Saturday, June 3, 2017
Can I really be one week out?
This thing I’ve been working towards for years… the thing that the closer it gets the farther away it seems… that concept of limits in high school calculus where the closer you get to something you infinitely split the space in half and never arrive…. that’s what the 100 felt like to me until today. When it hit me… this is time and not conceptual math.
Saturday, June 10 will arrive and I’ll be tacking up at 5am for a journey to the unknown.
What do I do now?
- Make lists.
- Get ready.
Specifically: what does one do in the two weeks before?
Shave your dark colored non-Arab heat machine.
Get your farrier out.
I took a day at the barn to do both. It’s good that it’s a week early- she’ll have a little hair growth to help protect her skin in 10 days but still be able to cool. She’ll have a week to walk around on the shoes and not be sensitive from a fresh hoof trim.
I washed her while waiting for the farrier… so afterwords she’d be clean to shave.
She is not a big fan of baths and I don’t do it often but she was patient with the soapy sponge and shockingly stood absolutely still while I rinsed her with the hose! Good start to the day.
I’ve never seen her so clean.
She was also basically good for my farrier. I have been reminding her we’re in for this adventure and it’s a big job. I’m partnering with her because she’s strong and smart and ready. She took getting her shoes done pretty seriously I think. So did my farrier.
The 100 right?
He worked more quietly than ever and at one point I said:
I have a question I want to pick your brain about- tell me when is a good time.
To which he replied:
Not now when I’m shaping her shoes for this.
Which is kind of what I expected but thought I’d check. I asked him later. When he was done. Completely.
She stood more quietly than usual and though she still isn’t a dead-broke quarter horse (which is my farrier’s dream job… only working on them…) but she improves every time and we do it without pain or force and he’s very patient to work with me in my own way.
She handled the hot shoeing with minimal fretting. And she stood much more still while he nailed than usual. I’ve watched and the initial easy beats to set the nail she’s fine- it’s the energy to really drive them in at the end that sends her wanting to pull those feet back but for the most part she trusted me that this was important and I was able to assure her before she tried to pull out… mostly.
4 shoes, pads all around, an old set as emergency ready shaped spares along with 2 new pads shaped for front and rear just in case we lose them on trail.
He said from experience. He’s worked the OD before.
I will. But I won’t need the ride farriers. Because I have you.
Yeah. Let’s hope so.
He gave me some more advice: from now till you leave- if you get bad rain pull her in a stall during the worst of it to keep her from running around in the mud. Slipping and pulling something is bad enough and this wet weather has been hard on keeping shoes on. After the ride – have the ride farrier check the shoes. You want them on and tight to protect her feet as she recovers over the next couple weeks.
After he left we moved on to the haircut. I have a small clipper and have only done this a few times. As Amy assured me – doing it this far out will at least grow in the clipper lines. Can’t have my Khaleesi looking too mutly around all the beautiful Arabs… my diamond in the rough… or is it my rough & tough among the diamonds?
I did get creative and added a star to each rump. Once I got on her later for a light evening ride I noticed… my stars are not aligned! Oh well. I’ll get better in time.
And in my defense I clipped her outside so the wind could carry away the hairs (that didn’t go down my shirt) but any fly that found us had her twitching away and it’s hard to get a straight line with her twitching!
That being said she stood so well for me otherwise that I didn’t have to hold or tie her- she seemed to know this is just part of the prep for her big job.
The ride is now within a weather forecast window and I don’t trust it a second. Especially because it’s forecasted to be partly cloudy and highs in the 70s. There isn’t a possibly more perfect day one could hope for so I’m not counting on that. It’s just not possible. Sorry.
And on a lighter note (pun accidental but totally appropriate!) I’ve had a few issues with my early order list: my shoes haven’t made it yet so I may just stick with what works unless I can break them in; my cooling material tights are backordered (I can make due with what I have) but the glow sticks I ordered are just not what I was expecting.
Yes. They are the size of a paper clip. You can imagine my shock upon opening the small envelope and wondering what on earth I’ll being doing with 1″ emergency light sticks. No wonder they were such a good deal!
I put in a new order for 6″ ones and they should arrive well before I pull out on Thursday morning.
So the next few days I am getting my rig super clean and having my tires and fluids checked.
Aside from that I’m calling my mentor for last words, emailing my crew team and starting to get more serious about crunching the data… mileage, vet holds and timelines.
Next weekend will be here before I know it!