Endurance Racing

Summer Solstice Rides – Part 2 – Sarah

After some dinner and relaxing, we made our way over to the awards and ride talk.  Things were running behind schedule and the moonlight ride was scheduled to start at 7:30 and we assumed the moonlit ride would just start late too.  During the ride talk (which came first), they announced that it would indeed be 7:30 start (and it was now 7:15).  Eep!  Run away and get Bentley tacked up NOW!

Fortunately I had already taken the time to “dress” Bentley up in his moonlit apparel: Pink, purple and orange glowsticks braided into his mane and tail, more glowsticks lining my reins, more hanging from the saddle, glowsticks across my stirrup cages, and of course a LED necklace in bold red.  Can you tell I love this ride?

I managed to get to the start line just in time, and Linda was waiting.  We took off at a wild walk down the driveway.  Daring!  The first loop it remained light in the forest, and we used that to scope out potential dark problems.  For the most part, it was clear and even I barely had to duck despite the size of Bentley, only one small log on the ground 11 minutes from the start (and yes, I set a timer for this!)

Bentley pulsed down right away, it was cool and we had gone nice and slow through loop one.  We vetted through with all A’s but again the Vet and I discussed about the earlier “offness” that we may or may not have imagined.  Agreed to watch closely and see what happens with more work.

Solstice joined us for loop 2 and we finished together.  Once it started to get dark, the glowsticks looked really fantastic and I played around with turning off my headlamp every so often so I could just enjoy the bouncing of Bentleys glowey mane.

Once again we vetted almost right away.  Its hard to tell much vetting in the dark, but it did not look like whatever might be slightly awry was disappearing with this new work, not enough for a B score, but was told we would see what happens when we sleep on it.

The next morning, we vetted first thing and discussed our options.  The vet still thought that Bentley was sore on the ribs as if he had been kicked, and might be compensating – no lameness (i dont think it was even a B on the vet card), but the compensation over 50 miles could lead to lameness.  We decided not to risk it, and pulled before the beginning – rider option.  So unfortunately there is no part 3 to this story!  I did end up volunteering as a vet scribe through the day and had a blast – was not sorry I pulled.

Looking at him now, we still aren’t sure anything is wrong (or if there ever really was anything wrong).  Its possible that poking him in the ribs just surprised him (as he will still jump and snark the first time I press there, but on 2nd, 3rd, 4th pokes I get nothing), and after that we were just looking for something to be lame.  Hes been working fine at home without any sign of issues.  Who knows, we will just have to give our faux 75 another shot another day!  I am not sorry I withdrew however, I would rather be safe than sorry because I have to be his voice.

There will be a horse for next time!


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