Singles – 10 mile – Saturday May 13
|1||Jac Deweese||Cake (Arab)||393|
|2||Gary Jackson||Horus (Morgan)||380|
|3||Wes Licht||Annie (Morab)||379|
Singles – 20 mile – Sunday May 14
|1||Wes Licht||Lena Su Ladyhawk (Morab)||383|
|2||Jac Deweese||Scooter (Morgan)||364|
|3||Roger Houk||Jazz (Morab)||332|
Glacier Trails – 2006
By Jac Deweese
This was to be my first attempt to haul both Cake and Scooter to an event. Now both have developed some loading issues, but I had worked with Cake over the past week and he loaded quite easily. He was a little surprised when I tied him in the trailer, but didn’t over react. I then brought Scooter up to the trailer and when Michelle just held the whip up where he could see it, he decided the better part of valor was to hop in.
So we quickly had the horses loaded and were on our way. I drove very carefully because the rubber mat had gotten wet with all of the rain and the footing was not good. (Fortunately, Jim Haas provided me with shavings so we had a much better return trip.)
We arrived about 9AM and were disappointed to see all the available camping. It meant that there was a poor turnout for the event, but it did make our camping very pleasant since we could pick a choice site.
We quickly set up, registered and soon had Cake vetted for the drive on Saturday. The weather continued to look more promising, but every time it looked on the verge of clearing another cloud would come by and drizzle.
During the morning, Gary Jackson arrived with Horus and Wes Licht with Annie. By noon we had a total of three drivers ready to compete.
The trail was very wet but Connie Gray had revised it on Friday so that we avoided really slick areas and the footing was generally pretty good. I was pleased that Cake, who had previously expressed a real fear/hatred of water progressed to moving through the puddles without concern.
The park is very pretty and interesting in the spring. New growth is abundant with a variety of flowering plants near the trail. The big surprise was the arrival of an owl along the trail near the finish. We think it was an immature Great Horned Owl. He proved to be a major fright for Cake when he tried to spread his wings and came toward Cake. Cake made a sharp turn, but responded well and by the time I had him turned back to the trail the owl was moving away from him, but still right beside the trail. This action seemed to give Cake confidence and we moved on by without further incident. Shortly we met Jan Worthington and a group going the opposite direction. Their horses were a little concerned about passing a cart and in the confusion I failed to tell them about the owl. It turned out that Jan’s horse dumped her at the owl. I felt really bad about not telling them. It might have made a difference.
We came in only 2 minutes beyond our allowed time. Cake had relaxed considerably and vetted very well. He ended up with a 393 and first place. Gary Jackson and Horus took second with a score of 380 and were followed closely by Wes Licht and Annie with 379.
All of the participants had a great time and really enjoyed the trail. The horses seemed to really appreciate the cool damp weather.
Saturday night was an adventure. It started with a girl being missing on the running trail. Dr. Beecher and all of the participants at our event were concerned and we did everything in our power to help locate the girl. Riders went out on the trail and many phone calls were made to get help. After rousing law enforcement and the DNR rangers, we were all relieved to hear that the girl had been found and returned safely to her family.
As darkness approached it started to rain in earnest and Michelle and I discovered that our roof leaked a lot. We managed to secure a couple of small tarps to put over the trailer and reduce the flow to an occasional drip. Michelle wasn’t completely successful at avoiding the water and had wet feet. Not much sleep, but the horses were quiet and peaceful all night.
I had vetted Scooter in on Saturday night and by 8AM Roger Houk with Jazz and Wes Licht with Lena had arrived and been vetted.
At 9AM we hit the trail. This was the first time Michelle had ridden in an event and the first time that Scooter had hauled two people over a competitive trail. I was concerned about him being over weight, but it obviously didn’t affect his strength or stamina. After wanting to canter at the start, he quickly realized that this was a competition and settled into a steady working trot. He easily trotted or cantered up the hills and switched to a nice straight walk down the hills which allowed him to easily hold us back. His experience showed as he simply trotted by the owl, who was still down beside the trail, and past all the scary (to Cake) boulders and piled logs.
I was prepared to leave Michelle at the half way point, but Scooter was obviously up to the task and Michelle was having such a ball that she quickly verified that she wanted to continue.
After the hold we quickly harnessed, hitched and were on the trail. Now there was no attempt to canter. Scooter was all business. At the turn around he even took a small drink of water. He wasn’t even phased by the three deer who crossed his trail, just watched them pass and continued on.
The trail was a real pleasure and it was a special bonus to have Michelle share the experience. She maintained a pretty constant chatter and was interested in all of the different trees and plants we passed. (Probably helped by her Forestry background.)
We came in early in our window but without penalties. Scooter had a good second P&R and an excellent trot out. He did threaten the vet on the leg check and suffered an appropriate penalty. Finished with a respectable score of 364 and most importantly demonstrated that he is capable of competing in spite of his weight problem.
Wes Licht and Annie were 1st with a score of 383.
Roger Houk and Jazz were 3rd with a score of 332.
Two horses seems to have solved my loading problems. Both horses were calm and comfortable at the event and in the trailer.
We hope to see more of you at future events.