Beet pulp is soaked, triple rinsed, and then put in the freezer so I need only pull it out, add a little water and grain and give it to Strider for pre-hydration.
The kaolin-pectin, CMPK and Enduramax are all in the house, ready to be mixed for electrolyting Strider.
I pulled out all my tack and power washed and cleaned EVERYTHING (saddle pad, cinches, seat cover, breast collar and even my Da Brim with the mud dried on it).
I got out my Hoof Armor gun and made sure to pack extra gloves and the wax paper.
Sunday evening, I did the grocery shopping for the ride. I Googled the closest "Twice the Ice" location I could drive up to for ice for my coolers on Friday morning.
Except for throwing my bag of clothes, and my blankets into the truck and trailer, I'm....I'm actually ready and packed for the ride.
I was nervous over something with Strider, I had his accupressurist come out BEFORE Last Hoorah instead of the day after team penning in two weeks. I could feel what I THOUGHT were splints on his fronts. But, were they new or old? I ran my hands down his legs; cold and tight. I've been watching him like a hawk for weeks. Never a single step that wasn't sound. I made Joe trot him out for me. Sound. I lunged him on a circle both directions. Sound.
In my mind, I remember (or I've created a false memory) of my trimmer saying that at one point, he has PROBABLY popped his splints, but, they've healed cold and tight. He's fine.
But I was driving myself insane; had she REALLY said that, or had I made that memory up?
Better to change my appointment, have another set of eyes/hands on him that knows him and to either tell me he's injured, or that he's okay and I'm a freaking lunatic. So, with all that in my mind, I had Jodi come and do a session on him.
I mean, he'd done the Intro (16 miles) and the LD (25 miles) for a total of 41 miles 3 weeks prior.
He was being an absolute turd-asshead about not standing still. Usually he stands and lets Jodi work on him.
We eventually went and grabbed Zurkh for company, and he immediately settled down. *sigh*
As Jodi touched him all over, she said he felt great. Not a single red flag. She said every single thing about him was a horse who was the picture of health and who definitely had the energy to do his job.
THAT all said...she said, knowing his history and KNOWING about that soft tissue injury and that we're only about 8 months out from it...she said, sure, he could do the LD...and he'd probably be GREAT at it and he'd sail through without an issue...-but-....
And that's all I needed.
"Would he be okay for an Intro or should I pull him completely? 12 to 15 miles? I'm good either way, but be honest with me."
So, we're dropping to the Intro.
Yes, he's fine. And I'm sure he is. BUT, right now, why risk it? The Six 0 Ranch has some challenging terrain. And, he's my long-term riding buddy. Why push for 25 miles?
And...while I won't earn as many PFHA points...well...I'll earn some points towards this:
|PFHA's Pleasure Long Distance Trail Horse standings|
My "Bargain Bin" Easy Boot Gloves showed up yesterday. They're brand new in so far as I can tell. Frankly, I'll never buy them at full price if I can order out of the BB again. It -LOOKS- like they MIGHT fit his fronts once I trim them up and get the toes pushed back. If not, they will PROBABLY fit his rears (they're more oval than round).
And, we're currently in a competition to win a pair of Scoot Boots. Which would be AWESOME and AMAZING if he did!!! Not holding my breath (I never win anything....except that one time I won tickets to the opening season of Sherwood Foreset Faire off the radio), but it sure would help my wallet!!
If not...I'll keep stalking the Easy Boot Bargain Bin and hope a pair of #0's pop up. Blue would be amazing...but the red ones I got yesterday (I think that's why they're BB boots; they're an older/discontinued model) are going to be VERY visible on his feet!!!
So, that's the current plan right now. We'll skip the LD and drop down to the Intro (extra bonuses are it's a little cheaper, and I get to ride with my friend C.B. and her horse Decker).
It would be a lie to say I still sometimes consider just doing the LD anyway. Who doesn't always do the "Well...what if...?" dance? I'm human.
And then I remind myself my horse isn't. He doesn't understand what we're doing. He does it simply because I ASK it of him. He doesn't give two shits about points (PFHA, AERC or Green Bean). He isn't asking me to go 15, 25 or 50 miles. He does those things because, again, I am asking it of him.
So, here is where I'm learning to bend like the willow. Because it's not about ME. Endurance isn't, per se, about me. It's about my team of 2. Him and I.
Maybe I asked too much for 41 miles. He told me about 3 miles out of camp he was getting a little tired on day 2. I heard him. I listened to him. I didn't push hard. I'd ask nicely, and if he gave it, great. If not, I didn't ask again.
So, instead, we're going to go have fun at one of my favorite ride venues, and we're going to go and completely enjoy ourselves.
And then he'll get a break...and we'll come back better for it this fall.