Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Part 2

This is Sweetie last October on my first ride on her since riding her on a 50 in '03.  We were on our way back from doing about 15 miles along the middle fork of the American River near Greenwood and Cool.  Sue's place is right on the trails on the opposite side of the American River from the California Loop Trail section of the Tevis Trail.

 All of our conditioning rides have been done completely barefoot in all the rocks.  Sweetie is amazing.  She goes over them like they're not there.  She will have glue-on boots for Tevis.  I am planning on drag riding the American River 50 next month and will be carrying boots for that and using them as needed.  Her hooves are as hard as a rock and never chip.  The long slow distance work of drag riding is good conditoning for 100's.  It's been a long time since I've been in the saddle for nine hours.  I should be good and sore after that.

    This was taken in November in front of the Hawver mine near  the Old Quarry Vet Check at about the 90 mile point of Tevis.  This is one of the features of Tevis I was never aware of until I moved out here and had the opportunity to ride by it in the daylight, unlike during Tevis when you get to it in the wee hours and are too bleary and half out of your mind with fatigue to notice much of anything except your horse's head in front of you.  There is an iron gate at the entrance to keep people out.  I am standing under the ruins of some kind of concrete tunnel.  On this day we did about 25 miles.  She was a bit chubby and cresty and as you can see, had worked up a good sweat.  She has dropped some poundage since then, but still needs to lose about 50 pounds.

This was taken in February as Sue and I made our way back up the trail from Cherokee Bar on the middle fork.  The sunbeams made it look like I was being blessed from above.  Sue said it was her late dad approving.  You can make out the side of Sue's horse Raven's head in the lower right corner.  Right after she took the picture Raven decided he couldn't stand having Sweetie in front and took off, disappearing around the bend, Sue yelling all the way and trying to hang on to her iphone while yanking on the reins.

On the way down earlier, we had heard gunshots.  Since we were within the Auburn State Rec Area, this was a big no-no.  Then we spotted three vehicles that also weren't supposed to be there.  About eight yahoos were out on a bluff overlooking the river, firing away with rifles, without a care for what might be below.  Sue got on her phone and had quite a time getting across to the sheriff's dispatcher our location.  He kept asking what cross street we were near and what kind of guns they had.  Then the call got dropped.  The second call was more successful.

On our way back up we noticed they were packing up to go, and we wondered if they were going to get away with it.  But soon after the picture was taken we met up with the sheriff coming down the trail in an SUV, followed shortly after by a ranger.  Our faith in the authorities was restored.  I hope they fined them up the wazoo.  Sue said she hoped none of them were her neighbors.  She's already having enough trouble with the meddlesome old lady across the road.

This final shot is the one mentioned in my first blog, after my first successful attempt at mounting her from the ground.  This was taken in mid February at Cherokee Bar on the middle fork, which is in the background.  I had just plopped my butt in the saddle.  More to come.  Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Sure wish we had terrain like that in Kansas to condition on!! We'll be making our way back out again to give it another try in August.
    Best of luck to you. Barry