This second loop was way harder. It started off the same. We went through this "forested area" (both loops had multiple forested areas that wove in and around that trees on narrow deer-like trails). Let's just say that Jetta will never make a pole bending horse. She only tried to kill me on one tree. After that, if it looked really narrow I hiked my legs up onto her shoulder. Some of the trees you had to go between were super close, I don't know how you'd do it if your horse was any wider!
Reached a wider road and stopped for a drink of water. Which Jetta wouldn't drink. She just gets distracted every time I think she's going to drink, she has to watch something or hears something that requires her undivided attention, so we moved on.
Eventually we crossed paths with a ride and tie-er. One issue I've never thought about: how to deal with them tying their horse in the middle of the path? The lady was very nice and she chatted with me whenever we crossed paths whether she was running or riding. But the guy... every time he tied the horse directly on the trail even if there were good spot slightly off the trail just a few steps further. Luckily, the horse seemed nice. The first time I approached him blocking the very narrow trail, I talked to him and nudged him with my whip handle and he politely scooched as far over as possible so Jetta and I could squeeze past. It was a tight fit. The second time I encountered him tied on the trail between the tree line and a barbed wire fence. Lovely. He pinned his ears at us. Just fabulous. But another nudge with the whip and he grudgingly moved over.
|My favorite section of the trail|
We crossed a creek with no problem. The worst part of the trail was through a clear cut hill. There was literally no path. You just followed the ribbons through and over all the branches and rocks and lumpy ground. There was no possible way to trot, you pretty much had to walk the whole entire thing. And it was hot. There was no shade cover. This dead fall area went on forever it felt like and the footing was truly awful. Jetta got a couple scrapes on her back legs and one of the metal clasps on the easyboots got bent due to all the branches in the way. Somewhere in there I also dropped my whip which I was disappointed about since it was my "nice" whip.
|Almost at the end of the 25 miles and I was still having fun!|
Finally back on the real trail. Stopped for a drink of water (she FINALLY started drinking thank goodness) we trotted for a bit, but my legs were starting to get tired of posting so we cantered for the flat parts then walked the last half mile back to camp! My goal of coming in dry was achieved. Our initial pulse was 76, but after pulling her tack, letting her pee and drink she came quickly down to 48 and we vetted in. She got all A's except for a B on jug refill again and a B on gut sounds, which the vet said would probably be fine once she ate something. Overall, I couldn't have been happier! We came in just barely under time, while I let Jetta eat her grain/hay pellet mash I saw several horses who didn't pulse down in time.
The rest of the day Jetta just got pampered and I ate and read my book. The weather was perfect and I sat out in the sun with my feet up. Jetta napped. It was adorable, I wish I had gotten some pictures! She rested her nose on the panels and her lower lips was droopy and her eyes half closed. Several people stopped to laugh and give her a face rub. Too cute.
|Don't think it could get better than this|
Come awards, I found that out of 41 LD riders (there may have been a few more, this count was from the evening before), 36 had finished and I was the 22nd! Not last, so I was happy. Got our coffee mug for completing it, found my whip in the lost and found (thank you, thank you whoever picked it up!) then packed up and headed home. Jetta was excited to be home and I was happy that I'd get to sleep in my own bed!
I must say, that I am SO SORE. I knew I'd be a little sore in my legs and my abs were sore after riding, but geez. My shoulders, calves, inner thighs and abs are all super sore. Sitting down/standing up is a challenge. I was planning on doing a dressage school on Misty but I think that's going to have to wait!
Overall, I am so happy that I did this ride. Everything went perfectly and I can't wait for the next ride!
|I love my pony|