A little over a week ago, we did the Lake Almanor 75. It was more challenging than expected. Seems to be kind of our theme this year.
Lake Almanor is in northern California, kinda near Redding, closer to Lassen. Really beautiful place to be and we spent the whole day on dirt roads (used primarily for logging) with excellent footing. The surprise was the heat and especially the humidity.
So the mares got a better workout than anticipated, which was both good and bad. Good because that’s why you go to rides to prepare for Tevis, so you can stretch and expand your horse’s (and your own) physical fitness. But we’re close enough to August 9th now that we’re starting to want to treat them gently. Get them there in one really fit good piece.
Stella actually did really great – she started out strong and then because we were almost immediately just riding the two of us I think she thought she’d been tricked into giving her best for a conditioning ride. She’s a funny mare. But as the day wore on and we spent time in vet checks she became convinced that it truly was a race and got stronger and stronger in later legs. That horse is quite the athlete when she’s into it.
In the end I think both Jenn and I thought it was an excellent last race prior to Tevis this year. We’ll back off now and let them kind of coast into the big day. Just shy of bubble wrapping them, we’ll keep them moving in safe environments and at sane speeds.
Special note for endurance riders: I would highly encourage you to consider doing the Lake Almanor ride next year. They had all new trail and a new camp, which was wonderful. Trails were well-marked, offering good footing and spectacular views of several lakes and valleys. They also do a variety of distances and – hopefully next year as well – FEI opportunities. Great ride.
Oh, and Stella and I won the 75! Very fun.