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Bryce 2011 XP – 2 days made for 16,000 miles, yay Bo and Cheefy!

We had a most excellent ride this year at the 5 day Bryce XP.  We headed down early to help with trail, as there was a severe blow-down of trees on the trail.  It took a lot of work to get everything cleared and the trail marked so that horse’s could get through.  The FS, Dave Rabe and Dwight, Ann and Dave Nicholson all really worked hard chainsawing and clearing trails.  Kerry Redente and I helped too.  It was a huge undertaking – they estimated that a thousand trees had to be removed from our trails.

My horses are such troopers, having just finished the 2040 mile 2011 XP ride on the Pony Express trail.  Now they were happy to head out and mark trail and spend all day working.

Kerry and I had quite the adventure one day, riding from Robinson’s Canyon through Straight, Swapp and Mill Canyons.  It was rough going as the FS wasn’t through clearing the trail and when we got to the near the top of Mill Canyon we found that the two work crews had both run out of gas for their chainsaws.  They were awesome and used their axes to get another large tree cleared that the horse’s couldn’t get over, then they built a trail up the side of a steep bank so we could get around a gigantic tree that could not have been removed using axes.  It was a pretty intense experience, but a good one – my horse Bo and Kerry’s horse Rio both handled it like pros and came through without a scratch.  Which is pretty impressive if you knew how much deadfall and downed trees and branches they had to climb and jump over.

There was one rather large tree down across the trail that Bo didn’t particularly want to jump over.  It was a little hairy since on the other side of it was another downed tree with branches sticking out that were sharp.  If Bo jumped wrong or over did it, he could spear himself and/or get badly injured.  Rio went over, then Bo tried to hop it bringing his knees up and decided he couldn’t make it.  Kerry got behind him with her rain coat waving and finally got the point across that he just had to jump it.  He did, and when he did he was very graceful about it, landing like an olympic gymnast who would have scored a 10 on landing.  Bo is a great horse in situations like that as he stays level headed and doesn’t over react or get excited or silly.

Bo needed just another 35 miles to make it to 4,000 – and he accomplished that on day 1 of the ride.  Chief needed just 35 miles to make it to 12,000 miles – which he accomplished on day 2 of the ride.  What a great way to end an incredible summer for us!  I had the best ride this past week on both horses.  I’m kind of in awe myself of what they have done this year – since May 24th they have done more than 2300 miles and this ride season, 2900 split almost evenly between them.

I think have can now safely say that I’ve got the scratches issue under control with Bo.  This ride last year was the last time he had them, and he came through this year without getting scratches.  A lot of horses DID get scratches here.  I think that was the coolest thing, with the next being that I used strap on Renegades all five days of the ride and had them work flawlessly for us – and I mean flawlessly – not a single boot came off, failed, twisted or needed to have anything done other than rinsing off each evening after riding.  I was impressed with that as well, given the technical difficulty of the trail – rocks, bogs, water, steep climbs, slick clay.  Most happy to not have to be gluing boots on – having done it for two months on the long XP this summer I am enjoying the ease and simplicity of just throwing on the strap on boots for now.

My internet is limited and I have a lot of work to catch up on, so posting here may be infrequent for awhile.  I’m staying in Utah for awhile to help out with the Outlaw and Virgin ride.

My horses will enjoy the break from having to trailer a lot back and forth.  They’ve already done their share of traveling this year.  I’m so proud of them both; they both are wonderful to ride on these fun technical trails.  Check for ride results and some new photos from this year.  Happy trails, Karen



3 comments to Bryce 2011 XP – 2 days made for 16,000 miles, yay Bo and Cheefy!

  • funder

    I’m so happy for you! What wonderful horses you have.

    The more I use my Renegades the more I love them. I can’t remember, what did you end up doing to prevent Bo’s scratches?

  • kt

    Congrats on your guys reaching another milestone!

    Just wanted to mention that based on your recommendation I bought a Kensington fly sheet. After a competitive ride, after hosing him down and standing on the picket line in very hot, humid weather, my poor horse couldn’t relax because of the biting flies. I put the fly sheet on him for the first time, worried that it seemed so heavy. Unbelievably, he actually DRIED underneath the thing and I watched as the huge Flying McNuggets would land on his back and walk all over trying to find a way to bite. While my Arie calmly dozed. And I’m pressuring Distance Depot to make the horse collars…

  • Carla Richardson

    The trail work you all did preparing for this ride was amazing. I’ve never seen so many downed trees and slides. Congratulations on getting EVERY day of the 2011 XP riding on your two horses, an awesome accomplishment. Bravo!

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