Depletion Ride (training for a 50 mile ride)

Originally wrote this a couple years ago, but clearing out stories to make way for new and came across it…..

So,one last step and Kohl will be ready for his first 50…(in theory anyway!) The “Depletion Ride”  It is supposed to occur approximately 2 weeks before the big day, be approximately half of the upcoming ride and be extreme enough to really give the horse a major work out.

Based on the current conditions of Khol and Tiki, (and the current conditioning of two 60+ aged women), we chose 20-25 miles at about 6-7 mph.  Usually to get the kind of easy rolling terrain we would want for this kind of ride, we would have to trailer the horses at least 50 minutes, but in this case, modern “progress” has helped our cause.  The back road into our training ground is only minutes away from us and thanks to the installation of a giant-sized commercial windmill, we now have an industrial strength road and a parking lot!  It’s really weird parking beside the gi-normous machine but the horses have become used to it.

We were on the back side of “Stanley” …an old logging area where we have ridden for probably a decade.  Over the years I would say that at least 10-15 people from Tidal Treasures have competed and trained on these roads.  So, suffice it to say, we know these roads like the back of our hand.  (Keep that thought in mind as we progress…) Our ride started out AMAZING!  We cantered 3/4 and 1 mile stretches without transitioning down at all. Then we would trot til the horses caught there breath (and us ours) and then back up again.  Glorious!!

It all started to fall apart around mile 12ish.  Khol lost a shoe.  Really??  We put a boot on him but he didn’t like it and was really sloppy in it.  Oh well we decided it was probably about 5 miles back to the trailer…we would trot a steady pace and call it a day.

Once we slowed down, it didn’t seem to matter that we were on our way back, Khol was one unmotivated puppy.  He just didn’t want to be bothered moving anything faster than a snails pace.  I hate having to “squeeze up a horse” so I tried not to but it was beginning to be a frustrating ride.

We had moments where it came together again but I was going to be happy to see that trailer. As we are trotting along, I’m thinking “where is that left hand turn?”  One went by but it didn’t look right.  Well we never did find the left hand turn…we ended up at sort of an intersection.  “How did we get here?” I wondered but..oh well we are only a mile or two past our turn so lets just go up the main road and call it a day.  So up we went.  And. went.  And went.  Then another intersection?  Time to turn around.  We were lost.  THEN, a few miles later, we were staring straight at a lake.  A lake?  Where did that come from?  How come we didn’t see it on the way down?  (Answer:  it was on the right and we were intent on looking left.)  The only lake in Stanley is way down the other side of the logging roads.  Close to 8-10 miles away from where the trailer was parked.

Can you guess where this is going?  Yep…depletion ride indeed.  We had to ride another 8 miles before we  were finally able to set our sites and our tired butts in those trailers!  Maybe my “unmotivated puppy” was the only one amongst us who knew we were going the wrong, wrong way!  Grrrr.

Ok, well deletion ride over and out.  The 50 mile ride endurance competition is in a few weeks and it’s AERC sanctioned!   Have to call AERC tomorrow and get Kohl an official number!!  Here’s hoping all goes well.  Will keep you posted!

PS:  This is Pam and Tiki at the beginning of the ride (This is Pam’s “happy face” believe it or not!)

This is Pam and Tiki at the end of the ride:  Not happy face.  Couldn’t show you her actual face at the end of that training ride.  It was too scary.

Happy Trails Everyone!

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