Friday, June 12, 2015: 10:06pm
In my top bunk in the bunkhouse a little too wired to think of sleep.
We left around 8:30 am and drove beautiful back roads through the Virginias to arrive in Oarkney Springs in time to help set up for the volunteer lunch. Madison got lots of input from the vets at lunch on the best way to get into vet school and we headed off to work the vet-in.
What fun to see the parade of horses coming through to have their pre-ride check in. I am assigned one of the ‘goon-squad’ vets which means that if a vet has reason to consider pulling a horse they call in at least three other vets to check the horse more carefully. This way it’s a group decision to pull a horse and the rider gets all benefit of the doubt. In 168 horses that came through this afternoon only two went before the ‘goon-squad’ and one was passed (lameness seemed to work itself out and the horse got a green light) the other horse also had a potential lameness and the vets unanimously agreed to pull the horse. The seasoned rider was disappointed but had no interest in pushing the issue. Generally the endurance folks don’t want to hurt their horses.
This is the hottest and most humid weather the OD has seen in years and the vets are all pretty concerned about the horses and riders. It’s a tough ride both in elevation and technically. Most of the vets believe there will be a smaller completion rate than usual.
We had a lovely walk around camp and found my friend from the No Frills: Pascale and her trick horse Majiic. She showed us his bow, wave and smile on command.
We also checked in with the ride and tie folks and got more information about that- I am really excited about getting into one of those!
Then we stopped to ask about a brand on a horse that turned out to be a mustang mare from a Nevada herd. We chatted a long time with her and learned a lot about the horse and her training. (That’s a secret dream of mine that may never come to fruition – to adopt a mustang! At the moment I have exactly how many horses I need and basically I need to wait for one to die before adding one to the herd).
We had a nice shower and tucked into the bunkhouse where I know 3:30am will come too soon to bring about the over 24 hour work day ahead. I can’t even imagine what that will be like right now, but I’m game. Thankfully Sarah and Madison are having about as much fun or more than I am! It’s been a gift to be able to have someone to share this experience with who is as excited about it as I am.
We’ll see what tomorrow brings! We’re game…