July 8, 2014

Biltmore Gear Preparation

Being a member of ridecamp (email based endurance forum) and the endurance pages on Facebook, I am aware that there are cultural differences in the various regions. Each ride has its own flavor and the amount of excess amenities is dependent on the hard work of the ride manager, but overall each region has its own baseline. In the MW it was fairly basic. Water for horses was available in camp and at some point on the trail. Usually there was a potluck one night for dinner. The rides I went to had the vet in area right smack in the middle of camp. I don't know if it was a real, hard and fast rule or just the culture, but nobody put anything in the vet area. Your camp was just a short walk away and so you would come off the trail, ditch tack and present the horse and then wander to your trailer to stuff your face and allow your horse to binge and nap until it was time to go back out. It worked out super well especially for those without a crew.

I was concerned about how things flowed down here and so I picked S's brain while we rode together last. I am very glad I did!

There is one major differences that I was very happy to know of now and not when I showed up.

  • Vet in is a hefty walk from camp and everyone sets up tents and tables and saddle stands and all their gear at a prime spot at the vet in area and only return to the camp at the end.

Good to know since I have neither a tent nor a saddle stand nor am I prepared for this at all.

S has all those things and so the plan is to dump it al into the back of one of our trucks and head over to get a spot. She will set up her tent and allow me to stash what little gear I have under it. My main concern is my saddle and pad. I can make do with placing my groom gear and such on the ground. I have two hay bags I can stuff full for Gem at the hold and four buckets to use for water and grain. But I don't want to put my saddle and pad on the ground in fear that it may break or get hay on it or something.

I slightly panicked, but then did some research and found a great wooden saddle caddy someone made. I begged the hubby to make me one and he said he would, but I knew it wouldn't be in time. Our garage is still full of boxes so he wouldn't even have a work area to build it in. I went online and found numerous sadly racks and caddys and the such. Most were very expensive or incredibly cheap and I didn't want to spend a fortune or waste my money on a stand that looked like it would break. Eventually I found what I was looking for that would serve the purpose.

And then, because I am an advertisers dream, I noticed that if I spent just a tad bit more money I could get free shipping. Never mind that the thing was already costing me oversized surcharges and that I was only paying $10 for shipping. If I spent just $8 more I could get free shipping. Whoever came up with that whole thing is a genius, by the way. I get caught by it every single time.

I looked around the website for anything I could convince myself and the hubby was essential and found another item to add to the cart. Of course it was way more than $8, so instead of saving $2 I spent a crap ton more. I told you, that person is a genius.

I came home last Thursday to find this on my doorstep :)

The top box is my add on item: a trailer jack. T had a flat the first day I rode with her and she used an item similar to this. It allows you to change a flat on your trailer without unhooking it or taking the horses out. All you do is drive the good tire up on it and it lifts the bad tire enough to allow it to  be changed. She had a fancier model, but this will work just fine.
W trying to figure out how he can play with it
The bottom box had my saddle caddy/rack thing. Its not as nice as the pictures made it out to be, but is anything ever? It will serve its purpose.

Front view
Can I play with this, Mom?

Side view
The wheels turn well enough. The top bar is to hold the saddle and pad. I will shove my grooming supplies and anything else I might need in the basket. The pink color is god awful. If I find the time between now and Friday morning, I may be tempted to paint it red and black instead.
It folds up for storage and is ok to push. It tends to want to collapse on itself for no reason, but maybe that will go away once it is loaded down. I will write a review on it once I get back from using it.
Other than that I think I am pretty close to being good to go. I need to figure out my electrolytes for Gemmie. I have a plan half formulated. She is getting her massage Thursday. Apparently there will be a farrier, horse massage therapist and human massage therapist on site. I was tempted to use the onsite one for Gem, but I don't want her done right before in case she is sore and I know after I've done my half marathons I was too sore to want anyone touching me.

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