Endurance Horses Are Idiots. Seriously.

If I have learned anything throughout the years I have done endurance, it is that endurance horses tend to have a specialized sixth sense to determine when an endurance ride is nearing, and even more so if it is an important ride. Actually, I am pretty sure ALL horses have this gift, only it is customized to the rider's preferred discipline and that discipline's competition calendar. Of course one could just chalk it to the fact that fit endurance ponies are idiots. I am not yet decided on which it is..

My little mare was rockin' and rollin' and ready for the 60 at Owyhee Spring, which was to be a prep ride for the 100 later on this month. We had a fantastic few conditioning rides the weeks prior, and set to work gluing on Easyboot Glue-Ons with Goober Glue, taking care to use my NORMAL protocol, which I didn't use here. Replika was wired from the get-go, it was extremely windy and I had plucked her from the herd and brought her in, where she was surely the Last.Horse.Alive. We got the boots glued on all four feet, got glue all over her high whites and even managed to glue my hair to my hat. 

I pulled in my baby horse and put them together in a small pen overnight to allow the glue to set. Didn't I JUST write a post about gut instinct? Why, why, WHY did I not listen to my feelings that something just wasn't right. I waffled all evening about calling to have the two horses turned out around ten that night, but instead told myself that she really needed to be in a small pen overnight to prevent any boot losses. Sigh. 

So I head to bed a bit uneasy, chastising myself for being so paranoid. I get a text first thing Friday morning, yes, the morning I would have been off with my little red mare for the ride, that says my horses went through a panel sometime in the night and were out. Off I head for the ranch, stomach in knots, regret filling my mind and tears in my eyes. I lost it when I saw my girl, standing there with blood down her legs and uncomfortably shifting her weight on her back legs. I glanced at Topper, who naturally escaped relatively unscathed, due to the fact he's only a baby and has no athletic obligations at this time. 


The right front and right hind were most marked up.

 

Look how fit she looks!
 

Baby Topper's little knees..

Trailer first aid kit.

I hauled out the first aid kit and went to work cold hosing and cleaning up the minor but numerous scrapes. Honestly, I don't know how neither horse got seriously injured, but I tried not to dwell on it too much. My husband came out to do a quick once-over to make sure I didn't miss anything serious, and topped the visit with an IV cocktail to combat the pain and swelling both were already experiencing. I sobbed for my girl, not because we would be missing our ride, but because I put her in the situation. We came to the conclusion that the horses became terrified of the tarp that had come loose off the haystack beside the pen in the 30 MPH wind and went through the panel. As you could normally house my mare in a corral made of dental floss, we know she was truly terrified to go to such extremes to get out of the situation. 

After cleaning them up and putting them out, I headed back into town to figure out what to do with the weekend. As I had planned on riding the 60 with one of my most favorite friends on her first ever endurance ride, I was most worried about leaving her alone, even though I knew she and her pony would be just fine. I did some quick thinking and even quicker talking and ended up with a horse to ride, and another riding partner! Karen Bumgarner offered me her gorgeous home-bred gelding, Blue. Whoo-hoo! To boot, (pun intended), we would all three be riding in Easyboot Gloves and Easyboot Glue-Ons! A real Team Easyboot!! 

Z Blue Lightning and me- what a COOL horse!! 
 
Big climb out of the Snake River Basin- check out those Easyboots!! 


Dueling cameras. Another big climb through some rocks. The downhill prior to this uphill was pretty impressive!!

What an amazing ride!!!! We rode down to the river and through the petroglyphs which date back 11,000 years! It was seriously amazing, not to mention I was on a super-cool horse and with some truly fantastic riding partners. We had a blast all day long, especially because we really rode all day! It was a long ride, but we laughed and chatted and got in just before a nasty hail/sleet storm blew in. I am so thankful that I was offered this amazing little horse, and that I had an opportunity not only to ride this amazing new trail, but to share the experience of finishing 60 miles with a fresh horse, with someone new to endurance who had really done her homework and always put her horse first. Thank you ladies, it really was a blast! 


These petroglyphs were so amazing.
 
There was some speculation that I might melt into pink goo if the rain continued. Luckily it stopped before we found out!! 

We really put the Easyboot Gloves/Glue-Ons to the test, as it was the first booted endurance ride for two of the horses, mine included, but both did so great! The two horses that used Gloves had no rubs what-so-ever, and the Glue-Ons stayed put beautifully, despite a less than perfect application. 

Karen and her other home-bred, Z Summer Thunder. A seriously cool horse! He rocked the Gloves all day long.

We flew down 2.5 miles of this gravel/hard-pack road. Karen commented that in years past she would not have been so confident flying down this road in steel shoes. We had no problems and weren't worried about excessive concussion or catching a rock. This is the only shot we have of all three of us- you can see Elly and Jasper, Thunder's butt and my hair ;-) 

Even better news is my mare looked good by Saturday night, and great on Sunday. She looked 100% today and we'll get back on the trail this weekend. Since she lost her two front boots in the wreck, I slapped on a pair of front boots using a newer version of Goober Glue and will test that out this weekend on a tough mountain training ride. Look for the story next Wednesday!! 

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