The ride was divided into White (~15), Orange (~8x2), Blue (~15)
The second loop was a shorter loop done twice. It was a little more... difficult (for us), as the 25 milers had caught up and were passing us. Boomer didn't get stupid for once, but he did get strong. He wasn't tossing his head and being a fruit loop, but he would lower his head into a dressage type frame and just POWER trot along. I was having a hard time rating him. He did NOT like getting passed. I think he realized that it was a competition. But he is one of those horses that no one likes... you know the type... races to pass you then slows down to a normal pace. Yeah... Not fun for anyone. So, we ended up riding with someone for a while and then I walked and the other guy went on. After that Boomer was much better. However, all of the pulling and excitement got to him and he burned a lot of energy. Not to mention that he still wasn't drinking on the first loop of this trail. By the time we got about a mile in to the second orange loop, I realized that he was hitting a wall. He ate an apple and would graze, but I still couldn't get him to drink. I got off and hand grazed him for about 10 minutes. Then hand walked for a while. We walked the entire second part of the orange loop. About 2 miles from camp he finally drank. I had been stopping at every stream and puddle, dismounting and encouraging him to drink to no avail. Finally, we got to a big puddle and he must have just been dying of thirst because he took almost 30 big gulps. After that we stopped at another stream and he took about 20 more gulps. As we came into camp I hollered at John to bring a bucket and grain to the vet check. John, being the awesome guy he is, brought those items, but he also lugged water from camp and Boomer's feed pan in case Boomer wanted familiar flavors! At this second vet check we took off the saddle but left the pad on for a few minutes to help him cool down slowly. We also mixed some grain into the water bucket and did get him to drink almost 5 gallons of water. We vetted through with much better scores this time. Not sure, but I think we got all A's. That second orange loop was so stressful for me. We were on that loop for around 4 hours. I knew he needed to drink, but he just wasn't. I felt terrible and had decided that if he didn't drink well at the hold that I would pull him. Luckily, he perked up within 30 minutes of drinking on the trail and was looking great by the time our hold was over.