Aboard Fleet Spirit Pat waits for the ride to start. To avoid having the competitors clump together at the vet checks, they are sent off, usually in pairs, at two or three minute intervals.
Pat and Vic saunter across the finish line at Vic's first long distance ride. One of the more relaxed mileage rides is a good way to begin the sport. Pat is riding Ginger, a pretty Arab/Quarterhorse mare, we sold many years ago.
Bracebridge Competitive Trail Ride 1991
Tip: Never, never wear cowboy boots on a competitive trail ride, especially not if your horse has a big trot like Mack. Vic did on the first day of this 2 x 25. Here on the second day he's better outfitted, but the damage was already done--a raw, bloody abrasion the size of a looney on the inside of each calf. A number of riders got lost on the second day of this ride because of a new system of trail-marking. Vic estimates that he and Mack did an extra eight miles that day. By galloping much of the last half they got in less than an hour late and earned their finish for the 50 miles.
Pat and Vic and Tisca are just starting out on this adventure. Many competitors use a heart monitor on their horse to check how it's handling the physical stress. On this occasion, however, Vic decided that it made more sense for him to wear the heart monitor. He didn't really need it. If you read the story on the Competition page, you know that he got a long rest in the middle of the ride!
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