Monday, August 16, 2010

Learning the ABC's of the CTR/CDR

So, the date finally came, time to attempt 12.5 miles on a conditioning CTR ride. We packed up the trailer with all our tack, clothes and sleeping bags and the coolers of food and drink and it was time to pack up the horses. Of course, Socks did not want to go in the trailer. It took a few tries and on he went, I had my doubts that he would enjoy this trailer ride. Off we went!
We made good time and Socks made a few paws and jostled the trailer a bit but not too bad until about 1/2 from our destination........We got stuck behind someone with a mattress on top of their car going about 25 mph! Socks was a bit pissed by this time and the pawing started again and the trailer would lurch forward. He was NOT happy, truth be told CB and I were a bit annoyed with this darn mattress hauler too. FINALLY, he turned off and I freaked out thinking that we had to go right and follow him instead of left.....had a hard time with that lately...ha haha. Soon after, we arrived at the horseman's campground and it was time to find a place to "land". Never do this with two indecisive women! We found a decent little place in the back and basically took up two spots, ah well. Then, it took an additional 15 minutes to decide where to put the pen for the horses....we're so bad! Turned out to be a nice setup with a downed tree as a sort of privacy barrier for the horses. Unfortunately, there were some very low branches in front of our site and trailers kept going by and scraping them and setting Sereele and Socks off so.....CB remedied the situation. She grabbed a water bucket and tried snapping the limb off and did actually get some of it off. Then, she asked me for the scissors so she could cut the rest of the limb was green and had the stringy woody parts that wouldn't split. All I could so was laugh. Mission accomplished, no more scary limb. However, someone had this horrid metal stock trailer that BANGED something awful and kept driving past us and freaking out the horses......why would anyone put any sort of animal in that?!?!?!?!?!? UGH!
Time to check in and vet in. Oh yay. There was a bit of a wait and we were in a large field with other riders and their horses. Everyone was pretty friendly so we all chatted. The lay judge picked out every little bump and nook and cranny on Socks and then snidely remarked that I rode one sided.."Really one sided" I decided that I hated this woman. The vet seemed friendly enough and I did my trot out and we went back to the trailer for some much needed food. Shawn had made us some Ceasar chicken wraps the night before so we inhaled those and I had also bought some chips and some M& M's and some York Pieces to munch on too. CB brought some munchies also, we've learned to bring food finally! =) We had no fire pit so CB and I stole the rocks from the campsite across the way to build us one....(Socks however found ours the next day, it was overgrown with grass and pretty disheveled so it was just as well that we stole the other one...hee hee) Our attempts at fire building were pretty sad. It would spark up and then fizzle out until we noticed that there were some VERY dry branches across the way so we built up our fire with those and had a decent fire afterwards. YAY! After a few beverages and some snacks, we decided it was time to try and get some sleep. I put the fire out with some Vitamin Water and off to bed we went. I slept in the trailer and CB slept in the truck.
Around 2 a.m., Sereele and Socks decided to do laps in their pen. UGH! It sounded like Socks was loose so I grabbed a flashlight and went out to look, convinced that there were bears or something bothering them. Of course not! I gave them a bit more hay and went to sleep still convinced that bears were going to come in the trailer and eat me! Well, they didn't and we all survived the night!
RIDE DAY! We watched a trailer pull into the site across from us and low and behold it was Seeker, CB's old horse! He was still a hot head and I'm totally convinced CB lucked out getting rid of him! There were 9 riders in the CDR and we were being sent out in groups of 3's and imagine our surprise when we were grouped with Roxanne and Seeker!!!!!!! OH NO!!!!!! Having ridden with Seeker when CB had him, I was not looking foward to this ride. Our time out was 9:06 a.m. so we went off to tack up and get ready. We walked to the gate and Socks was a bit hot...oh yay, so we went back to the trailer so I could get on and so Roxanne got on Seeker then too. Time to go........had to trot past the vet again on the way out.....what a horrid pulling trot Socks did. We crossed the road and into the trail and CB asked Roxanne to go ahead so we would hold back.......was a good idea in our heads but not Socks's. He freaked out and got mad that Seeker was ahead and started going sideways and turning and being an all out freak. CB wanted to try and get ahead but Socks wouldn't stand still enough to let her pass and then a car went by and Sereele spun and popped up a bit and then did a buck. What a great way to start......we called Roxanne back and ended up riding with her the entire time. The trails were pretty good save for a few rocky places and at once point, Socks took a few really bad steps and my heart went into my throat, thought this was it, we were out. Nope, just stepped on a nasty rock and we were ok. I was very worried about him though as he was very sweaty and the two little Arabs barely had any sweat at all. We persevered on though and I'm proud of my boy. We had to cross some scary wooden bridges and he went first on two of them to get the two Arabs over it. Sereele learns so fast so the next few didn't faze her in the least. She's such a little star! We had some really nice trails covered in pine needles and we made good time in there. Sereele did her usual little spooks here and there and unfortunately, Seeker was usually right on her rear end so he would either run into her or spin with her and Roxanne would freak out every time! Yikes! At one point, she was behind me and started freaking out because Socks was swishing his tail and she was convinced that there were bees and she started yelling "Bees, go go go go!" I had to inform her that he is a tail swisher and gets pissed and that's what he does.....oh boy. At one point in the woods, we came across a very narrow little wooden bridge......wasn't sure Socks was going to go over it but he did without any hesitation, I was so proud of him being so brave. =) Finally we came to the end, I was tired but happy I did this ride....but Seeker was in front and was afraid of the people sitting at the end gate so I just passed her Hell bent on finishing this ride!!!! We got our time and we set off to cool off our horses and get them to pulse down. After getting his tack off, Socks's HR was about 56.....not too bad for a big bodied guy. We got our P & R's done and his final was 44 and 18! Awesome! I know Sereele's was 40 and I think she was 12 for her RR but not positive. CB was very happy with her!!!!! She's going to be a great little endurance girl! =) At the vetting it was either pass or fail and we all passed! YAY! We stayed for the lunch and then packed up and set off for home, tired but happy we finished the ride, safe, unharmed, and within the time given with 3 minutes to spare!!!! WOO HOO!