Well, the endurance season is over here in Manitoba, and mine didn’t go so well. Best laid plans… It started out great with a beautiful ride in Mars Hills, followed by the Sandilands Competitive Trail ride. At Sandilands, I rode with the other Gotlands Girls; Jill, Debbie and Ilonka (Michele was out with a bad back), so I just decided to have fun and do the 10 mile ride. It was amazing, beautiful and a total blast! (I’ll post the story with pictures later!).
And then we started to have problems! At the next ride, an endurance ride in Bird’s Hill Park, Willow and I decided we could do another 25 miler. So off we went. We were doing great, improving our time over previous rides by completing the first 15 mile loop in only 2 ¼ hours. Now, this may not seem like a great feat to more experienced riders, but remember Willow is only 13h, with short little legs and chunky monkey me on her back!
We enjoyed our 1 hour break, where they offered me a delicious stew. As I was leaving the camp site, Debbie and Jill rode in on their horses. I waved as I set out to enjoy the second loop, and hopefully my first completion of a 25 miler!
But 5 miles into the second loop, we came across mud. Great, big pools of leg sucking mud. The trees were tight and there was no way to avoid it. But I had been warned about this mud at the ride meeting this morning, told it wasn’t too bad, and that others had made it through fine yesterday. Unfortunately it had rained overnight, and I was the last horse through in a pack of 30+. We got through the first few patches OK, but then we kept running into more, and they just kept getting worse and worse. It was too late to turn back, and I just hoped they would end soon. I had to push Willow through them, but she was a trouper, always willing when I asked her to go on.
But at the last bog, she got tired halfway through and paused. She started to sink! We desperately thrashed our way out, and came to a shaking stop at the other end. I got off to check her out. No cuts or soreness yet, but even her belly was cake din mud. It may have only been up to the knees of the other horses, but we sank to her belly. Hmm, guess it was a good thing it was so big, it spread out our weight and stopped us from sinking further!
I hopped back on and we continued our ride. She was fine for a mile or two, but then I started to notice irregularities in her trot. Obviously she was sore from the mud. So I got off and walked her. Unfortunately, we didn’t know the trail in BHP yet and we didn’t know any shortcuts back to camp. We were forced to complete the ride.
We got back to camp around 6. The vet checked her out and we were obviously disqualified for lameness issues. He recommended a mud pack, and Maura was great at tracking down someone who gave me one, and she lent me her leg wraps to apply it. But she was off work for the next few weeks to recover. *sigh*