|August 4, 2010||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
We are reaching the end of my planned “Tevis” posts! I hope that the posts have been enjoyable and maybe even given you ideas for your own ride.
Because Tevis is such a challenging ride emotionally and physically, I think it’s a perfect opportunity to access some of the strengths and weaknesses of me as a rider, and Farley as an endurance horse. I am a huge propenant of contemplating, as honestly as possible, the “reality” of myself and my horse in endurance. As I prepare my crew notes for next year, I think this exercise is especially helpful, as hopefully my crew can make up for some of my shortcomings.
Let’s start with Farley
- Pulsing down. I can ride into a check at a trot, or sometimes even a canter and she’ll be down to pulse criteria as soon as I dismount – no sponging or pulling tack required
- An efficient trot. She’s like an energizer bunny…….the downside is that sometimes we can be travelling quite fast and it’s kinda “sneaked” up on me because after all….we are still at a trot right?
- She will eat and drink as needed and will take care of herself
- She’s very efficient downhills and if there’s lots of up and down, we can make good time on the downs so we can take it easy on the “ups”.
- Great feet and comfortable completely barefoot if necessary.
- Very very sure footed.
- Not spooky, very brave, sensible and will use her head if she gets in a tight situation.
- Not herd bound. Travels well anywhere in a pack, or all by herself.
- Unethusiastic trot outs. Can be marked down for attitude and impulsion because she’s not quite “into” the whole trot out thing.
- We don’t live in the “hill country” and I’m relying on my conditioning base and dressage to get me through rides. Therefore I must be conservative going up and down hills.
- Extremely sensitive skin, need to be on the look out for any rubbing, especially in girth area and on legs underneath leg boots.
- Very ineffecient canter. Better to vary the speed of the trot and allow to walk to work different muscles.
- tends to get cold and “shivery” easily. Always have a cooler available at checks.
- Will snap reins and leadrops if she steps on them
- Although usually starts on a loose rein, totally calm, occasionally (~1 out of 5 starts) is a complete maniac for no reason (at least, not that I’ve been able to discover).
- Tends to do something stupid in front of the photographer which makes it very difficult to get pretty trail pictures. 🙁
Now let’s talk about Melinda
- Is very focused and is good about riding on target times (if possible with the horse on that day).
- Good sense about miles travelled
- Doesn’t usually get lost
- Fairly fit, could hike out if necessary
- Is very good about rider on top, horse on bottom
- Encourages others to ride their own ride around her and tries not to affect the ride of others around her.
- always carries a spare EVERYTHING in the crew bag.
- Obsesses about her horse insissently
- Data collection, comparison, and trends
- Loves her horse more with every passing day and is more determined than ever to place FARLEY’S WELFARE FIRST.
- Not as likely to unbridle for every check – need to get Farley going at rides in a hackamore ASAP. Minx was hard to bridle so I think this is a hold over from that. Either ride in a hackamore or take the bridle off at every check! (see comment above about horse welfare…)
- Does not eat at night in the saddle – need to keep snacks in bra or front pocket of shirt for last loop of a 100.
- Tends to not do “extra stuff” that seems like “too much trouble” such as……applying technu, packing extra caffeine pills, carrying a GPS.
- Has a hard time eating during rides and is very picky. Often doesn’t feel hungry at rides, just sick.
- Has a hard time getting enough electrolytes or calories down during a ride (although it’s getting better as I find stuff that agrees with me…)
- Not good at cleaning girth throughout ride – need to have a spare so I can just swap out.
- Has a hard time at keeping track of vet cards
- Will COMPLETELY stress out over an off hand comment that a vet makes until the next vet check, where Farley is completely fine.
- Has a hard time saying no to people and doesn’t want to hurt feelings. I’m working on this and everyone should consider themselves warned – my crew is going to undergo a radical change this year and please be understanding! It was too big and disorganized this year at Tevis and while it’s been fun, I’ll be doing things a bit differently in 2011.