Tuesday 24 April 2012

Ricochet Ranch Endurance Ride Seminar


For those experienced riders who have ridden with us before and want an even more in-depth education about endurance riding, we are offering The Endurance Ride Seminar, culminating at week's end with participation in the Chamberlain Creek 30 and 50 Mile Endurance Races.

Endurance Ride Seminar
$2,295.00 per person

Cost for the Endurance Ride Seminar will be $2295.00 per person, double occupancy, the same as for a Redwood Coast Riding Vacation. This will include 6 nights lodging, all meals from dinner on Monday, September 24th through breakfast on Sunday September 29th plus entry into either the Chamberlain Creek 30 and 50 Mile Endurance Races on the 28th of September. All tack, feed, supplements, equipment, and transportation for your horse to and from the race site will be included, but there is no guarantee that the horse will indeed finish either the 25 or 50 mile event, as the decision of the ride veterinarians is final.

You will arrive on Monday, September 24th at 2:00 PM, with lodging at the Mendocino Hotel Garden Rooms. We'll have orientation and horse & tack try-outs on a short beach ride that afternoon, followed by dinner overlooking the ocean and discussion of the week's activities. Tuesday, we'll practice monitoring metabolic functions, with each becoming comfortable using a stethoscope at the heart and palpating pulse rate by hand, as well as a half dozen other tests. We'll also ride in a section of Jackson State Forest similar to that which will be used on the race, pacing as appropriate, followed by dinner overlooking Noyo Harbor and the ocean, with guest speaker Forrest Tancer, who is on the Board of Directors of the American Endurance Ride Conference. (And among his other claims to fame is that he is one of my best friends!)

On Wednesday, we ride the whole length of Ten Mile Beach, then cross the bridge, riding up onto Simcha, overlooking the ocean, past virgin redwood trees, to the summit, where we'll have lunch and a full tilt "vet check" of our horses. Dr. Gerry Gillespe, a veterinarian who has produced the World Championship 100 Mile Endurance Race, served on the most prestigious boards in the world endurance community, and has been head vet of more races than I've ridden, will join us both on the ride, and as that afternoon's guest lecturer. Of course, we'll have a short ride to conclude the afternoon session, but will end early enough to take care of our horses back at Ricochet at the end of the day. Perhaps this is an appropriate time to mention that RRR staff will not be your personal slaves... I mean GROOMS... during this week. You will learn the responsibility of taking care of your partner as you would any time you prepared to ride your own horse in a rigorous feat of endurance. Catered casual dinner at Simcha.

On Thursday, we'll ride the Panorama Trail through the redwoods, overlooking the ocean.... pleasuring ourselves, yet not overstressing our horses. Picnic lunch on the trail, with a discussion of shoeing vs. barefoot with hoof boots. Some of our horses might be competing in the race "barefooting". Dinner that night will be at a Fort Bragg eatery, with local successful endurance riders joining us both for the day's ride and/or for the strategy planning session for the upcoming race at dinner.

Friday, we arrive at RRR early, and bathe our horses, run our own vet check to make sure all the horses are good-to-go, check tack, load hay, grain, electrolytes, blankets, buckets, porta-corrals, etc, etc, etc, and trailer the 17 miles inland to race site. We'll get there early enough to claim one of the best camping spots... and we may even have cheated by sending out a RRR hero the night before to mark our spot. We'll set up camp, tack up, panic if anyone forgot a girth, drive back into town to get it, (not really... we'll have brought at least one extra of EVERYTHING!) and take a practice ride both out the start of the race, and on the trail to the finish. We'll "vet in", and if any of our horses happens not to, we're close enough to RRR to bring in a spare. You can hang out to watch other horses vet in, and work closely with the vets to learn what they are "seeing." Dinner will be at base camp, followed by the official Rider Meeting, at which Marianne Gersing, the Ride Manager, will explain intricacies of the trail. The Head Vet, Dr. Mike Witt, will explain veterinary parameters. You'll have nearly an hour drive back to town (only 25 miles, but you won't be going 60 mph).

The 50 miles race starts at 6:00 AM, so you'll all want to be back here by 5:00 AM.... set your alarms! Even if you're riding in the 30, which starts a bit later, you'll want to watch (and help) the start of the 50. The first horses will be back across the finish line shortly after noon... but you won't see them! There will probably be an official race photographer, but we'll have our own at pertinent places along the trail. Ricochet Ridge Ranch has a pretty nice success rate on this particular race. Personally, I've had the very great pleasure of riding this race (previously called the Steam Donkey 50 ) 11 times, never being pulled. Twice my horses have placed 11th, five times first, four times winning Best Conditioned Horse Award, and other times placing twice 2nd, once each 3rd, and 5th. Various students and (at the time) employees of Ricochet Ridge Ranch have completed this race on my or later their own horses, including Carolyn Morgan, Cynthia Ariosta, Fuschai Saraanin (she won it twice!) Sam Yates, Aurora Clark-Grohman, Rafferty Shea, Rebecca Bailey, Cyd Ross, and actually, a half dozen others. So, I feel quite confident in inviting y'all to join me on this race. Yes, we have had a few pulls over the years. My very own most wonderful horse Rascal was pulled the first time he attempted it, ridden by a terrific girl from Argentina. No fault of either of theirs... stuff just happens. It could happen to you, this time. But we'll try our damndest not to have that happen!

Lodging Monday through Saturday nights at the Mendocino Hotel Garden Rooms Other lodging alternatives available for the ride weekend
Orientation and beach trail ride on Tuesday
Trail rides in the forest and/or at the race site on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Lunch 5 days
Snacks and beverages, including beer and soda at the end of each ride
Wine with lunch 2 days
Choice of English or Western endurance tack
Exceptional horses, well trained for endurance
Prices do not include gratuities for trail guides
Double or triple occupancy; $375 additional for single occupancy

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