with a more comprehensive "lessons learned" coming soon.
We finished all 3 days. Farley was SO STRONG the entire time. I kept her at a trot (I did let her charge up a hill once....) and we still flew. ~18 or 17th the first and second day, and a 8th place finish the 3rd day. Good enough for 2nd place overall for all 3 days. I had a LOT of horse.
She was very well behaved all 3 days. I made a point to ride with people every single day so we could both relax about it (riding in a group was probably more my mental problem than hers). We started in the middle/back the first two days, and went out with the front runners on the third day. She listened to me the entire time and was an angel.
We lost a glueon at the beginning of the third and last day. Not entirely suprising as they had been on for a week in mud, rain, and snow (ah yes, it snowed 8 inches the first night...). She did the first 20 mile loop barefoot and then I put on a strap on. The strap on worked perfectly for the last 30 miles - through mud, puddles that were more like river crossings, snow, single track, etc. Sizing really does make a difference....
I got 2 really great compliments - someone referred to her as a "war mare" and the vet on the first day asked me if I had even rode my horse!
So why am I not jumping for joy and boring you'all with my Tevis plans? By the end of the third day she was moving just a bit uneven on her RF. It was intermittent, but occasionally I could feel/see a difference. She vetted out fine but Melissa Ribley said she did see it. It feels and looks exactly like what she had after American River, which means her suspensory is slightly inflammed. At the time, the vet said that it was minor and looked like what is seen in jumpers after a hard round, and to keep her in regular work. I did, and all filling, soreness, and any indication of a problem was gone within a week. However, because this is the second time I've seen it, I think it's time for a second opinion with the (more expensive) vet who specializes in performance horse lameness. Truthfully, it looks better than American River and by the next day I couldn't even see anything, but I will not take a compromised horse to Tevis, so I will be awaiting the vet's opinion.
I don't think Tevis will be as hard as the 3 days I just completed. The mud and snow and slush on the first day was AWFUL and HORRIFIC. More on this later. For now, just take my word that it was tough. The second day was better footing with 85% of the trail being single track and technical. The third day was the same track as last year. Fourteen miles of down hill on a wide jeep road. Uggg.
That's it for now.
recipe for instant happy pony
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