Monday May 15 2012
It's 13 days before the 100-mile Owyhee Fandango, and we gave the boys their final longest and hardest ride of 22 miles. I rode Jose, Carol rode August, and since Connie is still out of town, Judy sub-jockeyed on Finneas. (We all decided Connie needs to bake Judy one of her famous cakes as thanks.)(Which we all get to sample.)
We lit out across country to Regina's place, 11 miles at a smart clip (from 8 to 12 mph), sustained trotting most all the way, minimal climbing and descending, mostly trails and two-track. Jose and I thought it was a bit warm, but I purposely didn't didn't braid his mane, and I purposely did not wear my cool vest yet.
At Regina's house we sponged the boys off and let them rest and graze, while we ate our lunch and grabbed some cool water from the house (thanks Regina!). Not that we're wimps or anything, but we were grateful for the high cloud cover that snuck over during our lunch break, or else it would have been a lot hotter on the ride home.
After a half hour break, we mounted up and rode the 11 miles back home.
And that's it. The boys are ready. Between now and the 100-mile ride, we'll take them on two more easy rides of 5-7 miles. We are fortunate to have 200 acres for the horses to move about on, and they do that, up and down the canyon at least once a day. (Well, Finneas is still working on his diet right now; losing weight is the most important thing for him.)
I discovered a few things on this longer ride I need to adjust.
I need to attach a third water bottle holder on my saddle. I DEFINITELY need to freeze my water bottles the night before the 100. Drinking warm water is disgusting and does not quench my thirst. I'll drink much more and stay better hydrated if my water is cold or at least cool.
I definitely need a haircut. Jose will have his mane braided. I definitely need to find cooler tights, and I will be wearing my cool vest. Our horses (and me!) will be wearing a turquoise bead in their manes so we don't get struck by lightning (old Navajo saying; I don't know if it applies to white people and their horses, but I'm doing it just in case!).
I need to get in better shape! I was whooped after our ride and I felt like I'd just done a 50 mile ride. I would have had 78 more to go! If I were a bigger and better man, I'd have gone out in the evening and done a 5-6 mile hike.
But, I'm not and I didn't. I had a nice smoothie and a bowl of popcorn and watched my soap on Hulu, and went to bed early.
Jose is ready! I'll work on conditioning myself more another day.