I DID forget to drive by a gas station and had Eric try and find me a Kroger (because points off of gas are put to good use filling up a truck tank). As I was angling to put the trailer in a string of empty spaces out in the middle of nowhere, the middle spot got sniped by a lady in a white SUV who was behind me.
Bitch. Fucking bitch. She pointedly ignored me asking her if that was necessary (there were closer single spaces available) and I ended up parking with the truck pretty much taking up a HUGE amount of space where people were trying to exit. I really wanted to block the asshole in, but I didn't dare take the chance she would try and hurt Gwyn without me there. Ooooo I was boiling mad.
I ended up seeing her leave as I was leaving the store and tossed my middle finger her way. She responded in kind. And then, after griping on the phone about it, I resolved to forget it because I REALLY did not want that bitch to spoil my weekend.
And she didn't :)
The drive after all that was otherwise uneventful. I arrived with plenty of daylight despite leaving later than I would have preferred. We set up camp and went out for a loosening up trail ride. Not too long, just enough to stretch legs in preparation for vetting in.
|This is Gilbert, aka Gilly, he's both awesome and an asshole|
|And Rye with Amanda on the left and Alicia on the right|
|They totally worked!|
|I tried to do a bedtime selfie. Gwyn objected|
|Bottle Lamb. He will no longer be lambchops.|
|Saturday night. I put a full bale in that hay bag on Friday. She was done with it by Saturday evening.|
|Sun goes down and the temperatures DROP|
Since it was CTR I opted to take the penalty points and put boots on her hinds, since she has had rubs in the past when not booted. While I know, 'don't use new gear at competition', the teal quarter sheet is new to me. It's a HorZe brand waterproof rain sheet and fits far better and looks prettier (Alicia is jealous, it's her color). The boots are also new, black glitter neoprene brushing boots from Jeffers. The larges are very nearly too small.
|Her side eye game is strong|
I think Gwyn really liked the tent. In the beginning she would occasionally swing her butt out from under it and realize that she was getting pelted with sleet and then would immediately come back under the shelter. I have no regrets on this tent purchase. It's pretty easy to put up and take down. And it's purple. I've used it multiple trips now (White River, WEG, Oak Leaf and now Brighton)
I hopped on and we jigged down toward the trail start. The other campers who were riding today were doing the 25 and had already left (and were already on the trail) so we were leaving our buddies. However, there were brave folks who trailered in despite the weather!
Speaking of weather, the forecast called for high 30s F, with rain/wintry mix. Here's what I wore and what worked:
Ariat MaxTrax UL - a decidedly NOT waterproof riding boot. Regrets? Not too many. I also wore super thick wool socks and my feet were not wet when I finished, surprisingly.
Piper Softshell Winter Breech - These were an impulse purchase that I got FOR A STEAL (like $30) and had only tried on to verify they'd actually fit me. I had to size up 2 sizes and the waist/belly is giant on me but it's tight in the legs (and my belly is ample let's not mince words because I am fat. Period.) They're advertised as waterproof and I pretty much went, let's shock test these bad boys. Those suckers shed water like it was their job (and it was). We were drizzled on. We were poured on. We were hailed on. But when I took them off after everything was done I was totally dry.
REI Rainier Rain Jacket - I picked this sucker up when I knew I was going to be facing down a hurricane at WEG. Again, fat, so I had to go with a men's size. It kept me dry at WEG, it kept me dry here too. Layered under it was a fleece vest with giant hand warmers in each zipper pocket, a thinner athletic layer, a wool long sleeve base layer and a camisole since I couldn't find my sports bra. I was warm.
Not waterproof gloves - REGRETS. Fingers got cold. I also used my mohair reins. So it was like constantly holding a sponge.
It was up in the air if I was going out with the first group or with a second. Since enough people no-showed, I went out with group 1.
|The pavilion where I hung out on Saturday|
|Looking at the trail. Gwyn is LOCKED ON.|
And she proceeded to buck gleefully as we took off. Enjoy this, lol.
This was a big hill that she pooped out on partway up. Brighton is deceptive. The hills are short but steep and constantly rolling. It's a great place to ride.
I had started the ride with my rain jacket hood under the helmet, but I realized I had limited range of motion turning my head and I couldn't hear things very well because of the fabric swish. I knew there were other riders behind me and I wanted to hear them coming.
So we paused and I unbuckled my helmet to start to slide my hood off and....
|Hi Gwyn feet|
Miraculously, I stayed on. The helmet landed, and Mindy hopped off to grab it for me (she greets the go-pro in the video) It could have been disastrous and just absolutely a convergence of everything going wrong. I tucked in behind the group after that and was glad I did. They were a great group of folks to ride with.
|By the lake|
|In the pines|
And a video of that spot because it's so pretty to me.
|This is after a big climb up and there's a mounting block, hitching rail and a place to sit.|
|Best water crossing, with amazing footing for horses.|
Video of the water and then later at the lollipop turn around, it started to sleet/freezing rain just as we hit open trail. You can hear it pinging the camera. The girl on the other appy was there for her first ride!
This weather was perfect for Gwyn, who still had a good deal of winter coat left. It was cool and damp and that kept her from heating up considerably, which is always something I have to manage on rides in the summer. At our 10 minute P/R, she was already down to near resting and dropped even further at the final trot out. She was still sassy on our trot circles (CTR has you circle in each direction, instead of doing a down and back) and perky. We could have done a 25 that day but I'm happy with my decision to stay at 15.
|Then time to pack up camp|
|And back home into a dry and CLEAN blanket!|
|Our vet card. We only lost 15 points out of 400!!!!!|
|She was unimpressed|