Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Griffin’s Blackwater Swamp Stomp Recap – Intro ride

I do have my own blog (see http://motoringtrails.blogspot.com/) but figured this would also be a great place to share a condensed version, in the format that Audrey has developed.
Snoozing in the sun before the ride
This was my first attempt to ride my gelding Bold Prophecy at an AERC event. I have completed 80 miles in LD on a previous horse that I lost due to colic, so while I am definitely still very new to the sport – it wasn’t my first ride attempt. I was still just as nervous as any other!  I am member of Rockin’ Mountain Monstas team. This is our second year together as a team, and my third year in the Greenbean Challenge.
I’ve had Prophecy almost a year now and we’ve overcome a lot to get started, including hoof problems and saddle fit. While I knew he wouldn’t be ready for an LD, the Intro distance offered the perfect opportunity for him to experience a ride. He has camped with me once before while I volunteered and did well, now I needed to add in riding.

The Good:The new truck with my trailer hauls great. Gas mileage is better, barely feel it back there, and if I need to ask for some “oomph” in passing, it easily gave it. My Big Buddy propane heater was a lifesaver in a few ways! This ride ended up going from looking like 60s in the daytime and 40s at night early in the week, to barely breaking 40 daytime and 20s at night in reality! My new brackets for carrying my Portable Corral held up great and were easy to use and tie down so there was minimal bounce. Prophecy was awesome at camping. I didn’t hear him at all (unlike his talking all night at the IMJ trip in August) and stayed pretty calm even when we’d hear the “loose horse” yells. No pushing on the panels, and he was quite content in there. Prophecy vetted in well even after standing in line a while (calmly too,) and checked in with a 40bpm heart rate. His Scoot Boots went on and came off easy enough, now past 3 weeks since trim, and lots of sand to deal with.
The Bad:
I arrived at the barn Saturday morning to find my water tanks had frozen with our cold snap Thursday/Friday. My portable ones were good by the time we got to camp, but not the big one in the dressing room. I used the heater and reflective blanket on it for a few hours to finish defrosting after our arrival. It is a horrible feeling that you don’t have water to give your horse! Thankfully I also had a buddy I was caravanning with and she had extra water along so we could get him some while mine defrosted. I don’t think waiting to fill up that morning would have helped me, since I fear then our hoses would have been frozen at the barn that I would need to use!
Almost ready to go!
The Ugly:
The ride itself did not go as planned. Prophecy was not ready mentally to handle all the commotion and being asked to ride as well. I tried to gain some control, but felt it best we turn around and live to ride another day. It was short lived, and definitely not the day I had envisioned, but pointed out where we need to work more.
Other things I learned:  I need to get the heater up higher to get into the bed area. It was still reasonably comfortable, but more ‘direct’ warmth would be nice!  And bring along extra propane tanks. The set I had would have lasted all night, but I didn’t bank on needing to defrost my water, which meant to have any in the AM to get dressed with, I had to shut it off middle of the night.
And despite his complete meltdown and loss of calmness, he vetted out with a 48bpm while dancing about… I think he is more fit than I have been giving him credit as!  I’d love to get an onboard HRM, but my handheld will have to do a while; I just need to start using it and keeping records. Of course I love that we met some new friends, got to check in with some I haven’t seen in a while, and others I got to meet for real off Facebook!
A few quote pics I found that I am holding strong to with Prophecy:

Monday, February 27, 2017

Audrey's Heart of the Hills Ride Day 2, 50-mile

After a great 25-mile ride on Saturday I felt good to ride 50 miles on Dancer’s Southern Princess (aka Jazz) the TWH mare on Sunday (also for sale to the right home). This was my 3rd 50-mile ride on Jazz and each ride has been a completely different experience. Jazz is an experienced endurance horse but was diagnosed with EPM a few years ago, she took some time off and now is back full force completing 50’s.
Checking gut sounds.
The good: For a two-day ride I held up well, stayed hydrated (I had problems with that at the previous ride) and as of Monday evening, have much less muscle soreness than previous 2-day rides I've done. Jazz was great the first 25 miles, lots of energy but not the head-tossing race brain she had at a previous ride. We rode on a loose rein for all but the first half-mile (where I thought she might decide to buck with excitement).
The bad: We had potentially major problems with Jazz’s gut sounds at the first hold. She wasn’t eating much and the Vet’s gave her a generous B- (it was probably more like a C). We stayed in ride camp an extra 30+ minutes and she very slowly became more interested in eating (drinking was fine throughout). I altered my ride strategy and stopped to let her graze for ~2 minutes every mile when we could. At second vet check she had A’s on gut sounds! However, even though she had good gut sounds now, she was not motivated, it took a lot of effort to get her to a choppy 6-7mph gait (when during the first half she was doing a comfortable smooth 8-10mph gait). Luckily, we hooked up with another rider whose horse was also lacking energy and did the 2nd 25 miles together going slow. All A’s at final vet check (A- on gut).
The ugly/other:  I don’t know if anything fits into the ‘ugly’ category from this ride. I had some boot problems but I’m learning that this is to be expected at this ride (rear Renegade game off shortly after crossing a stream). We had double checked and adjusted all the boots since Saturday’s experience (see previous post).

We finished!
What we learned: This is the 2nd ride we've had gut problems with Jazz, both times she recovered but I’d like there to not be any problems to begin with. She’s not a great eater the night/morning before rides and I’m not sure how to combat that, having all Saturday to settle in seemed to help but not enough. The dentist will be out to check teeth and we'll see if that helps. The last 11 mile loop was pretty painful (on the mental side for me). Perhaps Jazz and I haven't quite clicked. Whereas I'd like to just get the ride done, she'd rather take her time and 'smell the roses' (or is it eat the grass?). Maybe she needs a pacer riding buddy to keep her motivated the 2nd half? All other indicators (heart rate, muscle, impulsion) suggest she is very fit. Since each ride is it's own experience, we'll see what the next one brings!

Audrey's Heart of the Hills Ride Day 1, 25-mile

A recap of my ride weekend at Heart of the Hills. It was a very technical ride, maybe the most difficult in TX? There are hills and rocks of every sort. Here is a recap of Saturday's 25-mile ride. 
Quick background: I ride my mentor Bobbie Jo Lieberman’s horses. I learn a lot from her and in the process, help her condition the horses and maybe(?) help sell some of their 11+ herd she and her husband have accumulated. It's a great partnership.

Here is the good, the bad and the ugly from Saturday’s 25-mile ride on ‘Leggs’ the Missouri Foxtrotter mare (who is available for sale to the right home).

At the start, ready to go.
The good: I couldn’t be more pleased with Legg’s performance. This was her first Ride experience and she thought it was the best thing ever. I rode in an S-hack and she stayed with me mentally the whole time, didn’t get too excited, overwhelmed or race brain and no spooks! She was even pretty good with me messing with her boots (see below) and people passing us. Despite all the rocks, she didn't take one bad step. All A’s at the final vet check, with a B on muscle, which is to be expected with the difficult rocky hills.
The bad: Boot problems. Either boots can shrink over night or hooves can outgrow boots more quickly than expected, they fit fine a few days before. We left them overnight in the colder trailer and maybe that had an effect? At the start the left front (Renegade Viper) was very tight and they are supposed to fit more loose. After the 2nd time that boot came off, I put on the spare Scoot Boot and it held up wonderfully and we switched both fronts over to Scoot Boots at the hold. The rear Easyboot Gloves (only brand small enough to fit her smaller hind feet) both came off after going up a steep set of rocky steps. I put them back on but after going up the next set of steep rocky steps the gators, which hold them on, were destroyed. We did the rest of the ride barefoot behind.
At the hold, note two different types of front boots and no rear boots.
The ugly: Don’t wear riding tights because they look pretty and match the rest of your outfit. The ‘Irideon Issential Piping Hot’ tights have a nice blue piping that matches my shirt, however I don’t think they’re as breathable as my ‘Irideon Synergy’ tights. BodyGlide is your friend. I got through the ride, but was not as well setup for the 50 miles the next day as I could have been.
What we learned: put hoof boots, and pads someplace warm overnight so they aren’t as stiff in the morning. Make sure all boots fit the night before ride morning so you have time to adjust if needed. Leggs is probably ready for a 50 and may be my favorite horse in the barn right now even if she’s not as fast as the others.
At the finish, both smiling.
Favorite take-away experience(s): 1. Enjoying the scenery, once everyone passed us (because of the boot problems) we were alone and could just relax and enjoy the view from the top of the hills (that is until I got off to walk down the steep loose rocky hill). 2. Endurance riders are so friendly. Each time I had to get off and fix boots, everyone who passed made sure I was ok and offered to help. 3. Making new friends. I had a great unexpected conversation about neuroscience research (my day job) on trail with new ride friends and I look forward to seeing them at future rides.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ready to get your GREEN on?

Use your Green Bean Endurance 10% off code this month on reins from Two Horse Tack.  Even if green is not your favorite color, there is a color for you with your sponsored code.

Use your members only promo code at check out. Good for the month of February.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Two Horse Tack wants to help Grow the Green Bean Garden!

Complete  your chores (don't worry, these are fun!) and be entered to win one of three complete tack sets.

Everyone in Teams and 1H1R is automatically entered and you don't need to submit anything. We'll take care of all the tracking.

Let's get busy!

Bean Sprouting

Who qualifies? On the Vine riders

Garden chores: Obtain a mentor, volunteer a full day at a ride, and complete a ride of 25+ miles.

Bean Blooming

Who qualifies? Picked riders

Garden chores: Obtain a mentor, volunteer a full day at a ride, and complete back to back LD’s on the same horse or a ride of 50+ miles.

Bean Epic

Who qualifies? Cooked riders

Garden chores: Obtain a mentor, volunteer a full day at a ride, and complete four 50’s on the same horse this season or a ride of 75+ miles.

(Only AERC sanctioned events qualify for both volunteering and riding)

All riders finishing their chores will automatically go into a drawing for a tack set from Two Horse Tack: Bridle (western, or halter style), reins, and breast collar. Color combo of choice. To keep, or to share with a bean in need.

Thank you to our sponsor Two Horse Tack

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Growing Pains

Green Bean Endurance is entering its third year and as we've grown, we want to add a clarity to what on earth we offer.  And while a lot of our members thrive on 'competition', we want to focus on the "challenge".  Being Green and starting out in distance and endurance riding can be a challenge - and we think the programs offered by GBE can make it just a bit easier and in a *really fun way*.

We all challenge each other to do our best and at the end of the season, we celebrate each other's successes.

You'll see a gradual change from the word "competition" over to "challenge" here and in our groups.  It might cause a link to break or some mismatched descriptions.  Bear with us while we undergo a little maintenance.

Ricky & Deb

Sunday, December 11, 2016

2017 Registration is open

2017 Registration is OPEN!

Registration is now open for 2017 Green Bean Endurance Competition.  There are a few changes this year.  The first BIG change is Jacke has decided to take a step back from directing the program in order to focus on her family needs.  She is, and always will be, the heart and soul of this program and we can't thank her enough.  Your current directors are Deb Moe and Ricky Stone.  Ricky joined GBE 2016 as a team rider and when the word got out that we might not be able to get 2017 going, he stepped in and is happy help.  Thank you Ricky!!

Changes to the competition for 2017

1) TEAM riders are now eligible to get bonus points! Each rider on a team can achieve 15 points for getting a mentor, up to 20 points for volunteering, up to 30 points for attending endurance clinics, and up to 30 points for completing an intro or novice ride..  A full day of volunteering is 10 points. 

2)  We are now calling the "individual" program "One Horse: One Rider".  It's basically the same as least year except we are allowing one swap out to a different horse without affecting accumulated points.  

3) We will be enforcing the new rule that requires all rides and bonus points to be submitted within 15 days of the event.  So please remember to submit your forms right away.

4) New this year is an Endomondo riding challenge only open to registered team and 1h:1r participantes.  This is where you can record all of your training miles for the entire season.  The dates for this match our competition dates of Dec 1 to Nov. 30.

5) Each rider must submit their own registration form for liability reasons.

6) Fees will be $15/rider this year.  Between paypal fees, shipping costs, and the desire to give out a few more awards, we felt the need to increase our fee.  

Complete list of rules

Don't forget to spread some green bean love and recruit your friends!  We can't wait to have you!

Good luck to all of you!

Please submit the Registration form FIRST.  Then pay.