Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Its been almost a month since the Maine 25 mile competitive trail ride, so its about time I blogged about it! We drove up to the North Waterford Fairgrounds (home of the World's Fair) on Saturday, October 8th. The Pine Tree Endurance Ride in June was also held at this fairgrounds, so we were very comfortable with the trip up and our destination.
Most riders had already arrived when we got there - they were also offering a 50 mile ride, so a lot of riders rode on Saturday too. We settled the horses into their stalls and then went to vet in (after a quick grooming - see the photo above).
Sticking to my tendency to worry and overanalyze, I was nervous about the vet in. This was John's first event since he leaped the stone wall and injured his leg, and I never had the vet out to look at the leg, I just took care of it myself. I worried about pushing him and re-injuring the leg.
I was also slightly nervous about being back at the North Waterford Fairgrounds. Our last ride at this location was a bit of a disaster. I didn't want him to come up lame at the hold again.
The vet in went fine, we visited with friends and tucked the horses in for the night. I decided to sleep in the barn, since the stalls at the fairgrounds are in the cattle barn, and John has a history of escaping.
John and Minnie (Megan's horse) turned into Benny and Benita beaver all night. They chewed the wood in the stalls nonstop. At 1 AM, I got up and gave them each another flake of hay, trying to get them to stop chewing. At 1:30 AM, they finished their hay and went back to chewing. I didn't get much sleep, and was very glad to see the large pot of coffee at breakfast.
Once again, I got John out too early before our start time. I only went out six minutes before I could start, but they were a very long six minutes. A lot of other riders were walking their horses around, warming them up. John just wanted to leap and dive through the air, I felt like I was sitting on a coiled spring. My only goal was to keep him as quiet as possible. I stayed near the start line and kept him moving in small circles. At one point I had him standing still when a group of six riders rode up. John bucked in place. One of the riders in the group just raised her eyebrows.
"Yup, its going to be an interesting ride..."