Cool weather and home trails had me hopeful for the best ride of the year last weekend.
It started on Saturday with a 6 mile RNT. Ana was my partner again, and to our surprise, we were up against what may have been the largest field I have seen since I started RNT! Looks like a lot of riders were bringing in ringers – marathon and ultra-marathon runners. Woah Nelly, this is getting serious! What a joy that my favorite distance sport is growing in both the horse and non-horse world! But seriously, am I ready to look bad? Groan!
Bentley hyper and bouncy. I tied just after a mile in, and got running hoping he was settled enough that he wouldnt be a prick for Ana. I found out later that he decided to trot away as she was mounting. He also did it to me later too… we joked that we are going to take vaulting lessons this winter, but for sure Bentley is going back to some mounting training. He had gotten so good, but for some reason that day it all just flew out his ears and he was determined to win despite his slower team mates.
At one point too, I had tied and forgot to take off the helmet! Oops! I ran back and saw Ana running toward me, I figured it was because she was looking for the helmet. Apparently she was looking for the horse! Oops again! I gave her the helmet, she turned around, and Bentley called through the forest “I’m over here you fools! Do I have to carry this whole team?”
Ana rode him into the vet check, and when I got there he was being held by Mike… apparently he was getting too friendly with the other horses and causing a ruckus… perhaps some sort of intimidation for his competition? I wonder what his go-to jab is? Something tells me he has a potty mouth – he gets a lot of grinchy faces from mares.
We waited in line to vet, and shortly before our turn, what should appear from the woods… but a great horse eating bicycle! Apparently the bike trail goes straight through the vetting area. Bentley had a meltdown and his heartrate was estimated around 150. Guess we weren’t going through the gate yet! It took ages for him to come down, horses behind us would come in and have no clue about the event that had just transpired, vet right through and disappear… of course, causing more stress. Bentley wasn’t the only one panicking however, it wasn’t completely unreasonable, but guess who is going to start bike training?
Ages later we hit the trail again. We found poor Ana 0.5 miles from the finish. She was happy to take over Bentley for the last bit of the race, and I sprinted over the finish line (gasping for air). Bentley didn’t exactly want to wait for me, but it was almost a team finish. Apparently despite the chaos at the vet check, we were only 8 minutes behind the winner, and placed 6th! Not bad at all! We got a pretty pink ribbon to go with our pink shirts.