Cathy Leddy of Cascade Gold Akhal-Tekes Reports:
Monica and I went down to the Mt. Adams endurance ride this past weekend. This is a great ride – about 6 hours away, nice camping, just about perfect trails and views to kill for. We got there Friday night, got settled in and vetted and went for a short ride. My ankles were not happy, so we didn’t go far. We did some visiting around camp and then turned in for our early start the next day. We met Lisa Preston, who was there with her young Teke-Arab filly for her first LD ride. There was one other Teke cross there with Mona Thacker. Her Shiraz has been competing for quite a few years and has been racking up the miles.
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Saturday morning dawned and we got ready. The weather was perfect – 60ish and sunny. Our plan was that I’d start behind the leaders and go fast, to save my ankles, and Monica and Danny would meander out later. As this is only his 3rd ride, she’s being very conservative (and rightly so). So, we waited until the majority of the 75 (yes, 75 riders in the 25 mile ride) went out. We walked out of camp after a bit of excitement – someone’s horse decided to warm itself up just as we were walking to the start line. They caught it after a few minutes and then we walked out on a loose rein. As soon as we got to the woods (there was about a half mile of pavement to walk on) we started our trot and passed and passed and passed people. Galen LOVES to pass other horses. We finished our first loop of 13 miles in around 1 ½ hours and vetted through just fine. We only had a short hold, so we went back to the camper and got resupplied and a bite to eat.
We headed out on our second loop and met Monica and Danny coming in as we went out. The horses felt that we should stand around and talk about it, but a small amount of ‘persuasion’ and Galen and I were off. This next loop was 12 miles and we ended up leap-frogging with the same group of people most of the way. We completed this loop in about the same as the first – my total ride time was around 3 hours and 40 minutes (not sure of the exact time) and my only real mistake was not getting off and walking him in the last half mile. I was worried about my ankle – getting off and not being able to walk would have been a pain. So, it took him a few minutes to pulse down to the ride pulse of 60 and we ended up in 11th place. If I’d have walked in (and he was pulsed down), we would have been 8th. To explain, on the LD ride, ride time stops when you cross the finish and are at a pulse of 60. The 50s and above ride times stopped when they crossed the finish. But, he vetted through just fine and we were done in plenty of time to go back and chat with friends and wait for Monica and Danny to come in.
Monica had had a lovely ride and Danny was complemented on his ‘metronome’ trot on the trail. He’s really blossoming this year.
More and more people are recognizing the Tekes at rides – lots of “how do you pronounce that” and we handed out several breed info booklets. I bet we see more and more at the rides in upcoming years! I know that people riding behind us are often amazed at how smooth and spook free our horses are. Love it!
All in all, a lovely weekend.
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Amrita Ibold owns Sweet Water Farm Akhal-Teke and is one of the lucky few to have AT's in her life...