It was the week before NAETC and things are starting to look bad. Angel had a bug bite on her back that when we touched she would drop her back. We were doing everything for her and nothing was working. On the Sunday before NAETC we went to Greenhawk and met an endurance rider from BC. Since they came so far from their home they brought an extra horse. Since I would give anything to ride my own horse this was my back up horse. On Tuesday things bad for Angel, witch was very upsetting because I wanted a good last ride with Angel.
On Wednesday we brought Angel to the ride site just to see if anyone could recommend anything. We got Scott Hie to work on Angel and he said that her one rib was off. So he adjusted it and we left her alone for the rest of the day. I looked at her Thursday and she was amazing, she didn’t even flinch when you touched her. I was so relieved when she wasn’t sore because now I get to ride my own horse. I found out later that the horse I was going to use for backup was being used because their other horse was unable to compete.
Friday was the day of the competition. I was up at 5 getting dressed and getting my horse ready for the day. Everyone was happy I was riding Angel, but our team vet Glen was happier than all of us. I still have to think that deep down we were all praying that I got to complete and show everyone Kentucky was a one-time thing. My ride was great until the last 5 miles where my horse just gave up, she said, “I’m done I can’t go anymore.” So I got off and walked up all the hills and let her take stops to eat grass on the side of the trail. She would trot a bit when I got on her, but the only time she would trot for a long time was when I got off and ran beside her.
That last 5 miles was horrible other than the fact she wouldn’t trot when I got on, she also pushed/pulled me into a puddle up to my knees and all I could think about was I was going to come in and it was going to be another Kentucky. It didn’t help that I got that idea walking up a really long steep hill so I was out of breath and started getting upset. I got myself through that part and continued on. I ended up coming fourth and Angel looked beautiful at the end. She couldn’t have made another loop, but I knew before that she wasn’t my 100 mile horse.
I know that everyone is very proud of us both, but I am probably the most proud not of me but of my horse. She really did give it her all and we rocked the trail the best we can. Even though we didn’t get a medal in my mind we got gold. This was Angel’s last big ride. So this is her big bang to end her career as an endurance horse. So I hope everyone remembers her as the 19 year old mare that did 75miles in the Ganaraska Forest barefoot. Everyone has that one horse they will always remember and not that I don’t remember my other horses, but Angel is definitely my super star.