Another fun Owyhee ride on my amazing (to me) horse, with Merri and Jose as the perfect riding partners. Another early morning saddling up here at home, and driving to basecamp in time for vetting in and setting out across the desert. Owyhee Spring (sort of) is a new ride this year. Regina Rose has taken on four Owyhee rides for this season - the (used to be here) Tough Sucker, the Owhee Spring (sort of) and the 2-day Owyhee Halloween. I am soooooo glad she's doing this since I can now go and ride instead of manage. I'm sticking with managing the multiday rides which I really love doing most of all.
So another chance to ride the trails that I'm usually watching other people ride! Regina found some new trails over and around Murphy Butte, and put together a really fine course. The footing was perfect! Some rocky sections along the river and coming down off of the butte, but otherwise firm dirt roads and cow trails for mile after mile. And bountiful grass every step of the way for quick bites when the pace slowed down. Merri and Jose (and the Raven) are really the perfect riding partners. Rhett and Jose are buddies, they are very well paced, both very comfortable at a 10mph trot, both can lead without upsetting the other, they have a little competition between them which keeps them both engaged. Merri is always taking photos so I'll be able to look back at the ride and remember the trail. The Raven is a silent riding partner, but we all know he's there. We joined up with Richard White and his new awesome horse Kryptoknight as we came up out of the river and the three of us rode together the rest of the ride.
I had another one of those amazing rides on my amazing (to me) horse Jaziret. Strong, steady, willing, bold... just pure pleasure. I had planned on gluing boots on him for this ride, having had a less than perfect experience with him in the Gloves at the last ride. But I ran out of time, the weather was crappy, and I reluctantly settled on riding in the Gloves. I took some extra time with his feet though - rasping off all of the flare and rounding his hooves (years of snubbing the toes so he wouldn't stumble made his feet almost boxy) and cutting out the extra frog growth at the heel cleft. This made the Gloves fit better, and I think removing the pressure from the sulcus by carving a deeper groove in the frog made him more comfortable too. He still has a deep cleft between his heels that tends to stay a bit thrushy.
The result was a perfect ride in the Gloves! he was 100% even and steady and felt comfortable all day. At the start and at every hold I doused the inside of the boots at the heel with baby powder, and powdered his fetlocks (he smelled so good :) and I think that may have helped keep his heels dry and free from rubbing. After 60 miles (pretty fast too) he didn't have any issues, I probably could have done another couple loops in them.
For some reason I had it in my head that if we finished this ride Jaziret would reach his 4000 mile mark. I was all excited at the finished, then went to the AERC site to confirm his mileage... 4685.. good grief. So add another 100 to that (mileage credit for the 2003 Pan American) plus 60 from this ride, that puts him at 4845. that's almost 5000. So now I have 155 miles of anticipation ahead of us for our 5000 mile ride :)
I have no idea where the 4k came from, but I obviously don't pay a lot of attention to accumulated mileage and stuff. And I was pretty surprised to get a 13,000 mileage patch in the mail last week. Wow - I vaguely remember the 12k patch.
Now Jaziret gets a month off, I need to start riding the other horses, and have to focus on the Fandango ride coming up. And the forecast for the week is really crappy - cold, wind, maybe even snow flurries. What happened to Spring! The trees are in leave, lots of wild flowers blooming, lush grass everywhere, but this last ride felt more like Owyhee Winter than Owyhee Spring. Sort of spring...
(ride photos by Merri Melde)