Oh yeah, we had fun.
Problems we encountered that we need to fiddle with:
Back soreness. Likely from exertion (especially trotting downhill and me being less balanced there), being weaker on one side, and possibly compounded by cramping from the cold. Planned solution? More practice trotting downhill for both of us, increasing strengthening exercises for Deli (especially these canter exercises my trainer friend suggested). For the cold, I just need to get a cooler on her ASAP when we stop if the temperature is at all cool and ride with a rump rug on cool parts (even if I have to keep it rolled up). There is also a possibility the saddle is an issue and I will continue to be vigilant in that regard. I am planning on playing with the rigging and the pad(s), and thinking of bolstering the front even more. Since it sits a little downhill already, it may have thrown me off more than expected on those gradual downhills.
I am also going to try and determine if I can get off and jog besides her for some of these long gradual slopes. It's a big IF with my knee and hip issues, but I thought I'd try anyway.
As for the cramping, she definitely did stiffen some in the brisk cool wind. It might have been better to come in hot, knowing I had a cooler in the pulse-in area, rather than jump off before the finish line and walk her in. Hmmm. Maybe more electrolytes?!
Also: bring liniment next time!
Skin flaking. Actually, this problem was not as bad as I expected it to be. Her armpits flaked some, as did everywhere where I had tack on her body. She has such sensitive skin and I'll take the dandruff-ick over the inflamed raw sores any day. I also didn't give her any anti-histamines after the ride because the insects were non-existent. In retrospect a single dose might have helped her sensitive skin after the fact even if she wasn't bitten up.
Stocking up and space. Due to Deli's lymphangitis she gets fatleg if confined at all, so I bandaged her hinds after the ride (and overnight the night before). The next morning her front legs were a bit stocked up too, which is less common for her. Tying her to the trailer is not ideal for this horse. She needs as much space to move around as possible AND standing wraps. I am planning to collect supplies between now and the next ride to set up an electric corral for her. While not my ideal choice, since I do not have a rig of my own the electric corral will be the most portable and least PIA when bumming rides. Deli is respectful of electric tape so it should be okay. and I can build her something a bit bigger for less money than corral panels.
By the way, can I just say how impressed I am with Deli for not killing herself tied to the trailer overnight?! That was my backup of a backup plan as I had thought to borrow a corral and/or electric pen, which ended up not actually existing when i arrived. We did not practice the tying overnight-thing before trying this at a busy ride. And we were camped right next to the trail! She did paw some and stuck her fat face in my riding-buddy's business (since I tied to her trailer and Deli was in reach of the back of her truck), but otherwise she did pretty good. I just plopped an entire bale of hay down in front of her, which also served as a barrier between her and the sharp bits of the trailer side.
I just had to keep the mantra in my head from my friend and trainer who helped me with Deli in our first years: plan and do what you can and for everything else, ENDURE.
Here are some photos of our vet card:
The B in gut sounds is something I wasn't super worried about day-of because she ate really well most of the day and into the night. She did eat a few mouthfuls of grass on the trail and carrots (fed by hand). Her hydration did perk up on the second loop because she drank so well after the first. On the first loop she just sipped water when offered.
Also for checking her mucous membranes and capillary refill, she would not let the vet do it. However, all the vets at the ride let ME show them her gums and hydration so it wasn't a big issue. Deli does get more fussy about her face being handled by strangers in hectic environments, so I think this is something we will need to practice more at rides.
Mt. Adams is well run, but it is a HUGE ride and the pulse-in area and vet checks were BUSY. Deli did pretty well, but I'm curious to see how she does at a smaller ride. Also the 30 minute hold felt so short, and I think we even left after our release time(?)
So those are my closing thoughts. She felt good when I went out for 5 miles today. She's going to get a good amount of work this week and then another whole week off because my husband and I are going on our first vacation in years to Yellowstone. I am hoping to get to another one of my bucket-list rides in July and try another LD with Deli there.
Last time: We completed our first LD!