Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oak Leaf Run Endurance Ride

You may recall I had plans to ride at Oak Leaf Run before the whole blood clot fiasco. Since I'd already made reservations for my campsite, I decided to go anyway, sans horse (though I wish I brought Gwyn just for the camping experience if I had the containment already, I've since ordered an EZ Picket system). The ride manager is a member of the Distance Derby so I let her know I'd be there and I was an enthusiastic volunteer.

Eric took Friday off, which was my birthday. I spent the morning with family packing and hoping the rain would stop. I drove out to Silver Creek Park in the afternoon with a packed truck. The location of the ride was about 2.5 hours from me, straight west across Michigan, just south of Grand Rapids. I stopped for gas and food but otherwise drove straight through.  After getting off the highway I was driving through grid farmland until I hit the park area where there were more trees. I also lost all of my signal for my phone, so I was truly off grid. It was a nice way to spend the weekend completely unplugged, though it did make for a slightly anxious husband... oops.

New camping set up since my camping trends in Michigan so far are April and October.... The pickup bed tent worked out PERECTLY.  Seriously. I nailed the cushioning and warmth needed for sleeping and didn't wake up cold at all. However I did forget firewood, which was my one regret.

Vet Mary warms up by the fire we had running all weekend at vet check and ride management central.

Endurance 50s coming back in for their first hold. It was too dark to get good pictures of them leaving.

CTR hold area. There were two different areas to keep the riders for each separated. I thought it was smart for a dual sanctioned ride!

30s getting ready to leave.

And they're off!

Mary doing a check. She was at Brighton in April so there were several people I knew already. I immediately felt welcomed back. This endurance/ctr crowd is like one big family more than happy to add to their numbers. Feels good, yo

Sunday Distance Derby riders Carrie (L) and Heather (R). Heather is the DD organizer and founder. They are both awesome and fun. We spent hours chatting Saturday night around a campfire. Heather camped next to me and we made a glowstick path back to my camp that was free of trees, rocks and roots. 

They went on a trail ride Sunday that wasn't part of the organized ride.

Well marked signage! 

A line of trees marked where pulses were taken!

All in all it was a great weekend. I acted as timer both days and was thanked copiously. I understand all too well the struggle to find volunteers and I'm glad I was still able to participate in the weekend event even if I couldn't ride myself. I did have to deliver the news to Lisa, who organizes Brighton, that I would not be able to attend next year due to that being my due date/month!  I think she forgives me ;) 

The drive back Sunday was quick with lots of sunshine and no crowds on the highways. I'm looking forward to returning next year!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Video Blog 1 October 1 2015

I've decided to start keeping video track of the groundwork that I do with Gwyn. I'm hoping it will be a good video reminder of where we came from for comparisons.

In this session I started with just basic groundwork principles and getting Gwyn to focus on me even though her buddies were away and somewhat out of sight. She was not happy at first, but eventually I started to be the focus and that's what I was aiming for! So I saw progress. This is a good opportunity for me to address holes in her training and work on them from the ground.