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Monday, October 4, 2010

Comstock Pt.1

The Comstock ride was GREAT. I had a wonderful time. Work continues to be a complete and utter h*ll and this was the perfect getaway.

On a side note - Fortunately, work only makes up ~1/3 of my life (family/friends/boyfriend are another 1/3, and the horse/endurance is another 1/3) and the other 2/3 of my life are absolutely WONDERFUL right now....Endurance is SUCH an AMAZING sport and really a much healtheir way of manageing stress than begging on bended knee for a stress LOA. Not that I would do that.....I swear...I AM tired of not being able to string words together into comprehensive sentences - either while talking or writing posts.

Anyways - this is less of a story and more of short blurbs on various aspects of the ride. My brain is too fried to do anything else :) I have a lot of comments, so this will probably be a multi-part post.

Trot outs
Once again, at the 1 hour hold check, Farley got the note on her vet card for a B on gait, watch the RF. I've finally figured out this comes for half-assed trot outs. ie - unless I'm focused and adament that she WILL trot out, she does this lazy thing that makes her look lame. She's done it for 3 years. I've had her thoroughly checked out by two lameness vets. It doesn't appear on the trail. If I actually make her trot out at a reasnonably speed, the vet can no longer see it. The issue is probably related to her having one diagonal that is much stronger than the other. I'm sympathetic to the fact that she's resting and "shuts down" during vet holds, but from now on I'm not letting her get away with crappy trot outs. The observation usually comes during the first vet hold - which then prompts me to actually make her trot out decently for subsequent checks, and the vet never sees it again.

Do something new!
Even though Nevada is technically in the west region, I considered going to a Nevada ride as moving out my my normal "zone". I had a wonderful time. The people were great, the trails (once I figured out the system) were exceptionally well marked, and the scenery was beautiful. I've gotten stuck in the rut of doing the same rides year after year. It was very motivating to get out of my normal routine and go some place totally new.

Rain Gear
This region of Nevada hasn't had rain since May. Rain was not predicted. Rain was not on the forecast. I packed rain gear anyways. Too bad it didn't actually make it OUT of my trailer and into the ridecamp/vet checks! (The trailer was parked at Funder's house, a couple miles away). Fortunately I always have a rump rug in my crew tub so when it started POURING after the ride I had something to put on her, and I never got around to taking off my silk undershirt from the morning so I was reasonably warm. Lesson learned - the rain gear and rain sheet goes in the crew bag every single time. No exceptions.

I would also like to mention that it has rained at EVERY SINGLE ride this year (starting with Desert Gold 2009), except Tevis. It technically didn't rain at American River but because the trail was a MESS from rain the day/couple days before, I'm counting that in the "rainy" category. It's been a very very weird weather year.

Has anyone else noticed the irony of how much more clean up there is to do on the gear after a rainy ride? The WATER makes stuff dirtier, so I have to use MORE water to clean up everything.....

It's called Endurance
Even after doing 100's, 50's are still hard and still deserve respect. This ride was a TRUE 50 miler. And it was hard. And I was tired. And my horse was tired (although not so tired that she didn't buck over the finish line, OR run home to Funder's after the ride was done!). Fifty miles is still 50 miles no matter what.

A Gallop to the finish!
After finishing a hellacious 2nd loop, Farley and I were feeling sort of done. A "stick a fork into me, I'm done", sort of done. Mostly mental. We had done the second 15 mile loop all by ourselves, it was hard, water was scarce, and we had a major "discussion" over her wants and my needs.

Farley has done very few rides that are multiple loops out of camp and was throwing a hissy fit about leaving a 3rd time. I had no idea where I was in the pack, except that I had started last, had passed 8 people on the trail, and there were approximately 30 riders. Another woman had also done the 2nd loop by herself with similiar results and so we decided to ride the 3rd loop together.

After almost being hit by lightening we decided to high tail it off the mountain. It had cooled off substantially and a breeze had picked up. Magically, the two "nags" got a second wind and looked like the Tevis horses they were, and off we went.

On the final stretch we pushed them into the canter to beat the weather and before I knew it we were in a gallop. We eased up for a short section of single track and then with a wide open road ahead of us to the finish - we let them rip (kinda - I was in a controlled hand gallop). Farley was having fun, and I was happy because she was happy.

Kathy (?) wisely decided to go AROUND the finish line. I decided that I was GOING ACROSS THE FINISH LINE. Farley galloped straight towards it, and then decided at the last minute that it wasn't the jump/ground pole she thought it was and BUCKED across it, as not to get any white powder on her feet. (I think she got confused - she realized it wasn't a jump so wasn't sure if she was suppose to jump so at the last minute decided to just kind of "bound" over it). I was in 10th place.

I stayed at Funder's house and it was GREAT. I got to see her house in person, her chickens, and Dixie. Crysta, Funder, and I stayed up WAY too late talking the first night. I don't have the words to express how nice it was to sit down with similiarly minded people and listen and talk and get to know them better.

Skipping ahead to the end...So what's next?
As long as Farly continues to look good, I'll do the 100 at the end of the month. That will probably be the end of the season for us, but I'm keeping the option open for one day at Desert Gold in November.


  1. woo hoo congrats!! Hope to see you at lake almanor!!

  2. Friday night was **WAY** too fun! I can hardly wait until the next ride. I promise to let you guys get to bed earlier next time. =)

    Interesting that you found Comstock to be a tough ride. I think the weather and lack of water (not good) may have had a lot to do with that. It's considered one of the "easier" rides around here due to the footing (i.e. general lack of rocks) and lack of elevation changes (overall compared to other rides). I'm hoping to get Diego out for a nice long 20-ish miles the weekend of the 16-17th sometime and hopefully we'll be all systems go for the 50 at Alamanor!

  3. Sounds like you had a great time. I'll be anxious to hear more!

  4. Hifive, you two. It was an excellent weekend!


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