I'll do the good part first: Farley has her 1000 miles, and Tevis is a definite go for us. Now let's get to the story.
I dragged my friend Jessica along to crew for me and immediately introduced her as "my friend from vet school whose mom is a horse vet" and of COURSE she was immediately recruited as a ride volunteer.
It was WONDERFUL to have a crew member that while she had no endurance experience, is an experience horse person and was able to watch my vet throughs and not only tell me with absolute certainty whether Farley was even a little bit off, but also how she compared to the other horses coming through the check (average? above average? below average?). Plus.......I would take me scores and vet comments to her and get the low down on whether everyone was getting those comments and scores.
The day before the ride was spent setting up my tack.
You know, all that "stuff" that goes on the horse that is usually tested and ridden in BEFORE a ride.
First up, put brand new boots on Farley. A new model on the fronts that I've used twice, in a size that I've never used before. And then to put together "frankenstein" boots for the hinds because the new vipers don't fit the hinds, but I wanted the new viper captivators.
Jessica and I totaled up what WASN'T new at this ride and I think, counting the horse we settled on 5 items. Farley the horse, the girth, scoop, sponge, reins, saddle bags. OK, that's 6.
So, I broke my rule, saddled up my horse, and went for a short ride the day before the actual ride. I NEVER ride my horse the day before. By now it's a superstition. A couple of years ago I relented and actually decided it was OK to tack my horse in order to set up everything the day before, but I refused to actually allow myself to swing onto her back. But it seemed prudent to give everything a run through.
Everything survived a a road trot out, and a section of single track at speed, so I declared it ready to go after 20 minutes.
I also started my food log. These 105 miles over 2 days were Tevis training and the thing I most needed to figure out was how I could continue to eat and drink. So, I decided to start documenting everything I ate, and giving everything a rating so that I could actually make some good decisions on what to have at Tevis. I prepped my food for the next couple of days. I made 3 piles of food.
Pile 1: saddle bag food - Funder's goo (almond butter + Nutella at a 3:1 ratio), luna bars, candy bars, electrolyte caps, apple sauce packets
Pile 2: Vet check food - Kettle corn, chips, tuna salad, pork skins, peanut butter m&ms, smoked almonds. All in cute little tupperware cups. All of which would be opened the vet checks and the idea being that I would shove handfuls of each tupperware cup into my mouth and chew and swallow before my brain could decide whether it really wanted to eat or not.
Pile 3: ride camp food - jerky, fruit, non-wheat pasta + pasta sauce, cheese, canned soup etc etc
I put a sheet of paper on a clipboard with a pen in a central location in ride camp and divided the paper up into categories: preride, day 1 breakfast, day 1 morning trail, d1 lunch check, d1 afternoon trail, d1 dinner, d2 beakfast etc. Everytime I ate something I wrote it down with a "+", "-", or "0" symbol. ("0" means neutral). I haven't totally analyzed it yet, but a clear winner was Kettle corn, something I discovered while crewing for Funder. It has the right combination of sweet, salty, carbs, but enough fiber that it doesn't affect my blood sugar like some of the other high carb foods. After scarfing Kettle corn, I could usually go on to eat something really high in protein like tuna salad without having trouble with my stomach.
So far everything is going according to plan. What could possibly go wrong? Will something blog worthy happen? After all, I've already told you the end of the story, so all's well that ends well right?
Ummm....trust me, you won't want to miss.....the rest of the story.
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