Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mt. Adams 2016 – we completed our first LD!

We did it! I didn't jinx it! Deli didn't injure herself the day before! She got in the trailer! We arrived intact and rode 30 miles!

Deli and I COMPLETED our first limited distance ride yesterday! We completed 30 miles at the Mount Adams Endurance Ride.

I am so very happy with Deli and had a blast on the trail. The Mt. Adams ride is beautifully run. Which is a good thing, because it is a BIG and BUSY ride (with 68 riders, I believe, in the LD and… 30 started in the 100 miler!). The trail was well-marked and the scenery was absolutely stunning.

At home, waiting to leave.
Deli felt great all day. We dealt with some over-excitement on her part, which was expected for her first ride. She got fairly strong at points (though never out of control) and I was glad I opted for her snaffle bridle over the side-pull. Her power-trot was exhilarating as we wove our way up and up through the forest. It threatened to rain all day, sprinkling on as at times. When we climbed through an old burned out area, the mist crawled in between the blackened trees. At one point we got a close-up view of Mt. Adams’ snowy base. The first loop was long and involved a lot of passing and being passed by other groups of riders. I rode all day with my friend Vanessa and her horse Jinn and had a great time with them.
All vetted in on Friday! With her whole bale of hay...

Deli ties to the trailer overnight for the first time. And Jinn is CUTE.
 Our only trail “mishap” was Deli having a freak out about the first bridge we encountered. She ended up crashing into a downed tree with her hind legs and giving me a brief heart attack. So I hopped off, let folks pass, and examined her for injuries. Miraculously she was totally fine and it was easy to mount again on one of the many downed trees in the forest.

Deli vetted in great at the first check after 16 miles – all As and A minuses. We walked out of camp on a loose rein for the second loop and when I asked to pick up the trot again she was totally game. We were able to find a bubble for a bit in the second loop, and I think this was my favorite time. With a loose reins we mostly let our horses pick the pace, which was typically around a 7mph chugging along trot. At points they picked up the ground eating 10mph trot. For the most part we did not go fast, however, as I had plans to not push Deli too hard. She came back into the camp after another 13 miles still happy to trot forward, ears up. Of course I question her soundness and ability with all the injuries she’s had, so I was very happy with how she moved all day.

The trails (ridden on Friday).
She ate up those hills and seemed to be enjoy the experince! It wasn’t until the last few miles I felt she started to “guard” her right hind a little. She was still moving cleanly, but it did feel like that weak leg was getting tired faster than her other three limbs.

We pulsed in fine and got a completion, ending up with a 43rd place out of 60.

The “bad” things mostly related to her after the ride. The wind was brisk and cold when we pulled tack, and even though I got a cooler on her ASAP she started to cramp along her back and topline. She got Bs on her back on the final vet through and the vet commented that she was stiffening up in the cold. I also thought she was a bit back sore beyond just cramping, to my disappointment. The saddle has been a big question for me (due to that edema – which ironically we had no issues with for this ride) and I hate that she has a sore back. This saddle we have is the MOST comfy I have ever been in tack. In fact, I feel pretty darn good today. A bit of muscle soreness, but no un-right pain (though  I am personally very sleepy from two nights with poor sleep).

The next hour she was eating and drinking great, but she definitely seemed to be stiff and uncomfortable on her topline and generally cramped up just standing around. She was shifting about on her feet. As Deli seemed most comfortable sedately walking around camp and grazing, that’s what we did for about an hour or two after our ride. When she seemed a bit looser I tied her back to the trailer with her bale of hay and a bucket of carrots and went to pass out for a bit in our tent with my husband (who crewed for me like a champ all day).

She did fine overnight but, unfortunately, her back was still sore this morning. I got some advice from riders more experienced than me: that it might just be all the downhill trotting or the exertion (and not the saddle?). If that’s the case the soreness should be gone by tomorrow or the next day. If not, something else may be going on. She didn’t feel fussy or sore-backed at all while I was riding. In fact, she seemed to enjoy herself. Particularly when we were in that bubble I could feel that delightful curious spark she has, wondering what was around the next bend in the trail.

After the ride, trying to keep warm!

My husband was so helpful and wonderful all weekend.

Ride camp this morning.

Deli was perky this morning! Demanding her mash.
She also led a good portion of the way! My submissive weenie of a pony is turning into something else… and I like it! Her worst spook of the day was right when we were coming back into camp from the first loop. Go figure.

I’ll probably post more about the ride later because I’m still mulling over my experiences.


  1. Yes! I am so, so, so happy for you guys. Very, very well done. :)

  2. What saddle and pad? Sadly, my experience is that it is one or the other or the combo when you get a sore back. The only exception is if it's something you are doing biomechanically. When I had knee surgery and tore my ankle tendon, I rode crooked and made my horse's back sore. I didn't realize I was doing it, but I had people ride behind me and watch.

  3. Congratulations! Just found your blog & enjoyed your post!