Sunday, March 18, 2012

ROM 30: Wrongs and rights

What went wrong:
  • My Kindle is dead.  Little horizontal and vertical black lines that won't go away.  SO SAD!  At least I got the extended warranty on it.
  • My trailer leaks.  At the "rafters," too.  It hardly matters out here but I wonder if I should seal it somehow before I move to the rainy coast.
  • My trailer is cold.  To be expected.
  • My air mattress failed me.  I knew last summer it had a slow leak, but over the winter it turned into a big one.  I blew it up three times overnight and still ended up sleeping on the egg crate alone after a couple hours.  I was so mad I threw it away as I left camp.
  • Dixie's lead rope froze to her halter, and I didn't bring the spare rope halter.  I did have a spare halter, yes, but it's a wide nylon halter - my bridle snaps wouldn't have gone around it.  I ended up tying the frozen rope to a carabiner and snapping that to my saddle.  At lunch it had thawed enough to take off, finally.
  • My feet went numb from cold, then my feet went numb from the caged stirrups.  It was my first ride in the less-padded caged stirrups, but not my longest ride in the barefoot shoes, so I blame the stirrups.  MAD FACE.
  • When I'm very cold, I skip the Bodyglide, which is suboptimal.  Ow.
  • Do not feed alfalfa to Dixie YOU IDIOT.  That poor horse was so itchy.  She's fine today - the pink around her eye/muzzle has gone, and her eye isn't weeping anymore.  
What went right:
  • The hi-tie worked perfectly.  Dixie had plenty of room to pace irritably in a big circle all night.  
  • The layers of bedding worked!  Air mattress, egg crate, busted-zipper sleeping bag, then real sleeping bag = no cold seeping up from below.
  • I drank almost enough during the ride.  I still really like my electrolytes.
  • The new Renegades performed well!  The footing wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great.  One rear pastern strap came loose, but the boot stayed on til camp and once I refastened it, everything stayed put.
  • The hay bag iced over and froze shut.  ARGH.  I'd left it in the bed of the truck.
  • The long trailer panels do not fit in the bed of the truck.  Major error.  Measure twice cut once inclues measuring where you're going to store things.  I thought it was a 6' bed; it's 5'6".  The two long panels will prop up in the back of the tack room, at least.
  • Dixie shook her right rein off the bit?!  See above, re itchy horse.  She did the full-body shake many times, and at the last water stop on the first loop she shook so hard the right rein went flying off.  Sigh.
  • Carrots in the saddlebag are adequate substitutes for grass on trail.  The secret to gut sounds isn't keeping the horse's stomach full - almost impossible to do that and make the minimum time requirements - it's keeping the horse's stomach working.  A couple of carrots at every water stop and every gate gave her A gut sounds all day.
  • Fresh gloves and socks at the vet check is A+++
  • Horse electrolytes:  I bought a tub of Enduramax electrolytes at the convention, and I like them.  They taste less intensely salty than what I'd been using.  I mixed quarter-doses with applesauce and started giving them the night before, and kept it up all day.  She drank about 7-8 liters overnight, drank lightly on the first loop, and drank really well on the second loop.  


  1. I like the carrots at water troughs trick, Blaze always comes into vet checks with little to no gut sounds (and then starts gobbling and gets them back), that would probably help him a lot.

    Frozen stuff! Glad I missed that! I mean. Go you!

    1. Try it! Let me know how it works. I had the same problem - low gut sounds that perked up as soon as the horse started eating.

  2. Sn*w SUCKS. I should know, b/c it's still falling here...BAHHHHH! Good on you for toughing it out and doing your ride.

    Did you have fun? I kinda missed that part. >g<

    1. You know, I DID! Great ride management, stunning scenery, good company on the trails. I had enough clothes on and I wasn't cold while I was riding, so it was a win all around.

  3. Sounds like a lot more went right than wrong. You triumphed! Over quite a bit of adversity, too. I've got to admit I don't envy you...but I darn sure admire you.

  4. I'm back to using enduramax. I parcel it out in mini-doses and it seems to be alright that way. Journey seems to love it in gatorade. Dixie is going to end up being a "super horse" some day ☺

  5. Poor Dixie.. itchy pony. Rose is finally shedding out so she is super itchy too and nearly knocked me down last weekend trying to rub her face all over me. Rose and I like to stop and graze when we can but I will plan carrots for not grassy areas, she likes those and it sounds like a good idea.

    My air mattress has also developed a slow leak but my mother has a bunch of spare ones from my grandmother's old house. I think my eventual plan is a cot but air mattresses are just so comfy. And YAY Hi-tie. Rose paces on her's too (tried it out last weekend) but its a good alternative for no trees.

  6. Sounds like you've really got a handle on what's working for you. Yay!

    My Kindle died the exact same way. It's a must have for me, like a security blanket, so I'm on K2.

  7. Congratulations! You've come incredibly far and so has Dixie! Could you ever imagine you'd brave such weather when you lived in the South? Speaking of weather,we SHOULD be getting your nasty spitting snow miserableness at this time of year...Instead it's been in the 70's and 80's for a week. A WEEK! In Iowa! This hasn't happened since the 1800's. Horses here are sweating and completely confused.

  8. That's more good things than bad, and you had fun to boot.

    Camping always does seem rather character building in cold weather. Despite all that you kept warm.

  9. Wow, even though the weather was less than desireable, sounds like a wonderful adventure to me! I'm sorry I laughed out loud at the trailer panels not fitting in your truck - that is so totally something that would happen to me. Thankfully they fit in your tack room. I also laughed out loud at the image of Dixie pacing irritably all night.

    So, do you have any pictures to share??


  10. Awesome post and congrats on the completion.

    I wanted enduramx elytes but couldn't find them at the convention - probably sold out by the time I decided to get some. The lead rope is hilarious. Really. In a couple months you will think so too! I need to be better about portable food/carrots at water troughs. Thanks for the reminder....

  11. You know, occasionally you call yourself a wimp. I don't get it. Not a thing you do on these rides could be considered wimpy! What a great job on ROM; congratulations from the Mustangs to Dixie.
    Bionic Cowgirl


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