Endurance Riders

Endurance and Long Distance Equine Disciplines

Big Horn Or Bust? More Like Big Horn Despite Bust--by Nellie

Mom loaded me into the trailer at 2:30 on Friday afternoon for the 4 1/2 hour trip to the Big Horn ridecamp. At 11:30 we rolled into camp & I finally got to get out of the trailer. You see, I had a trailer endurance ride before the actual endurance ride. About 6 miles out of Buffalo the oil pump went out on the truck. At least it wasn't a super hot day.

Here's me watching trucks whiz by on the side of the highway.

Here's Dad trying to find another truck (our blue truck was in the shop). Our friend Gary came to the rescue with the loan of his truck and some other friends, Jonny & Blake drove up to meet us. After a few hours on the highway, the truck cooled off enough to make it to a nice truck stop in Buffalo where there was some shade.

Mom did pick lots of grass for me to eat both along the highway & the truck stop. Yummy. Here come our rescuers!

On to the Big Horn 100--my first ride of the season! We got to camp so late, I had to get up early to vet in before the ride. I was eager to get going. I love the start of a ride, especially in the dark, so exciting. We got to ride through the desert, along a creek and by some water falls. That got us up to Hudson Falls where we saw some people that had some water & wet beet pulp for us. I'd been eating grass along the way, so I didn't need anything but it was nice of them to offer. Some of the horses I was with enjoyed the buffet. We continued on to the canyons. Some of the best grass grows there. And the views are spectacular. Some folks don't think that we mules & horses care for that kind of stuff, but we can appreciate it. I had lots of fun on the way to the first vet check riding with all the horses in a group. I got to ride with my old buddy, Ike, from Michigan for awhile & met lots of new friends like Reba & Flyer. (I can't remember the names of all the others.)

Dad takes great care of me at the vet checks. We left the check to head for Antelope Butte. Some roads & lots of rolling green meadows. The best grass grows through here. And nice ice cold creeks for cool drinks. There are actually lots of these throughout the whole ride. There was even still a bit of snow around here. After Antelope Butte we headed for Jack Creek. This part of the trail is all up hill if i remember correctly. Mom swears we do go down once in awhile, but I think she's foolin', I don't remember that at all. In fact I got pretty tired this loop. I even made mom get off & walk once in awhile. When we finally got to Jack Creek we had a choice of how to take our vet check. We had an hour hold left that we could take now, take it after the next loop or split it into a half hour each time. I made it pretty clear to mom that I wanted the full hour now. I ate & snoozed here enough that I was refreshed for the next loop. This next loop is really cool. It's a forever long 14 miles, but I was so refreshed after my hold that I flew through it. It starts out with the Shag Nasty section, lots of big rocks, then on to Boulder Basin, lots of boulders & big meadows--need I mention the grass is great here? There are creeks here & lakes we ride by, absolutely breathtaking. Back at Jack Creek I pulsed in super, so after a snack we continued on to basecamp. We got to pass through a herd of mares & foals & a few thousand cattle. Some of those silly calves ran along after me a little, like they could keep up with me, huh. It eventually got dark, but the grass was still tasty so I didn't mind. Across the meadows we went until it was time to ride down the hill to trapper Creek. Here I had another snack & a good drink before hitting the desert for the home stretch. I can't remember what time we got back exactly, but it took me exactly the same 17 hours & 47 minutes that it took Noodle last year. Go figure. This is also my personal fastest Big Horn 100. The next morning mom got so excited at the awards when they said I won Best Condition. I really took care of myself well on this ride and mom too.

Here's a view from the trailer on the way home. At home, mom pulled the Ground Control shoes she put on my front hooves last Wednesday & took pictures of my bare hind hooves. I'm not sore at all after that 100 miles of rocks. Mom says I'm one tough cookie.

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Comment by Robert Losey on September 22, 2009 at 11:59am
Great story, I sure do miss you guys. Rob & Annabelle
Comment by Ronda vida eden on August 4, 2009 at 7:57pm
Yes i love the Big Horn ride. The Tolman's are so lovely and work so hard. I hear they made a big loss this year. I hope they don't decide to stop running these rides. I sent them a donation. If more of us do maybe they will stay afloat. Maybe with more blogs like ours we can encourage more attendance.See you again on the trail. Aussie Ronnie.
Comment by Cindy on July 14, 2009 at 8:23pm
congratulations on a successful ride! and for seeing it through even after the hiccup on the way there! Cindy S
Comment by Cindy Collins on July 14, 2009 at 12:20pm
Loved your story, Marirose! Many congrats on a great job, as usual. Cindy

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