Sunday, January 5, 2014

High Roller I Endurance Ride 1/4/14 (Part I)

I have to do my monthly goals AND my yearly goals, BUT I have something more pressing to write about.... our first LD!!!!!!!!!!!

After our Intro ride in November, I knew I wanted to give an actual LD a try. I really wanted to do the last one in December in Waco, but when O fell out of the trailer and bonked her knees that idea went out the window. (I'm actually really glad I decided not to do that one - I chatted with people at this ride that said that  in order to complete the December ride your horse needed to be "part billy goat" with all the rocks and the steep climbs. Glad I decided not do it because I think she wasn't fit enough for that at the time!)

The High Roller ride was down south, somewhere north of Houston in the middle of nowhere. It was all rolling pasture and cow paths and sand, so I figured it was a great one for our first start. Ride times from previous rides were extremely fast (under 2 hours for LDs and around 4.5 for 50s!! I can't even understand that speed), so I figured the terrain must be easy and simple to negotiate. With all my fees and forms sent off to everyone involved, I gave O a dose of Ulcergard at 6am on Friday (so it would cover the trailer ride but be out of her system before the ride started), loaded her up and all of our stuff in the afternoon, and made the trek down south. Easy drive, beautiful scenery, this will all flow so smoothly! Right? Well...

My problems started at sundown. I went to flip on my lights and realized that the running lights to the trailer were out. They had been out before, then were fixed, and apparently are now un-fixed as they were not working at all. Well crap, I can't run in the dark with a totally unlit trailer... what do I do? I made due by going with my hazards flashing the entire way.... my brake lights were working and the hazards and turn sigals were good, so I at least had all of those! 

Well... nothing else can go wrong, right?

I bypassed the entrance to camp on accident the first go-around. It took me several miles to find a place to turn the trailer around and come back. 

Well... nothing else can go wrong, right?

I pulled into camp after dark, and found no one there to help direct me. There were trailers to the left and trailers to the right, so I just guess and turned left. I found an open spot near some other trailers, up against the fence, and after I parked I realized it was an RV spot. Well... there are lots of other RV spots, so maybe nobody will mind if I am here in my small rig? I set up O's pen, unloaded her and fed her, and settled in. The ride meeting was awkward, seeing as I didn't know anybody and everyone there seemed to know everyone else. I tried to chat a few people up but mostly they were all talking to each other, so I stayed long enough to grab some food and hear which trails I'd be riding, and then I bolted. O was milling around her pen, and I started to settle in for the night. Another big rig came and parked in the last open spot next to me, and then another RV with no trailer attached stopped near my spot and parked there for a long time. I wondered if the RV wanted my spot and was just debating what to do, but nobody ever came to find me and talk to me about it, so when they drove off I breathed a sigh of relief. I decided at around 9 that I better get to sleep, and settled in for the night, setting my alarm at 12 to check on O and make sure she was still eating/in her pen. 

She was in her pen at 12, passed out flat on her side sleeping. Oh good, I thought, and slipped peacefully back off into dreamland. 

At 3am, there was a knock on my window. I woke up, thinking that I surely couldn't have dreamed that and that something must be wrong. I sat up, looked out my window, and saw my pen, all torn down with no horse in it. 

Well.... nothing else can go wrong, right?

Thankfully, she had only busted out of the pen to go loudly converse with the neighbor's horses. This woke the neighbor, who got up, caught my horse, and tied her to my trailer for me. I apologized in my sleepy stupor, fixed the pen, put her back in, and watched her run the fence back and forth for an hour because she now wanted to be with her new friends. I moved all of her hay down to where she could see her friends, and she finally settled down and ate for awhile. It was already around 5am by this point, so I wasn't really going to get much more in the way of sleep, but I did try to doze in the front seat of the truck while waking up every few minutes or so to look at O and make sure she was still where she was supposed to be. I cracked a window and everything to listen to her! (It was 36 degrees. Thank god I had all of my blankets/sleeping bag/layers on.) 

I finally decided I couldn't sleep anymore and went to go check in and show them a copy of my Coggins. The ride manager looked at me, looked at my rig, and said, "Oh... THAT'S you isn't it?" Uh oh... what did I do?

Apparently I parked in the VET'S spot. The RV trying to park there last night was one of the VETS. I was right across from where they were doing the vetting in the arena. OH GOD SO EMBARRASSED. I apologized a million times, and was told it was ok and they had moved the vet elsewhere. I spent the rest of the day feeling totally mortified because I was RIGHT THERE next to the vetbox and everyone could stare at my trailer all day long. 

Well... nothing else can go wrong, right?

(Yea. Guess where I parked.)

Thankfully, from them on out, things really DID smooth out. I'll finish up with Part II tomorrow... right now I am exhausted and need SLEEP!


  1. Oops! I guess that's what happens when they don't give good directions. I can't wait to hear about the ride!

  2. I say you shouldn't feel bad. If it was so important they should have had signs or a parking attendant. Can't wait for part two!

  3. Oh geez, sounds like something that would happen to me! I am great at doing things like that. Glad the rest seems to have gone well!

  4. Now you'll really have stuff to talk to those other people about at the next ride! All the newb mistakes hehehe

  5. Oh, man, talk about endurance just surviving the pre-ride! I would've disappeared into the ground. Can't wait to read part two!