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Who went to Foxcatcher ?

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  • Who went to Foxcatcher ?

    Who went to Foxcatcher and how was your experience ? I did my first 25 miler and loved it ! Well organized, great weather, superb footing and well marked trails. What is next in the MD/VA/PA region ? Pls share what rides you recommend doing and which to stay away from. How often do you compete the same horse ? Do you let them down in between ? What are good sources for endurance tack ? Thanks in advance for all the newbie advice !

  • #2
    I volunteered at the Foxcatcher (marked a portion of the orange loop and drove the horse ambulance). I was the gray-haired woman at the 25-mile finish line as well.

    I'm glad to hear the feedback and will pass your good comments on.

    I'm hauling my mare and her rider to the Cheshire CTR this Sunday. It'll be her first 25-mile ride (the horse, not the rider). I'm looking forward to seeing her compete.
    "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


    • #3
      Originally posted by matryoshka View Post
      I volunteered at the Foxcatcher (marked a portion of the orange loop and drove the horse ambulance). I was the gray-haired woman at the 25-mile finish line as well.

      I'm glad to hear the feedback and will pass your good comments on.

      I'm hauling my mare and her rider to the Cheshire CTR this Sunday. It'll be her first 25-mile ride (the horse, not the rider). I'm looking forward to seeing her compete.
      I'll be at Cheshire too.
      RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


      • #4
        I was at the Foxcatcher but did the 50 -- wasn't so pleased with the trail markings; a number of people got messed up on the first loop and added 10 extra miles to their ride. Thankfully I only went a few hundred feet before turning around. Although the terrain is fantastic, the huge mass starts at this ride are not my favorite; this is the one ride that I hear of people getting hurt at every year. My favorite rides are the OD rides in VA (no frills, OD, and Ft. Valley) -- they're tough but a lot of fun.


        • #5
          Originally posted by signa_strom View Post
          I was at the Foxcatcher but did the 50 -- wasn't so pleased with the trail markings; a number of people got messed up on the first loop and added 10 extra miles to their ride.
          10 miles? wow, that's crazy. I'm glad I did the 25 - I found it to be very well marked. My horse is nutty, so I always wait a few minutes for the crowd to take off before I start. I don't want to be one of those people getting hurt
          RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


          • #6
            We had a new person in charge of the trail marking this year, and there are bound to be a few bumps in the road starting out. Which loop caused so much trouble (orange, yellow, or blue)?

            I will pass on your comments to ride management so we can try to make improvements for next year.
            "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


            • #7
              I went to Foxcatcher and although I really think the trail was well marked some of the ribbons did blow down. Wow the winds were howling that day. I missed one turn but got back on track without more than losing a few minutes-no big deal for us as we were just looking for a completion. It was right after a fairly large water crossing on the first loop. The footing was amazing and I didn't even have studs on my guy. Foxcatcher is such a great ride.

              Hornswaggle Hill is the next ride in NY. Fun ride with hills. Bring food.

              Tack can be found at any one of a number of endurance tack stores. I have patronized the Distance Depot, Running Bear and Action Rider. Also Amy Cieri/Cadence farm usually is at most of the rides and she can get you just about anything you need and bring it to the rides for you to purchase. Taylored Tack sells beautiful Biothane too.


              • Original Poster

                crazy starts ?

                Si in my naivete and newness, I literally wandered across the start at 7:02 (25 miler) with no one in the horizon. This was a good thing as my OTTB gets hot in crowds. I guess I missed the rush, but I also was just going for a completion not a placing. How does one handle the mass excitement other than staying back behind it ? Also, I met a lot of fellow foxhunters, my "endurance horse" doubles as a staff horse for our hunt and I am curious if this is what foxhunters do off season to stay fit and acclimate green or young horses to a crowd ? Any other cross over hunter/endurance folks out there ? How long do most of you give your horses off after a race ? Anyone heard of electrolytes causing them to "scurf " up ? I dosed my horse during the hold and three days later his skin looked dry and "scurfy" and that's the only difference in his routine I can pinpoint.


                • #9
                  Sorry I didn't make it to Foxcatcher. My horse Wynne got a small but nasty spot of scratches on a front ankle and came up lame. I couldn't believe it was from this small area of scratches but my vet was right. He's coming around fine now.

                  Yes, several friends complained about the trail marking. Sorry, having a brand new person take over as trail master is a recipe for disaster. I also heard that the choice of trails made this ride incredibly fast. This is an area often overlooked by trail masters. You need to mix the trail up. have a fast section followed by a technical section that slows the riders down and gives the horses some rest before going back to faster trail.

                  Then they had a 10 minute hold with no pulse criteria. Many rides will have a pulse and go to slow riders down. This is a hold where you basicly have to get your horses pulse down to a certain level before you are allowed to leave, often with a trot out past a vet on your way out. Putting one on the first loop is a good way to catch the horses who are tying up or harboring a lameness that didn't show at the vet-in. This is a protection thing for the horse.

                  Personally, I don't make my horses wait to go out at the back. For many this just winds them up worse and worse. I just let the first 15 or so hot foots get out ahead of me then I leave. Part of your horses training needs to be riding in groups, riding at speed with other horses, etc. A lot of riders use the avoidance method of riding. They try to avoid all the scarey stuff or hard stuff. DON"T! Do what's hard for you and the horse, it gets easier. I know BFB that you don't have the fear thing going. How did your horse eat on the trails?

                  I'm guessing that your horses scurf was from salts in his sweat. Was it only under tack or all over?



                  • Original Poster


                    Very interesting comments on trail layout. I come from an eventing background and we'll typically have a mix of galloping "fly" fences, followed by trappy technical sections, and a few easy "gimme" fences thrown in to mix up the pace aspects. It did seem like the first half was more rocky and narrow and the second half was all open gallop stretches. I like the idea of a ten minute hold and go area, I would have loved a mandatory break in the first half, it seemed like we never caught a breather in the first half. He didn't eat on the trail bc we were constantly moving but he enthusiastically drank his beet pulp juice, preferring that over plain water, at the 40 min hold, peed, pooped, ate grass and even rolled ! So I was happy at how he relaxed there. The scurf was mostly on his neck and back, this horse is a sweater, more from nerves than exertion, and I've joked he's allergic to his own sweat bc if you don't bathe him well after work he goes bald ! Glad to heat your youngster is back in action, convince me OD is not too tough and maybe I'll see you there !


                    • #11
                      DistanceHorse, will you be at Hornswaggle? That was my horse's (and my) first 50 last year and we headed there again this year. Love that ride! (Hoping the mud will not be as bad this year as last).


                      • #12
                        I'm training my little hunt horse for the Highlands CTR in July. Signed up for both days. Got a pair of mentors on gaited horses coaching me along now that our season is over. Taking a dressage lesson every week, getting in at least one long trail ride on the weekends, and several shorter intense rides (with hills!) during the week. He seems to be up to the challenge. Keep us posted on how it goes for you this spring/summer! Good luck.


                        • #13
                          I'm glad you had such a good time. Really hope you keep training you horse to stop and eat along the trail. Endurance and CTR riding is a great sport for causing ulcers in our horses. I learned the hard way just how importent it is to keep forage going into the horse thru the entire ride, not just the holds. it's also a good way to get the horse to mellow and relax. I hate that I always sound like I'm lecturing, sorry about that. But this is a really, really REALLY importent beginner's step when starting a horse in endurance.

                          I would love to see you come to our May 8/9 training ride. You could ride the OD trails and see what it's like. I'm also going to Orkney Springs next weekend to mark trails and test ride some new trail. You're welcome to come along either weekend. The June 25 mile ride isn't all that hard. Just one significant climb during the 25 miles, not too much rock either, not like our old location in Fort Valley.

                          Bonnie S.


                          • #14
                            I'll print this out and show it to the new trail master. Our previous trail master had some health issues that made her unable to do as much as usual (vision problems). Switching over to a new person without transition is definitely tough.

                            I'm going to try to learn the trails to be more helpful in future years. I noticed that some of the ribbons had blown down where I marked trail, and I thought I'd put those things on solid. Ugh.

                            Thanks for the honest feedback!
                            "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                            • #15
                              BigHorse, did you make it to the Cheshire? I hauled my mare there, only to find out that the coggins had to be drawn in 2010, so she couldn't compete (ECTRA rule, our fault for not knowing it).

                              I came back later with another horse and we rode drag for the first loop. That was pretty countryside.
                              "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by matryoshka View Post
                                BigHorse, did you make it to the Cheshire? I hauled my mare there, only to find out that the coggins had to be drawn in 2010, so she couldn't compete (ECTRA rule, our fault for not knowing it).

                                I came back later with another horse and we rode drag for the first loop. That was pretty countryside.
                                I did! and from your story, I think you parked right next to me when you came back I was standing next to my white pickup/maroon trailer with my white Arab, and you apologized for pulling into a tight space because you didn't want to get stuck. Then I saw you drag-riding later - I was riding with a woman on a chestnut gaited horse.

                                We had a great ride - I was originally planning to do the clinic with a first-timer friend, but she bailed, so I figured I might as well do the whole thing. So glad the weather cooperated! How was your drag-riding?

                                I remember what you look like, so the next ride we're at together we'll definitely have to say hi for real :-) My next planned ride is the NJTRA CTR Memorial Day weekend...
                                RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


                                • #17
                                  That's too funny. Yes, I apologized for parking so close. Too bad we didn't realize we were both COTHers. I remember seeing you guys going out for your second loop when we were coming back. The weather was great for the horses.

                                  Did you go off trail in the first loop? There was a turn marker on the ground right next to a nasty hill going up to the right about a half-mile into the park. Beth and Roxy went up and we followed, only to find it dead-ended at the top. Frank got scared coming back down the hill, but he trusted me. Then we went back to the entrance, because I was afraid the trail had been vandalized (has happened at Fair Hill before where people have moved markers). Jan told me what to look for and we got back on course. I think it cost us a mile or so. There were hoof prints going up the hill, so we weren't the only ones who made that mistake.

                                  I also picked up the offending turn ribbon. Don't know how it got there in the first place.
                                  "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."


                                  • #18
                                    no, luckily the person I was riding with had marked part of the course! I probably would have gotten lost about 5 times if she hadn't been there... at one point during the little loop in the course, we passed some people going the wrong way around the loop - hope they didn't get too lost!

                                    Oh, I do remember talking to one girl who said she did the same thing as you, so those must have been her hoofprints. I don't even remember seeing that hill, so I probably completely missed the marker lying on the ground.
                                    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.