Unfortunately, our Endurance ride that was scheduled as the same time as this one was cancelled. That was my favorite endurance ride, Descanso! The one I've done twice before. They said the expenses were too high, and not enough riders entered, so they had to cancel it. NATRC stepped up and offered this one in place, which I thought was awesome! So away we went!
I had never ridden at Los Penasquitos preserve before, but come to find out it was only like 30 minutes from my house, and has amazing riding! I'll definitely be back here to ride some more. Plus a cool feature is that it has a TON of water crossings!
I got there Friday eve, as par for course, and Maggie and came to help me get everything set up and volunteer but went back home for the night since it was so close! Liz also came the next day and volunteered! It was great having my friends there helping me.
I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but Maggie filled me in on most of the details that she could remember. The ride meeting and managers were amazing! They were super funny and the ride was very well run and managed. They did a great job of explaining what they were looking for and why (which was all related to safety, and having a good time). They give you two separate large cards, one for horse, and one for horsemanship. I won't go into too many details, but it's all done in good fun with safety in mind and in the forefront of their actions. I'm honestly surprised that more endurance folk don't do these. I think they're great for starting a new horse (or rider!) learning to camp, after an injury to "get back into it", or even just simple cross training! Plus I met some really nice people! The ride was a 10 mile loop, then back to camp for lunch and vet check (just like an endurance ride). Gallant vetted well. One interesting thing about these rides is that they are timed, and so you have to come in to the checks with a 15 minute window! This was seriously my biggest concern, but Maggie helped my by writing the timing for each check on my map, and by me following the rest of the people I was able to do it without issue.
We left vet check out onto the second loop and it was a 15 miler. Super fun all the way back down the canyons and back to the lake! Up and around the houses and back down into the canyons. Each loop had several "challenges" where the vet and managers "grade" you, but it's all in good fun and in mind of safety for the horse and rider. We finally got back around 3 pm to camp, that was the slowest 20 miles I had ever done, lol! There was almost no trotting at all!
I am very glad I did this ride, I learned a lot, learned about my horse, met nice new people, and got to try something a little different! I highly recommend it for anyone with a horse!