|Rhio and Gimi content to have their own "rooms."|
|Lynne & Niso head out on the LD Saturday.|
I was riding with my fancy new reins - I ordered them with turquoise at the bit ends and plain black beta biothane for the grip (lots of reins have a pebbly grippy area, but I don't like that). They are a flat rein, and I have been riding in rope reins for years now. I wasn't sure what I would think of them, but it turns out that I absolutely love them! Not only do they look fantastic on him, but I felt that I had a better connection with them - more solid - and he fought me (head shaking/tossing) hardly at all, even when I was holding him back. They're also just a smidge longer than the reins I have been using, and so I didn't have to bend over so much when he put his head down to graze or drink! Thank you Silver's Equestrian for my awesome reins!!!! http://www.silversequestrian.com/
|Heading out on the first loop Saturday, with Carmen and Phoenix - both riding in Vicki's amazing custom mohair girths! (photo courtesy of Bob Zimmerman) http://www.facebook.com/TraditionalMohairCinches|
|Yum! Beet pulp mash! And see the pretty new reins? I even found turquoise vet wrap to wrap the noseband of his hackamore. Such a stylin' pony!|
Our last pulse down was perfect - Rhio made 9/2 and lost zero points. And this was after cantering half the loop in the rain! I think the faster pace actually relaxed him more, and we didn't see any other horses out there on trail, so he "knew" he was winning. We finished our vet check losing 5 points for fatigue and 2 points for a sore shoulder muscle. Our score was 388/400 - a great score! I was so pleased with Rhio all day and how great he looked and felt - the score and placing were secondary. We took 3rd place, by the way :)
Before bed, I was able to change Rhio's blankets out for a dry sheet and dry cooler and made plans to skip riding on Sunday due to weather. All my stuff - tack, clothes, etc - was soaking wet with zero chance of drying out. The only dry item I had to use was an extra saddle pad, and frankly the thought of climbing into a wet saddle was not appealing. Our tent kept us dry, and with vestibules on either side for our wet boots/jackets/etc, it proved to be well worth the $24 rental fee. (It is definitely time to shop for a new tent!) The rain/thunderstorms made for good sleeping (in a tent - too loud in a trailer!) and we snuggled in for the night. Around quarter to 6, I woke up to hear a call for the LD riders to get ready to go out. It was still raining. I thought to myself: "Someone is riding in this? Crazy!" and rolled over to go back to sleep. Fifteen minutes later, the rain stopped and I decided to check the horses - the sky was brightening and on my way to the bathroom, I saw someone looking at the radar on a smart phone. Well, look at that! The rain is over, the radar is clear - and maybe I'll ride after all! Checking in with ride management, I found out that the start time had moved up to 7:15 (!) and only 2 other riders were currently planning to start. I ran back to camp, quickly unwrapped Rhio's legs and took his blankets off (he was dry underneath, and his legs looked great), and headed off the long way around to the vets to warm him up (trotting out in hand sound). We vetted in great, I agreed to sponsor a junior, and I had about 20 minutes to get ready. Gesa fed me spoonfuls of yogurt as I scrambled to find everything I needed, change into riding attire, and get some food into Rhio before the start. I had no choice but to tack up with a wet saddle, a wet and sandy girth, and wet riding boots. Yuck. As soon as I was mounted, however, I didn't notice any of this and was just happy to be setting off on another ride. Rhio was full of energy and ready to go.
|Rhio in his favorite spot - the lead - heading out on our 1st loop on Sunday. And, no, Olivia and I did NOT plan the color coordinated riding attire! (photo courtesy of Bob Zimmerman)|
|Rhio and I leading Olivia and Cricket into camp off our 1st loop on Sunday. (photo courtesy of Bob Zimmerman)|
|Rhio eager to head out on our 2nd loop Sunday. (photo courtesy of Bob Zimmerman)|
In the meantime, Gesa had been working to get some stuff (like the tent) as dry as she could, begin packing up, and grilled our last burgers for lunch. Gimi did great on his first weekend away from home at ridecamp, enjoying the all-weekend feast that is horse camping, and seeming to take it mostly in stride. Hopefully next time he'll get out on trail for some riding experience, too! I can't say thank you enough to Gesa for all the work she did - helping at vet check all day Saturday, and all the work she did around camp while I was busy riding (and doing acupuncture, and pulling blood for vitamin E and Selenium testing for anyone who wanted their horses tested- it was a working weekend for me,) and even deciding to come despite not planning to ride! Good and generous friends are worth their weight in gold!
|Gimi camping like a champion!|
|Rhio in camouflage!|
(Bob's photos can be seen at : https://picasaweb.google.com/kaleidobob )