I’ve entered Dressy in the 50 at Spring Ride for the May long weekend in a couple of weeks. It’s been a couple of years since our ill-fated attempt at 50 miles. That was the day that I discovered that Dressy doesn’t actually always feel like stopping when I ask. And that yes, Dressy is quite capable of running herself into the ground (I pulled her at 37 miles when she stopped eating – blood work later showed a mild tie up). Since then, I’ve gotten her even fitter, improved her electrolyte protocol, bought a bit with stronger options (the Myler combo), and learned to start after the pack if need be. However, it must be admitted that I still am not convinced that she has really good brakes.
There are a lot of quiet, steady-minded Standardbreds around. In fact, I think that most Standardbreds are awesomely reliable horses. Dressy is… well. Kind of Thoroughbred-like. She’s highly competitive, and rather on the hot side, temperamentally. She wants to be good (kind of, anyway!), and is highly responsive and athletic. But as she gets really fit, her brain fries.
So, part of my strategy this time is to sponsor a junior. This is a junior that I’ve ridden with before. She has a nice, quiet, steady little Quarter Horse/Arab cross. He’s not at all hot, and Dressy seems to like him. Or at least she doesn’t hate him (which is sometimes all you can expect from a bossmare). Dressy is not quite so competitive when she is travelling with the same horse all day. So I have my fingers crossed that she will settle down with Merlin along and we can do a nice slow 50 in maybe 7 to 7.5 hours.
And just to make the weekend complete, I think we are going to do a 6 mile Ride ‘n’ Tie the day after the 50. Pretty sure I won’t be setting the trail on fire doing that though… I’m already hurting just thinking about running 3 miles the day after a 50!