I forgot to buy my pictures so they are coming in the mail
But I like J, so I stupidly said yes. Work was totally insane the week leading up to the ride and I barely got away (despite coming in at the ass crack of dawn) in time to make it up before dark. I had no desire to try and find ride camp and the right trailer in the dark.
At the ride meeting we got a lovely little surprise. The 30 we were going to ride was actually bumped up to a 35. I wasn't very excited about that, plus I discovered that I had forgotten my pommel bags and had no way to carry water with me.
The next morning we were off. There was one vet check away from camp at about mile 18 with a 30 minute hold. There was also a trot before the vet check. I am not sure what it was about this trail, but it was very demoralizing. It felt like we had been moving at a good speed, but it was a struggle to find the trail.
Endurance seems really simple. Look at the map and then stay on the trail and follow the markers. Unfortunately because of the last minute trail change the maps were not accurate and to top it off there were ribbons of every color all over the place. The ride manager wasn't able to use specific colors for loops because you are hard pressed to find a ribbon color that wasn't already out there. Our instructions were something like red to pink to red home. Needless to say, we went off trail a couple times. Plus I think we accidentally did a loop that was for the 50 milers.
By the time we hit the first vet check I was struggling. I started out tired because of work, I got behind on my hydration (key to keeping me happy; I can function without food, but water is a must) because I didn't have a way to carry water with me (my own stupidity and a mistake I won't be making again), and my horse was feeling sluggish. She wasn't drinking well and was pretty much being pulled along by J's horse.
Thankfully, the vet check had amazing volunteers. While I was standing in line for vet check someone brought me water and refilled it for me too. Vet check went smoothly and we let the horses eat for awhile. It was only a 30 minute hold, so by 40 minutes we were back out on the trail.
The trail back to camp was more of the same. Thankfully part was a repeat of the first and J's horse locked in and took us home. My horse was essentially pulled along. Eventually we made it back to camp and it took my horse a bit to pulse down, but she did and both horses did well at the final vet check for another completion.
J is already making winter plans, so I guess I am going to keep doing this endurance thing. I will say one thing, it is getting me in shape and helping to improve my balance.