Monday, June 29, 2009

What a Weekend!!!

It's now Monday and I'm still recovering from a crazy and hectic horse filled weekend, and I didn't even see Possum. Let me explain. I've talked to a woman online who lives in Maine, but about 4 hrs away and she does endurance riding with her arab/rocky mountain horse cross. She had an event this weekend pretty close to my parents house and she was looking for someone to crew for her so I volunteered not knowing what I was getting into. I took off early from work Friday and met her at the campsite around 12p. The place was a zoo, literally. Huge truck and trailers with gorgeous living quarters, basically million dollar rigs and such. I was in trailer heaven. I met the woman and the horse for the first time and then we got down to the business of educating me about endurance riding and what my responsibilities would be. Her dad would also be crewing for her so his job to to take care of her and my job was to take care of the horse. We got everything ready that we could, baggies of grain, beet pulp, packed totes and got out many water buckets with screw tops so that they wouldn't spill in the truck on the way to the pit crew stops. Got electrolytes ready, clothes both horse and human, food for the human and anything else you can think of. The riders meeting was at 7:30p so I stayed for a little after that and then went to stay at my parents house where I had dropped my dogs off earlier. It was about 10p when I finally went to bed and then got up at 3:15am the next morning. I got to the camp site and the 100 mile riders were set to leave at 5am so I helped her get herself and the horse ready. Gave him a dose of electrolytes and off they went down the trail. Her dad and I for the rest of the day went around at all the pit crew stops and vet checks. My job at the vet checks was to sponge the horse off to get his heart rate at and preferably below 64 bpm. Then strip him and have the vet check him over and then trot him out as they then checked him again. After the vet check there is a mandatory hold of about 20-50 minutes depending on the loop they are riding and then that's when we put as much food and water in both horse and rider as we can and get them in some shade. Then we tack up and off they go again. Crewing for a 100 mile endurace race was a very hard thing. I was constantly on the go, lifting, lugging, prepping etc... The weather held out for the most part with only a few showers, but it was so humid it made it hard to breathe and even harder for the horses to cool out. My rider finally finished the ride at 3am the next morning. I actually left a little early since I had to drive back to my parents house and then back to my house and I had already been awake and running around for over 22 hrs. But I got updates that she and her horse passed all vet checks with flying colors and with mostly all A's. The last two loops, 22 miles, were in the dark with glowsticks as markers, it was really cool waiting at the pit stops and then seeing them trotting with ther head lamps and glow sticks.

I don't think I'll ever ride in a 100 mile race, especially not on Possum, he would hate me forever, but I wouldn't mind doing a 50 mile one or something, preferably on someone else's horse. I had a lot of fun, but it was balanced with a lot of work. I was totally exhausted after and crashed at Nick's that early Sunday morning at around 2am since I was having a hard time staying awake driving and was singing to the radio to stay awake. I learned so much about endurance and the riders and all the work and technical planning it takes to have a good ride, it was really cool. It made me want to ride with them. So Sunday Nick had to get yup at 7am to put in some docks in the rain and I barely woke up enough to drive myself and the dogs the 10 min drive home and collapsed in my bed again for 3 hrs. I then got up and took a shower adn got dressed since Nick invited me to go with him to his nephews 2nd birthday party. I really took it as a good sign that he invted me to a family party. There were literally 30 people there and I'm not gonna lie and say that is wasn't a little intimidating. No one knew how to introduce me. Nick's GF, or Nick's friend, or just "this is Molly". It was kinda funny. After the party I went home and slept for a few hrs again while Nick and his guy friends all went disc golfing in the rain. I was plenty happy to sit this one out. Then we all met up again for dinner at a local brew pub and then him and I went to his apartment with the dogs and had some beers and went to bed.

It was a crazy busy weekend but was a lot of fun and I got a lot of exercise and learned so much. I really have a lot of respect for the endurance world and how dedicated they are to not only to their sport but their horses as well. I like to learn as much about other disciplines as I can. That's one of the reasons that I also marshall the STB races in the fall cause I love to see the different people and learn new things. Well that's about it to report on. I'm still dragging ass today, but I'm going to force myself to atleast see my horse tonight, and hopefully ride in the indoor since we're been getting so much rain lately it's horrible. We've gotten over 7.5 inches of rain so far in June which is a new record, but it doesn't make for good riding weather.

Here is a pic that I took of the woman right before dark on her ridel. She had already ridden about 75 miles a this point.


~*~Lysh~*~ said...

I have crewed for ZM twice in years past and was sad not to be able to do so again this year! I love reading your account of the weekend!!

Please stop by my blog to retrieve your "Honest Scrap Award" -

Leah Fry said...

If I made them do that, my lazy Boyz would never let me catch them again! Sounds like a great experience, though.