The big day was finally here. I got out to the barn and we loaded stuff in the truck and trailer. We were going to take coolers of water and Edgar and Jamie said that was not cool.....they took the water tank out of the 3 horse slant and we put it in the 4 horse in the back stall where Biscuit normally rides. Wow wee worked wonders. Now we have their own water to take with us. I had bought a bag of shavings and we put those in the trailer so any poop would be easy to clean up. I also bought The Biscuit a new hay bag - it is a pretty purple. I will have to get Sarge a new hay bag, too. Their old bags are looking kinda ratty.
Our trip to Houston was easy. We got to the North Trail Head and there were already quiet a few folks there - trailers were everywhere! We found a nice spot that was higher and had more "gravel" ground and stopped there, but alas, we were asked to move it on over as that was the vet check area. We moved over some and got to work putting up the panels. They didn't take long to put together and I had bought some HUGE zip ties at Setzer's Hardware. I had no idea that there were zip ties that big!!!
We got the horses out and got them in their pens and gave them hay. Biscuit literally ate hay the entire time we were there. Legato was reaching through his pen to eat with him. She kept touching him with her nose - I guess she has forgiven him for kicking the snot out of her in December.
Lee-Ann B arrived not to far behind us. We went and checked in and got our packets.
We vet checked it - super nice vet from Idaho. Biscuit did fantastic on the vet check. Trotted out like a really good boy. Doc asked me if he always had a heart rate of 36 and I said every time I put the heart monitor on it says 36. He said FANTASTIC. Biscuit went back to eating hay.
We walked around and spoke with Darolyn and with Jaimie. We looked at the vendor there but was underwhelmed. My biothane from Taylored Tack is way nicer! The other stuff looked like it had been rode hard and put up wet.
We had the ride meeting and at first the ride was as clear as mud. They also said that the grounds were saturated with water and some trails were under water. Oh yay. Vet strongly suggested riding SLOW - that this was NOT the ride to blast off on that suspensory injuries could result from the deep mud. Another storm was coming at 1:00 am.
It rained some during the night and Lee Ann and I were glad it should be a slower ride but Biscuit is not a fan of sloppy conditions. At 5:00 AM it started POURING down rain, lightening and thunder popping everywhere. Lee Ann and I were debating on what to do....we didn't want to ride in the lightening. I talked to Kellie and gave her an update.
The lightening finally slowed down and the jets were taking off again. We were right by the jumbo jet runway. Legato started shaking when she saw the 50 milers go out and she was amping up a little and Lee Ann took her out to walk her around. That is when Biscuit got excited. Oh yay. We tacked up and it is still raining. I was getting a little nervous. I mounted up with Lee-Ann's help (hahaha...we have two Lee Anns - one with a hyphen one without!) The 25 milers had already left so we made it to the starting place and went down the path that was saturated...jets taking off as we went...Legato is doing fine...Biscuit is wanting to bust out and go.
Every time a jet took off he wanted to take off. Some horses came up behind us and Lee Ann got off to let them pass. Legato was doing ok but Biscuit wasn't. Lee Ann grabbed him by his halter and was leading him and he was acting like an idiot. I finally got off. He is going sideways as I am trying to lead him through water, mud, soggy stuff. He is getting more and more cranked up as other horses go by and I am thinking ... not for this sissy girl. We get to the turn and Lee Ann mounts up and am going to walk Biscuit some more. OMG it turned into a RIVER. I was sloshing down a trail that was totally underwater up to my knees sinking in the mud. Biscuit was floundering and every time I thought about getting on he was struggling to stay on his feet. I went about 75 yards in knee deep mud and turned around. I got back to the spotter and was totally out of breath from walking 150 yards in knee deep mud and water. The spotter held Biscuit while he was twirling around neighing like a duffus. He never acts like an idiot. Actually he just wanted to blast off and go. If it had been dry conditions where we could have put him at a stiff trot he'd have been fine and so would I. I took Biscuit back when I caught my breath and he was whinnying, neighing and stomping around with each jet that took off, each horse that came up. The spotter had called for a trailer but I was going to walk back and started out when he yelled and said they were on their way. I got to the road which was close and when they got there my horse was pretty cranked up and refused to get in the trailer - acted like a butt. Finally got him in the trailer and hauled him back to the camp.
Getting him out was another chore - he was pretty excited. The lady that picked me up said this was not a "normal" endurance ride and to not be put off by it. She said this is extreme with the flooding, etc. When I got to our trailer there was a horse in Legato's pen - and it was Legato. Lee Ann said the water got deeper - up past Legato's chest and her belly for probably 3/4 of a mile or more and then a sharp turn onto FM 1960 which is heavy traffic.
She said "not for her" either. She and Lee Ann went to the first vet check to get out stuff and in the mean time, I talked to a bunch of old timers who opted out of the ride because of the conditions. They all said not to let this put us off of riding - that they chose not to ride with the deep mud, etc. Lee Ann came back later and said OMG, one of the road crossings was 6-8 lanes wide, at an underpass, with medians. She said she would have had a heart attack crossing that. All of the trails loop around one of the busiest airports in the US.
Our neighbor, Regina, finished the ride in 5.5 hours - last year she did it in 2.5 hours. She said it was unbelievable of how hard it was and she was heading out to wrap her geldings legs as she was a little worried about his back legs.
On the way home everything was flooded - where fields were there were just lakes. I was surprised that my horse got so cranked up - he is usually the calm one. He gave me all kinds of flack loading when we left and he loads up normally nice and easy. Lee Ann was behind him urging him to get in.
Sigh....I was looking forward to this for so long but I am not going to do anything to set myself back to where I was 3 years ago. I have worked hard to get my confidence back and obviously, still have work to do on it. Or maybe I just need to stay a trail rider!! I did tell the lady that picked me up that it was my first time and she said this was not a good one for that!!
So, wish I could have reported a better outcome but all in all, I actually rode maybe 1 mile. Walked a mile, drove a mile. LOL I don't think any of that counts!!!