"Well, my darling equine diva and I did our first 66K at Cheshire Forest last Saturday.  I made the mistake of not ordering more Calm & Collected Plus when it ran out three weeks before, he had been such a perfect gentleman at Forest of Dean that I thought he didn’t need it anymore.  Wrong!  He had been a perfect gent because it was working so well!  He is now going straight back on it before I venture out next month to do our first two day day 80K.

Edit and Bob (photo courtesy of Indie Pics Photography)

He was SO naughty going out from the start!  It didn’t help that it was all grass for the first 5 kms and he pulled my arms out and danced and pranced his way round the fields and into the forest.  It wasn’t until we got halfway round the first loop that he settled down.  My lovely Mike crewed us and his daughter Edith did the 33kms class on her ex-racehorse Mostly Bob.  I rode with my pal Zoe and the horses gave each other a tow when needed. 

Julie and Raf at the start (photo courtesy of Indie Pics)

They both flew through the first vet-gate and then it was back out but we had got terribly lost on the first loop and so had to crack on to make the time.  We got to a long 6-8 kms canter and the boys just went for it and this was after them doing about 50kms if you include the extra 8kms we had done on the first leg!

We had planned to walk them in to get heart rates down but couldn’t due to time constraints so when we got to the last 5kms and back on the fields again we just let them canter in.  The ride finishes on grass gallops and they raced each other back in - not flat out but a good canter pace.

Julie and Raf at the finish (photo courtesy of Indie Pics)

We finished on a respectable 11.4kph (actually just over 12kph if you count the extra 8kms) and missed a Grade 4 by 2 pulse beats but he came 2nd in his class and I was thrilled to bits with him.  After vetting he had TLC Lotion on his legs, which really help to cool them and stop any filling, and a back and quarters massage with Muscle Magic.

Two days later he’s raring to go again, with no stiffness after regular TLC and Muscle Magic treatments, I on the other hand………..

Onwards and upwards…."

Julie and Raf (TM Valentino)

All photos courtesy of Indie Pics Photography