I wasn't sure I would get to go, my horse was stung on his back a few days prior to the ride. So I figured I wouldn't make it. I decided to ride that morning, which probably wasn't a good idea (on a different horse). Everything was telling me not to go, but I wanted to and I had planned for this for a long time.
That afternoon I decided I was going. My horse was ok and I was too. I got there at 5:30pm, vetted in (all A's and an A- on gut sounds- was told to make sure he drinks water). I was getting concerned b/c he hadn't drank since we left the farm at 3pm.
Headed out at 7:30 for the 25 mile, night ride! I was alone, just me and my horse. I can't beleive I even had the guts to go, and let alone ride at night. This was a big deal.
The first loop this horse trotted out nicely and we led the second pack of horses for the majority of the first loop. I was desperate for him to drink so I held him back at the water hole and partnered up with the next group of riders.
Vetted in, all A's.
Set back out at 10:17pm- Alone. I lost my group of riding buddies due to the water hole incident. The trail was poorly marked (well I thought it was, but it was ok). I was wandering around in the darkness for a while, until someone showed up behind me. It was a familiar voice, the same gal I rode with the first loop. We partnered up, I needed her more than she needed me.
We took it pretty easy, until we were passed by three ghosts of grey arabs and riders. They pulled us along for a good while, until I decided I was tired of ripping my shoulders out of their sockets to hold my horse back.
I never saw another rider again until we got back. I thought for sure we were dead last, but there were actually 9 other riders out behind us.
There was a water bucket and we drank about 1/2 of it, I was so pleased and it was such a relief. I was getting more worried at every mile passing by, but my horse seemed ok. I listened to him and we did ride pretty slow.
We placed 14th out of 23 horses. I was so tickled!! My horse looked ready to go again. I let him cool out, eat and drink and then I decided to head home at 3am.
It should have taken about 2 hrs to get home, but ended up taking 4+. Something was wrong with the trailer. I do not know what. I stopped three times to look, I thought I lost a tire or certainly a flat. Nothing, there was no evidence of anything wrong. So I kept going at 30 MPH. I called my husband at 3:30 to tell him my route in case I never made it home. He met me about an hr away from home just to tell me it was the poor SC State roads causing all the bumping and noises. I still don't believe him and I refuse to drive that trailer any longer. I am trailer shopping and will have something better by Aug.
I am so proud of my horse, he is a champion and a winner. I couldn't have asked for a better ride. This ride was the foundation for a lifetime of enjoyable rides.