Sunday, October 8, 2006

Super Spice

Sunday October 8 2006

So, after colicking at the EHSC endurance ride in August and getting the flu, and almost drowning in a bog in September, Spice completed Saturday’s Comstock 50-mile endurance ride. In fact, she bucked at the beginning under Gretchen, zipped along quite nicely the whole ride, and bucked again in the last mile.

It started out as a dark and stormy night the night before… dark clouds, rain, a bit of hail – and LIGHTNING! It looked like we were driving toward some rain (or snow?) clouds, and as we arrived at base camp and set things up, those clouds were getting darker and closer. Unbelievably then, it started lightning and thundering, and sprinkling, and we scrambled to move Spice over to Raffiq’s side of the trailer - a little more out of the wind – and get heavy rain blankets on them before I had to jump inside and cower away from the lightning. The thunder cracked and boomed, big hard cold rain fell, and the horses turned their butts to the storm. I sure hoped this was passing through and we wouldn’t be caught out on horseback in a storm like this tomorrow! Rain and hail, miserable wet and cold I can take – but lightning? No way!

The storm did pass, and it was clear and crisp in the morning, but not as cold as we expected it would be. Spice must have been feeling so good and excited to be back on the endurance trail and feeling healthy, she bucked and scooted and shied the first mile, much to Gretchen’s discomfort. The starts of rides, you never know how your horse is going to behave – or not. Another friend rode her horse Mira with us; Mira was also a little wound up, as this was her first endurance ride in over a year.

I rode Raffiq, who is such a big Drama Queen – any time Spice or Mira did anything, he’d overreact with a big spook or bolt forward, where I’d have to haul hard on the reins or he’d be off at a dead run. If Raffiq were human, he’d be Nathan Lane who played the gay guy in The Birdcage – shrieking in a high pitched voice and dramatizing anything that happened. Geek!

It was a great ride – a hard climb at the beginning of the two loops, then long and steep downhills, one sandy wash to go up and down, all of which we took it easy walking over and through. The rest was nice soft trails or jeep roads we trotted along, cruising along, the horses each deciding who was going to take the lead and how fast we’d go. The weather was nice and cool, so the horses didn’t have it too hard even with their winter coats. Spice didn’t really seem to get tired at all, and, judging by the buck she employed in the last mile, she’s recovered from all her trauma.

Virginia City 100 2007, here we come!

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