It was a great trip overall and I was happy to get back home. It was quite a change going from 80 degree temps on Sunday to being home where it’s 20 degrees and snowing today though. The horses’s are quite content wearing their high neck blankets.
I decided to ride Bo both days of the Bar H ride. It’s an urban ride, and attracts a few riders who are more like ‘racers’ than the typical ‘riders’ that attend most of the rides I like to do. Therefore, there are multiple vet checks and loops – each day had three loops with two vet checks in camp. The first day also had an additional 3rd vet check out on the trail. Pulse criteria for all of the checks and finish was set at 56.
Chief has a harder time handling rides that loop back to camp. He needs to do rides where he is out of camp all day or else he pulls my arms out and I don’t like having to constantly rate him.
Bo only needed another 70 or 80 miles to reach 5,000 so it worked out very well that I was able ride him on both days of the ride and to reach that special milestone. We even top tenned both days and Bo came through looking fabulous!
On the first day there were 20 riders in the LD and 28 riders in the 50. On the second day there were 13 in the LD and 15 in the 50. The winning times show that the ride is a bit more difficult than most are. 6:35 on the 50 day 1, and 6:50 on the 50 day 2. See the rest of the results here. Next year the ride is going to be changed to make it easier. I think the difficulty level cuts down on the number of riders and especially hurts the 2nd day of the ride.
The ride did tire me out as I’m not used to riding in weather that warm yet this season. Bo seemed to handle it quite well — having him fully body clipped sure helped. He was always down right away and still had lots of go at the end of the last day. Bo was a handful on Friday when we marked some of the trail. I wasn’t terribly amused when he tried to rear up when I was covered in ribbons and trying to read the GPS and map to determine which way to mark an intersection. He was having a tantrum. I got after him, but not as well as I would have liked due to having my hands full. I told him then that I wasn’t going to feel sorry for him during the ride when he finally realized that maybe it wasn’t worth wasting all that energy!
As it turned out, we started out quite nicely on the first day. I left several minutes behind the first group and had a real easy going start. Everything was going well for the first couple of miles, then some of the front runners started to pass us over and over <sigh>. The turns were marked but they were going so fast they missed them. That caused Bo to get amped up, and though he a handful I was able to keep him rated. Finally after we got into the park, he settled in and for the rest of the day I was on my ‘good’ horse named Bo (versus the monster that possesses him!).
The second day went beautifully! Bo was on his best behavior all day and we had one of the best rides we’ve ever had. That was nice. I can’t complain too much as I’d rather have a horse that wants to go, even if it takes a quite a bit of work for him to really get settled. It’s ironic isn’t it, that a young, green horse can be difficult to handle but when they get fitter, stronger and learn the game – they become even more of a challenge to keep rated?
This week we’ll be off to the AERC convention in Reno. I need to go up on Thursday to help set up the XP booth. See some of you there!