I got her settled and Steve and the kids left for their hotel. After a rough and short night's sleep, we checked in, tacked up and got ready to leave. At 6:15-ish, we were off. I decided to hang back with a nervous rider and enjoy a slow start. I figured I'd save Z and make sure we had enough to get us through the 30 miles. After the first mile or so, things were settled and I decided to let her open up and move out. Boy, she really moved out!! We passed people 1 after another and by around mile 8, we were with the lead group. I couldn't believe her. She had no interest in hanging with the horses we passed, she just wanted to move those legs in that amazing extended trot of hers. She was amazing and that ride was a thrill!!
We came in at the vet hold in the front of the pack. We did our short hold (only 40 minutes!) and we headed out again. She had the same power stride and desire to cover ground. She'd eaten well at the hold, so I felt pretty good about letting her go. We led the whole 2nd loop and came in to the finish first. I wish my family had been there to get a picture of us coming in. It was an amazing feeling to finish before everyone else!!
She didn't pulse down quickly enough and the 3 other riders that finished close behind us timed in before us. I wasn't sorry a bit, though. She wanted to be the first in. She really wanted it. She's not as conditioned as I'd like her to be, but she's got what it takes to excel in endurance. We ended up with 1st place
in our division (MW), 4th place overall and a top ten award. We were done at 9:51, which makes our 30 mile ride time 3:36 minutes which includes the 40 minute hold. I just can't believe how fast we were going. I couldn't believe how easily she passed every other rider. What's even cooler is that she was barefoot!
What a great ride! What a great horse I have! And so thankful my family came to support my horse and me.