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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

January 21, 2017

NACMO : The Thinking (person's) Sport

God willing and the truck situation gets cured I hope to venture out and ride CMO this year.  If you don't know what CMO (Competitive Mounted Orienteering) is well let me just make it easy.


Yes, that is the short course in a nut-shell.  CMO is fun.   The idea of a CMO ride is that you are going to get a map.  On that map will be circles that indicate you are now in the zone of finding a marker.   You will also have a couple of clues and when you find the object related to them, you will then set your compass and ride that reading until you find the marker (a white paper plate with something written on it that you note on your map next to the clue).   It honestly sounds harder than it is and I believe that those that hear about it think....oh....I couldn't do that.

Check out this link Treasure Hunt on Horseback

Well sure you can.    It is challenging, but not "hard".    You just need to be able to follow a map (my weakness), learn to set your compass (easy peasy), have a mind that can solve a visual riddle ( are you looking for a bridge? a log spanning a stream? a carving in a tree's bark, a tree with strange conformation, or a tree in a specific location?  A green gate post? ) See, not that hard.   The hardest one I encountered was a "snake bark tree".  Oh you should have heard the gnashing of teeth! I did finally locate it, and it was as plain as day.  The bark on that tree did remind you of a snake.

You can form teams (we all know I believe in team stuff) or you can ride solo against other solo riders.  You can aim for a national championship, or just take each ride for the fun of it!

CMO is also the least expensive horse sport that you might ever participate in.  The people I met were all just really welcoming, warm, friendly people.   That is saying something coming from me as I tend to lean towards "social outcast" but they did, they made me feel very welcome.

CMO is the fastest I've ever ridden any kind of competition, and the slowest I've ever ridden period.  In that way it can pretty much be what you aim for on a given day.  The only thing wrong with CMO is we need to have more of them, lots of them, EVERYWHERE.

Read about NACMO the supporting organization.  Check out a ride near you.

Upcoming Indiana rides:

So far our 2017 schedule looks like this:

March 11 - 2016 Season Awards Banquet and Annual business meeting
May 6 & 7 - Crazy Acres - Danielle Popovich
June 17 & 18 - Midwest Trail Ride - Caldwells
Aug. 26 & 27 - Kankakee River - Christina Sepiol
Sept. 9 & 10 - Middle Fork - Beth Colla
Oct. 14 & 15 - Matthiessen - Marti, Jeanie, Colleen, Sara

 Rena Bartlett in KY is hoping to host a ride at Taylorsville SP.

Competing on a non-arabian breed horse

Reading today about the struggles many have meeting the measure of endurance riding.  Rider burn out, and worse equine injury, non-completions, and facing up to the realization that the sport isn't working out like you had hoped and dreamed.

I know that the higher percentage of people who experience this are likely riding their non-arabian breed of choice.   You have to be darned smart to complete "that kind of horse" while the sea of arabians blast on by.   And there in lies the rub,  You have this horse that is bundled up with fast twitch muscle, you rev that puppy up and it can really go...for a little bit.  Keep the pedal down and muscle fatigue sets in and the balance of your horse's cadence starts to get a little wonky.  Maybe sweating more than the arabian counterparts as they just prance on down the trail.

Do you realize the challenge you have laid before your horse?  I've encountered a rash of problems trying to fit Journey into the endurance mold.   Even though she did complete two fifty-mile rides, I'm unconvinced it is in her best interests to do so moving into the future.  LD's?  If she arrives eating and drinking she's good to go on LD's.

So what am I blathering on about here anyway?  Believe it or not I do have a point or two for you to ponder.  Let's go.

What are your goals?

Do you want to complete or do you want to compete?  

  If you want to truly compete  you need a horse with a good couple of years of slow previous work, and it probably should be a well-conformed, and well trained Arabian or half-Arabian horse.   That is just the truth of it.  There are anomalies of non-Arabian horses doings some decent finishes, but that doesn't account for their longevity (or lack-there-of) in the sport.  Even the Arabians break (ask those guys in the middle east) when they are pushed past their limits.

If your answer was complete, start your self way back in the herd and actually ride your own ride.   (Out of sight of the herd is even better) Partner up with your horse and set a goal to take a near maximum time allowance riding adventure.  Even if it means you ride alone.  Those horses hammering down the trail are NOT YOUR HORSE.  Probably the hardest thing on ride day is to keep one's self from getting caught up in the herd.   Almost every horse I see that has a visual of a horse ahead of them, due to herd instinct (the last horse in the herd  does get eaten by the bear after-all) is going to inch up the speed a little, and a little more.  It doesn't take too much of that to set off a metabolic issue.  It doesn't take too much of not paying attention to the trail to trip on a root, stomp on a rock, or make a big slip in the mud.  End of day! Money down the out of commission.

So what are you going to do with your mustang, paso, appy, or fill in the blank breed of horse you hold so dear?   You want to keep that horse healthy and sound?    You are going to stage your passion to your horse's individual talent, and that might mean the only way you will ever top ten is if there are only ten or less riders in the field.  It might mean that if you have six hours to complete a ride including the holds, then you do the math and ride those miles in a way that uses that time in the best interest of the horse you are riding.  It might mean cherry picking which rides your horse goes to in order to not over-ride for the season.  Make a pact with your horse that you will do this for two full seasons.   That you will gear your riding to your horse's current level and talent, not your own desires.

Now let's flip that coin. There are some pretty highly successful people out there riding on their breed of choice.   Sue Phillips and her quarter horse Sussie Prize come to mind. The have that coveted Pardner's award from AERC.  Now that would be someone to talk to about how to do the thing and do it successfully.   I dang well guarantee you that horse is being ridden to it's strengths, and the rider is riding SMART. 7,140 miles of mostly 50 mile rides on a quarter horse. I've seen photos, this is a heavily muscled quarter horse.  1999-2016 (Seventeen years of beautiful long rides on that horse).  That is the kind of place I like to throw my respect.  Would I ever like to have about eight hours to pick Sue's brain! 

So there is hope.  Work out your bugs on the trail, and implement that learning experience at a ride and accept that the horse you ride will give you what he can give you.  If you ask for more than that ---well---it might all hit the fan in some big ugly way.  Set goals that are realizable for that horse.  That is having success.   Ego just brings us all down...

What makes me so righteous? How do I think I know so much?  Because I've fallen flat on my round little face by doing it wrong.  Even in learning, there is still much for me to learn.  ♥

January 15, 2017

Now that we have a challenge concerning mentors...where do you find one?

Check out AERC's mentor list.  The people on this list have volunteered to give useful advice and answer questions concerning getting started.  You may already know someone who has been riding successfully that is not on the list.   If their riding style aligns with yours and they've had 500-1000 successful competition miles and their riding style is conservative, then go for it.  More than one way to skin a cat!  Do remember that the first year of endurance riding should be done on the slow side ( it takes that long to build up your horse mechanically to the stresses of competition).

Remember on our agenda there are two great give aways going on.

AERC VOLUNTEER CHALLENGE : Open to all AERC members who volunteer.
Volunteer a day = 1 entry into the drawing   Volunteer two days = 2 entries into the drawing etc.

Two Horse Tack / Green Bean Endurance Grow the Green Bean Garden Challenge: Open to membered AERC/ GBEC riders.

Rules and such are outlined farther down on the blog announcing the challenges.

January 14, 2017

Two Horse Tack wants to help Grow the Green Bean Garden!

Two Horse Tack is back in 2017 to sponsor a fun and challenging give away to three lucky Green Bean Endurance Challenge Riders.

Complete  your chores (don't worry, these are fun!) and be entered to win one of three complete tack sets.

Everyone in Teams and 1H1R is automatically entered and you don't need to submit anything. We'll take care of all the tracking.

Let's get busy!

Bean Sprouting

Who qualifies? On the Vine riders

Garden chores: Obtain a mentor, volunteer a full day at a ride, and complete a ride of 25+ miles.

Bean Blooming

Who qualifies? Picked riders

Garden chores: Obtain a mentor, volunteer a full day at a ride, and complete back to back LD’s on the same horse or a ride of 50+ miles.

Bean Epic

Who qualifies? Cooked riders

Garden chores: Obtain a mentor, volunteer a full day at a ride, and complete four 50’s on the same horse this season or a ride of 75+ miles.

(Only AERC sanctioned events qualify for both volunteering and riding)

All riders finishing their chores will automatically go into a drawing for a tack set from Two Horse Tack: Bridle (western, or halter style), reins, and breast collar. Color combo of choice. To keep, or to share with a bean in need

Thank you to this awesome Green Bean Endurance sponsor Two Horse Tack

January 12, 2017

Worries and making progress

Hubby's two surgeries are now in the history books.  He is doing well, going to therapy to build strength and doing well all things considered.  So the most of that worry is set aside and we just have to get him stronger.  Hoping he can return to work after twelve weeks off.

I continue to have serious stomach issues.   Have a history of ulcers and pretty darned sure I might have me a doozy.  The past year has just been so tumultuous.   Actually the last two years.   My Mom was treated radically for cancer.  Surgical side effects.  My brother had emergency quadruple bypass surgery, my first great grandchild died, determined that I have a corneal disease that seriously effects my speediness on the computer, my job was putting so much pressure on me concerning one single task (didn't matter that I worked constantly on the other tasks effectively) that I just couldn't take it anymore and quit the job (bye bye vacation hours and benefits), found a new job and it is a very high stress job (customer complaint resolution on the phone) (big complaints)  (did I say BIG complaints?).   Training for a part=time job to go with it currently (this one I will like) but still the learning curve.  So when the smoke settles I have to find out the deal with my stomach.  I've been on meds for two years and still getting gradually worse.  Wake up off and on all night so no good solid sleep due to the pain of it.   But most of those things are behind me.  Hoping the part-time job gives me enough hours that I can look for another part time job, and get back to my de-stressing (a.k.a. riding my horse in the woods and enjoying the stillness).  Hoping, hoping♥

January 11, 2017

Three CMO's that should be within range this year!


April 30 – May 1 Midwest Trail Ride Marti Caldwell 8500 N. C. R. 450 W. Milton, IN
(Sat & Sun.) Norman, IN 219-743-3139

May 14 & 15 Crazy Acres Roxie Bank 219-940-3044
(Sat & Sun.) Wheatfield IN

May 28, 29, 30 (Mem Day) Mt Eschol Farm Marti Caldwell 8500 N CR 450 W. Milton, IN
(Sat, Sun. & Mon.) Milton, IN (219) 743 3139

June 18 Miller Woods Kathy Haas 1965 N 400 E. Fair Oaks, IN
(Saturday) Lake Village, IN 765-427-2412

June 19 Stoney Run Nicole Marvin 219-508-7416
(Sunday) Hebron, IN email

June 25 & 26 Potato Creek Linda K. Byer, 574-542-9602,
(Sat & Sun.) N. Liberty, IN

Aug. 6 & 7 Deep River Deb DeVries 626 E. 700 N. Westville IN
(Sat & Sun.) Hobart, IN (219) 405-7334

August 27 & 28 Kankakee River Pat Mouw 26811 S. Linden Ln Crete, IL
(Sat & Sun.) Bourbonnais, IL 708-227-5189

Sept. 10 & 11 Middlefork St. Park Beth Colla
(Sat & Sun.) Danville, IL

Sept. 24 & 25 Tippecanoe River SP Deb DeVries 626 E. 700 N. Westville IN
(Sat & Sun.) Winamac, IN (219) 405-7334

October 8 & 9 Salamonie LBW Beth Jerman 317-385-7104
(Sat & Sun.) Andrews, IN

Oct. 22 & 23 Matthiessen S. P. Marti Caldwell 8500 N CR 450 W. Milton, IN
(Sat. & Sun.) Utica, IL (219) 743 3139 or

Versailles isn't listed yet and these are subject to change so if interested....Check out the NACMO website.
Woot!  Formulating a plan ☺

January 8, 2017

Volunteer Challenge / Win some new tack!!!

I'm very pleased to announce that Two Horse Tack has partnered up with this blog for a fun give away!

Volunteers are the meat, potato, bread and butter of endurance rides.  There are many benefits to being a volunteer.  First you get to meet other riders, and perhaps run into someone you've had contact with on social media, but never met in real life.  Second, you learn all kinds of things about the sport through listening and observation.  Third, you become instrumental in a good ride becoming a great experience for someone else.   So get out there!  Volunteer!  Every time you volunteer fill out the form (look for the page tab near the top of this website).  Every day of volunteerism between February 1st -November 30, 2017 counts as an entry.  At season's end I will pull a name from those who entered to win the prize.  A FULL TACK SET: includes bridle (halter type or western style) reins (split or looped) , and breastcollar (english or western) in color combo of choice!

To turn in your volunteer days, you must be an AERC member to play! Entry requires that number!

January 5, 2017

Ready to get your RIDE on? Get on over and sign up!

  The Green Bean Endurance Challenge  (GBEC)is geared for new and aspiring endurance riders.  Deb Moe & Ricky Stone have taken up the cause of leading this absolutely fun and inspiring group of new riders.  

Here is the deal:

*You must be a member of AERC to participate.  They are the "mother bean" if you will in that GBEC supports those rides and those values, and to become an awesome 1000 mile epic AERC rider  and bean out of GBEC is the ultimate goal.  Those early discovery rides should be ridden safely, slowly, and oh heck, they should be fun too, right?  So that is where GBEC comes in.  You get to compete on mileage based (rather than speed) point systems.   You can do it solo, or you can do it as a TEAM rider.   The link provided here takes you to the Facebook page (ask to join).  This is the social hub of GBEC.  The rules of the beandom are:  Be nice (they take no prisoners in that regard ), be helpful, learn, join, and grow into the sport at your and your horse's own pace.   GBEC does not seek to separate you from AERC, rather point the way in and provide social supports to make you feel connected for those first rides where you show up to ride camp and you don't know anybody.  The group is growing by leaps and bounds. You are most cordially invited to plant yourself in this wonderful group if your competition miles are 0-999 recorded AERC miles.

*What does it cost to get your RIDE on with GBEC?  $15 FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON.  What!!!

*Where do you sign up? 2017 REGISTRATION IS OPEN .

Join the facebook page, read about the registration, follow the steps, and get your RIDE on.   The clock is ticking .

January 4, 2017

Scheming and Plotting and really kind of EXCITED!

Post-mortem of being a co-head bean counter: AWESOME♥  It has been a wonderful journey, but it is also suddenly like coming home to my roots back at Endurance Granny.    The starting place, and maybe eventually an ending place, as I'm getting older and life insists on throwing more "challenges" in front of me.  So while I'm still standing in this moment what can I do next to shape the social context of a better place for all of us.   The core of that better place has always been there.  I've met some great people in the sport, and some I'd have loved to meet but probably never will.  If each of the great people of endurance decided to reach deep into the core of growth  the sport would explode with excitement.  I can feel the literal crackle of a new way which all the while seriously embraces the old way, for all it is worth.  I see a whole new incoming generation of riders, and my eyes well up, that I got to have a little part in that and I feel steady that capable hands will shape their future on those founded principles.  Go Green Bean!

I believe that endurance riding here in the USA (speaking in terms of AERC, UMECRA and like) has the most awesome heart of any amateur sport.  That partnership with your horse being the most amazing and humbling thing I've ever encountered.  There just is nothing like it.  My lowly competition miles don't speak for much.  But me and my equine partners have traveled many thousands of trail miles together chasing the possibility of each next time at an LD/ or endurance ride. 

So now what?  And my mind starts thinking of something new to bring a brightness to someone else that is deserving.  I'm working on a new project (looking for some funding for awards if you are a believer in sappy good stuff) but the cause I promise will be worthy.    Stay tuned...the idea is "planted" just have to shake it on out and move with it, and find some friends that might believe it is a worthwhile project too ♥

January 3, 2017

Changes, changes, and new things ahead.

I've not given up on my Green Bean peeps, no I have not!  But with new leadership comes new ways, and if the bean's gonna fly, I need to step back more and more myself, and see how the bean grows.  It is SO HARD for me to open my palms and let the beans drop into the very fertile soil and just watch.  It is viscerally painful in that I love this cause so much♥    The cause is acceptance.  That's it.  Just let's all enjoy the wonderful sport for what it brings to each of us. (says she who isn't sure I'll get to compete at all this year).

But here's the thing.  I have a mind that rarely stops.  I trick myself with measures to fall asleep!  So my creativity really needs an outlet.  It brings me my happiness.  When one out of twenty paintings is passable I AM THRILLED.  When I think up some strange little competition I AM THRILLED.  So I guess my much neglected blog will get some face time, and maybe my horse's will get some needed attention, and maybe at some point the truck will get fixed well enough that I feel safe to haul the spectacular Spotted Wonder "somewhere".   Believe I should be able to make it to a CMO this year and she is "sort of" a distance horse, right?  And I've taken a second job.  Sounds kind of crazy for a woman with no time, but that stepping back thing should give me time to have a job that resonates with my little horsey soul, and allows me to bring some joy to others in the process.

Win! Win!  (I say this between epic crying jags that I'm no longer in the hunt for GBEC). ♥  They are my people.  They always always always will be.   ~E.G.

December 31, 2016

Trying to decide what I'll do with this coming year

Due to a long bout of laminitis Journey hasn't hit a lick in many months.    Things have turned around and her hoof walls are losing the flair, and she is moving sound for the first time in many months.  The kicker is---I don't know for sure what set her off.   All three of our horses went laminitic like dominoes this year.  The farrier who takes care of Journey's hooves now said he saw a big uptick in the following with his client's horses last spring:

Overall body pain (like every joint, muscle, and fiber hurt).

It is one of three things but God only knows which.  The grass had incredibly high sugar for some reason on fields they have never had issue with before,  the Low NSC concentrate feed I have them on is possibly not quality controlled enough and from bag to bag maybe those carbs aren't stable,  or it is something viral.  Phebes was the first, and the worst of the three, a few weeks later big Cree, and a few weeks from that Journey and it got pretty scary bad.  At that time I took the girls off the concentrate feeds and started giving them a pelleted grass plus hay.  It took months to turn things around.  Cree is 20 years old, he has metabolic issues, and is very hard to keep sound, and even harder to keep weight on.  Feed him too much, he will flare up.  Get that under control and he drops weight. He was the last one I pulled off the bagged feed.  He had been doing great (eating that) and I got a new bag from the feed store and fed him as usual in the evening, next morning he could barely walk.  The only change was that new bag of feed.  So now we are trying to rehab him (again), my husband is rehabbing too after two major surgeries, and my little brain feels like a squeezed out sponge!

I would truly love to do some CMO in 2017.  The people are so very nice and I feel much less stress at that adventure as I don't fret over my horse's welfare so much.  Don't get me wrong, CMO can be  as demanding as a very fast paced LD.  It is in all honestly the fastest I've ever churned down a trail, ever.  But on my own, solo, we don't get up too much of a head of steam.  Just enjoy the trail...find the plates, don't get lost (yeah that is the big one), and come back and chill.  The CMO crowd I get to hang with now and then are so welcoming.  It has come to my attention that there may be a CMO at Versailles State Park this year.  If so I want to treat myself to that one.  Will have to see how Journey moves under saddle this spring.

A potential shot at a part-time job has come my way.  It looks promising.  Not sure I'm going to stay at my full-time gig at the financial institution.  So I will be looking for another part-time something, and see if I can balance my life in ways that make me happy.

The long suffering endurance granny husband (LSEGH) is doing well considering all he's been through over the past eight weeks.  He has been holding down the fort at home with Bella Boopster.

I have continued to paint a little.  I vacillate between something pretty darn good and complete and utter disasters, but it does help me pass the time of being shut in all winter.
Funky Roses, acrylic, channeling some VVG but not doing it well LOL.

Blue Daisies  painted from a "painting with Jane "tutorial above and I call the one below a Jacke Van Gogh ...but I have to admit he's a better painter ♥
Blue birds on a fence this one an Angela Anderson tutorial.

This one could be called Self-Portrait, but I'd be lying.  A painting with Jane tutorial and I really like this one, it resonates with me in all kinds of ways.

The owl was an Art Sherpa tutorial, which I painted for my daughter, and the rather strange cat went to a person I treasure in in a cute frame in lieu of Christmas card this year.

Woot! Two Horse Tack is sponsoring GBEC

For another trip around the sun!  Please visit their site

December 30, 2016

Green Bean Endurance Year: 3

I am incredibly happy to say that Green Bean Endurance is off and running for it's third season around the bean patch.  Though I've stepped away from the Co-Directorship, my heart is still firmly rooted (♥) pun intended with Green Bean.  The name has changed.  Green Bean Endurance Competition Challenge.  This is more aligned with our idea of growth vs. competition.  We do compete within our ranks, but truly that is secondary to the greater whole.  We pull for one another, encourage, and cheer on even the try as an accomplishment.  Because. It. Is.

But don't think our crowd is a bunch of slackers either.  We have 1000 mile riders who are maxing out of Green Bean.  Old Dominion and Tevis finishers counter balanced with riders with zero AERC miles coming on board with us to learn, grow, and finally to move on (we hope never gone completely) from our ranks.   We've worked incredibly hard in ways mere mortals probably wouldn't believe to keep the thing running, positive, constantly reworking, trying to make it as nice a place as we could with a very meager budget and some awesome sponsorship.

Now all that said...Green Bean Endurance Challenge is open for sign up.   To join our group of  fabulous just head on over to our facebook page and ask to join the group.  Now how easy is that?   If you want to join the Challenge itself you must have less than 1000 AERC competition miles.  So 0-999 and you can jump into the bean-dom and compete on a team of five, or 1 horse/1 rider if you prefer to go solo.  No pressure.  Just see where the ride takes you.  Your mountain might be finishing"A Ride", while someone else's is kicking butt on a 100.  It's all good people, it's all good.

The Seedling group will continue this year too.  Kids under twelve, lots of fun ways to gain points, we will sign up 10 seedlings this year, so if your youngster wants to ride, get crackin'!  To ride seedling your child must have an AERC membership, we waive the fees at Green Bean.   The seedlings can earn points for volunteering at a ride, intro rides, clinics, riding lessons to become better equestrians, and points for LD's and Endurance.   Maranda Bibb is managing the seedling group.

To read more or sign up for one of the Green Bean Challenges click here.

To visit our group of riders visit the facebook page here.   Ask to join the group.

If you are a sponsor and think we are doing good things for the sport of endurance find me at , or message me, Deb Moe, or Ricky Stone on facebook.  Sponsorship, both business, corporate, and private keeps the wheels turning.  The group thanks you all who have helped to assist our goals.

Two Horse Tack, Riding Warehouse, The Distance Depot, Da-brim, Taylored Tack, The Bag Hag, Ear Me Now, Specialized Saddles, Crestridge Saddlery, Beta Tack, No Quarter Tack, The Stirrup Lady, Custom Corral, Crazy Legs Tights, Hooves & Whiskers, private donations, and more!

December 20, 2016

Times are a changing...Registration is open at Green Bean Endurance

Year three is underway for Green Bean Endurance.  Deb Moe and Ricky Stone will co-direct the competition this year.  So what's this GREEN BEAN THANG?  It's about learning the ropes of endurance riding, slow, and steady, and safely with your horse.   It is about competing at the level where you are at in a TEAM or Individual competition platform.  It is about building a social network within your region or across regions to have support that you might not otherwise find in the beginning.

How do you qualify to ride with Green Bean Endurance?  You must have 0-999 recorded AERC miles, and you must hold membership with AERC.  Once you have done that all that is left is to sign up with Green Bean Endurance for the lowly one year rider registration fee of $15.  You may visit the Green Bean Endurance Competition page and ask to join on FACEBOOK.

So what's up with the 0-999 rider miles?  So riders with some experience will join up and or offer support to low mileage rider and teams.    What happens at 1000 miles?  Well you become alumni of a FANTASTIC group of endurance riders who put good stewardship of their horses, and friendship first.

This is the year people!  The year that Green Bean Endurance grows into something even more wonderful than it has been.  Won't you join us?

December 9, 2016

Stepping down from leadership role with Green Bean Endurance

It saddens me to announce that I am stepping down from my co-leadership role with Green Bean Endurance.  I SO LOVE THIS GROUP!  2016 has thrown me some curves.  Three all of a sudden laminitic horses, rehabbing, hubby with one major surgery down...but another to go, job changes, and I am pretty darn sure I have an ulcer 😔   There are other reasons as well.  I believe the groups best shot at ever being mainstream is it being in the hands of someone from a younger demographic group with a lot of energy.  My hope is that if life calms down for me, I can work with Green Bean Endurance again in some capacity.  Right now I have to take care of home, hearth, horse's, hubby and me.

Green Bean Endurance is probably the best personal success I've had in this sport.   168 new endurance riding members, over 30,000 ride miles since we started, a wonderful connected social experience.  It's a beautiful thing.  Very, very hard to step away.  I hope it flourishes, and grows, and blossoms into even greater things.

November 24, 2016

Blue Flowers

Blue Flowers acrylic 2016 (Painting with Jane)

Happy Thanksgiving All

Times have shifted for me here.  Haven't slung a leg over my horse in close to five months.  Hubby had major surgery, and looking to have another one soon.  Life feels "perilous" at the moment, but we are both still standing.  Horse's all had a concurrent case of laminitis, never did figure out "what" set that off. First Phebes, then Cree, and finally Journey.  But all are much better now.  Hoping all is well for each and every one of you out there.   Enjoy turkey day!

November 1, 2016

The Future of Green Bean Endurance Competition

That Lovin’ Green Feeling

As many of you may be already aware from the many t-shirts scattered among the regions. the Green Bean Endurance competition continued to draw new riders together, inspire, and foster belonging in the sport. Our little crew’s personal 2016 stats as of October of this year:

Total Miles Attempted: 15,330
Total Miles Completed: 12,650

Overall Completion Rate: 83%
Total Metabolic Pulls: 7
Total Lameness Pulls: 26
Total OT: 9
Total Rider Options: 27

Percent LD to Endurance: 54%
LD Completion Rate: 86%
Endurance Completion Rate: 80%

75's Attempted: 2
75's Completed: 2
Shannon Conrad - Biltmore 75
Kristen Gonyaw - Mustang Memorial

100's Attempted: 7
100's Completed: 5
Phylicia Mann - 20 Mule Team
Sara Borkosky - Biltmore Challenge
Laura Spear - Sunriver Classic
Jenny Gomez - Tevis Cup
Abigail Madden - Tevis Cup

Current TEAM leaders as of October: OTV Pony Tails, Picked The Blazin Belles, High point individuals in the TEAM competition are Debra Tibbitts, Heather Accardo, Cassandra Green and Claire Morris.

In the One Horse One Rider competition: Erin Hurley is leading in OTV and Jen Moore in the Picked/Cooked division.

Seedling Success: Leonardo Fuentes is our “out of the pod” leader.

Our group has had a few regional meet ups this season. The last was hosted by the Daniel Boone Distance Riders at Rendezvous October 8th. Nearly all of our Midwestern riders showed up for the gathering and Two Horse Tack graciously sponsored some beautiful prize give-aways to those in attendance.

2015 was our first season of competition and we had many members among AERC endurance riders at large who helped support the cause. As we segued into year two we focused more on commercial sponsorship, lower rider fees, and bringing our “brand of bean” forward to make our riders recognizable as a vital segment of the endurance riding community with t-shirts and matching splashes of lime green tack.

Deb Moe kept the technology straight, and I have worked the sponsorship end and served as emotional cheer leader for the group, while Maranda Bibb has lovingly nurtured a new small but important segment of our group called Seedling. The cuteness and effort of these kids is amazing. .

All said, we have impacted the sport. We helped to generate close to $12, 000 a year in AERC memberships. Our attendance at rides brought ride managers an estimated $30,000 plus in ride entries.  This new and younger demographic helps to build AERC strong, and bring fresh excitement to the sport. GBEcompetition is small at about 158 members, and 500 associate (interested) members.

There are in fact many independent Green Bean groups being supported by a handful of motivated people. They go quietly about, doing their work to build that early critical social connection. It is bringing results. Often the argument is thrown back that how it has been is good enough. I counter that with good enough for whom? We in the 50+ generation will be making way, for a new demographic.

TEAM competition? TEAM builds friendships. TEAM inspires completion. TEAM creates an I CAN mindset that pushes riders to grow to their personal best. TEAM offsets the disappointments. TEAM works together to find solutions. TEAM requires membership and inclusion in the larger group and in fact helps to support the bigger organization. Why can we not have Green Bean TEAM riding across our regions mainstream?

So what can you as an individual do to build momentum in the sport? We encourage your clubs to embrace the concept of TEAM riding among the Green Beans across the regions. Offer your intro riders the opportunity.  Fully embrace Green Bean movement at large and let it help support AERC.

 Get your GREEN on!

October 23, 2016

Contacting the Candidates

Last week I made it my task to contact as many of the candidates for Director at Large as I could find contact info for.   A few I did not bother as their views on a couple of issues important to me are well known, so no need.   But I did contact a good number of people and posed just a few questions (all the same questions) to them.

How will you build and maintain membership?

Are you for or against stand alone LD's?

Do you feel that how things presently are with AERC is "good enough" or if you have a vision for change...what is that vision?

What is your position on AERC being involved with FEI/the international scene?

At this point I know two I will vote for, one maybe, one nope!  Still have one in the wings going to respond and a big old bunch of non-responders.

We should have the ballots rolling in pretty soon, which should have a statement from each person running.  Hoping that will help me out a bit.

Journey for President

October 18, 2016

Who will you vote for? DAL

I spent my lunch hour today gathering up the names of folks running for the seven possible openings for DAL with AERC.   Have henceforth made it my mission to contact all whom are running and find out where they stand on a few issues near and dear to me.

So far I have contacted nine, have answers from three, and waiting on six.    Of the three one is a slam dunk  no doubt I will support them, and two probably keepers (depending on outcomes of the total group).  Which leaves me four to figure out from the rest.  A few running I have no question where they stand in the mix of what is most important to me, and have already  ruled them out and don't have to worry about the battery depletion of my buzzing old phone waiting for a response.  ☺    I encourage you to ask your questions, and to care about the answers you get.

And on that happy note:  JOURNEY FOR PRESIDENT


October 12, 2016

Green Bean Endurance

Interesting Green Bean Endurance "FACTOIDS"
Since the inception of GBE Competition our little outfit generated (or at the very least nudged in a you gotta do it way)
membership signups in 2015 at approximated $11,700 and 2016 $12,000. Calculating ride revenue generated for ride managers by the competition for 2016 (so far) if only figure LD fees (which are lower) our competition inspired $33,660 in revenue for RM's. This year our riders have turned in almost 400 competitions (more if we add in seedling). Sponsorship was up and our prize once a month drawing expanded to three prizes each month. This year we are able to provide beautiful medals for our winners with our logo on them. Ride fees were reduced and we are still going to break even at the end of the day. Those things are interesting, and they are good as we help the organization that provides rides for us. But the real beauty of Green Bean is the people connections. You find someone at a ride and shake their hand then...oh hell give me a hug And watching those new riders over the past two years go from 0 to endurance, on to Tevis, or Old Dominion, team building, awesome stuff. Two years, 168 riders, good people. Endurance riders. Am I proud? Of EVERY.SINGLE.ONE of them. They have surpassed me, my dreams, any ounce of talent I'd ever hoped I'd have in this sport and it feels good. It feels great to see our gnarly little bunch just ROCK the ride. Get your ride on people!

October 9, 2016


The weather was fabulous and that is no understatement.   High sixties, sun shining, just perfect Fall weather for DBDR's Rendezvous ride held at Hoosier Horse Camp here in Indiana.  Turn out?   PACKED.  When you run out of the alphabet for hip markings and have to double up that is a good thing.

I was there not to ride, but to just have a chance of meeting a few more of our riders (GREEN BEAN) and acted as a scribe (which I really enjoy) for the day. We had eleven Green Beans in attendance counting myself.  Which is an extremely good turnout considering the census of Midwestern Green Beans in our corner of the region.  We had a prize giveaway sponsored by Two Horse Tack that put two beautiful and complete bridles into the hands of our riders.  Also prized out were four flat backed buckets full of grooming supplies and rider care bags (green socks, chapstick, green bean bracelets), we gave out some bridle charms, and a beautiful embroidered rain sheet.

A bridle like this one  from Two Horse Tack  was won by Sharon Knight in the bitless model,  it was so pretty!

Tammi Thomas walked away with this halter bridle from Two Horse Tack.

 This little girl was so flipping cute!  She was riding LD on this pony and the pony was...well let's say all pony.   It took two adults to finally get him to trot (which he did beautifully).  I just get a kick out of the little kids.  This one has done a 50 already ☺
 Rump warming was the theme of the day as it was cool and breezy.
 I recall this woman's name was Holly as that is my oldest daughter's name.
 This was a cluster of riders coming in for the hold.
 Your's truly acting as scribe.  The lady holding the horse Sabine had ridden with me in the past back in the days of Phebes.  Her horse Leo is in his mid-twenties and still does a fabulous job at getting through the rides.

 A very pretty trot out.

 This horse shone like glass.  Coat was so pretty!
 This red horse was on fire!  Nearly glowed.
 The vet's, myself and the trusty clip board.
 This team was out and about but not pulling endurance riders!
Peaceful photo of rider waiting...

It was one of the most enjoyable days I've had at an endurance ride.  Maybe because I wasn't worries of belly-aches, boots, time clocks, eating or not eating, drinking, all those things that go into successfully finishing.  I just got to participate and observe and meet some of the Green Bean Endurance Competition peeps.  It was a wonderful day.  A big thank you to Tammi S. Thomas for helping me get the list together of the Green Bean riders present.  ☺

October 5, 2016

Very excited about the Green Bean Rendezvous October 8th

We have a meet up planned at DBDR's Rendezvous ride in the Hoosier National forest on October the 8th.   Our devoted sponsor Two Horse Tack has went all out prizes for our random drawing at the meeting that evening.  We have a box packed full of give-aways!!! Bridles and reins in all configurations of GREEN (to represent the bean), flat backed buckets and grooming tools, a waterproof rain sheet embroidered with GREEN BEAN TEAM.   So I'm very excited!

Come on down, and get your RIDE ON!!!!
One of the prizes being given away at Rendezvous, a beautiful cross under bitless bridle with matching reins from Two Horse Tack.

September 16, 2016

I have been absent and unaccounted for...

I finally hit critical mass with the lack of respect at my workplace.   Decided that I was worth "more than that" at least in a spiritual sense.  So there was the scramble for a new job, which I landed without too much effort on my part.  It is a big change in the hours though, and my horse happiness just had to be set aside at least temporarily until I find "the job" that fits my life again.  So endurance riding, in fact...riding at all is on hold.   I have a lot of rather scary upcoming events involving my spouse, and just a lot of uncertainty in regard to my immediate future.   The current plan is to amass all the $ I can between now and his surgery just in case I need to hang it up, and assist at home for awhile.  Whoever dubbed after 50 as the golden years had rocks in their head!   More like every day becomes a crap shoot, or spin the bottle let's kiss a big toad.  But at some point, things have to swing back and point in the right direction.  Right?   Right.

The job also sidelined my great progress towards a C25K plan.   I made it half-way a soft tissue injury to my calf, and the job the next day.   But I have to say I hated running and absolutely loved running.  It was excruciatingly hard for me, but really helped me push out my internal angst in a healthy way, and a nice little bump in energy after the initial exhaustion wore off.  So I'm not canning it, just waiting to get on line with it again.  When the calf feels solid, we will back track and go again. 

Do have plans to attend Rendezvous and give out some fun stuff to some of the Green Beans who show up for the ride.   Will be pooling names of riders, crew, and volunteers for a drawing with some decent little prizes.  Some donated, and some gathered by me over the course of the summer.  It is a great group of people, it really is.   Just want the chance to let them know they matter, are welcome into the sport, and appreciated.

Then on to winter and hopefully a great recovery for LSEGH.  That is the priority♥

August 9, 2016

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff...

I've worked my way through week 3 of the C25K but week 4 soundly kicked my butt, so I may have to repeat 3 again to build up stronger.  Haven't run for a few days now due to family obligations and job interviews (did I mention I'm jobless) and just being in somewhat of an unemployed "funk."  Generally I'm a happier person when I have meaningful activity and collect a paycheck.

On the work front.  I loved my job and the people that I worked with.  However a change in the company's software system really just cost me everything.   I have an eye disorder, and I function pretty well as long as I have a font size over 12.   Font smaller than that especially if it is backlit gives me issues.  The letters run together, or look doubled, and my efficiency takes a serious nose-dive.  This is especially true with back lit screens (phone, monitor).  For the most part, you wouldn't know there was a problem until you stick me in the above situation and ask for "speed."   As it takes me more time to process what I'm seeing.   This in fact is what my company wanted to do with me.  Move my work station to a walk-in clinic environment, knowing that I had issues with keeping the pace required there.    It deeply saddens me that the fact that I worked very hard for them and being an eight year employee they refused to accommodate my need even though I had supportive documentation from my eye doctor that I see halos around lights and small fonts could be problematic.   It was sad to leave.  I felt very unappreciated.   Yet, I do some things very well...I have a strong sense of customer service and take great satisfaction when I can assist someone to solve a problem.  I'm creative, and frequently have ideas that make processes more streamlined.   I'm a consistent worker and love the rather mundane jobs that some people gnash their teeth over, scanning, indexing, updating data, working off in a cubical or office somewhere plugging along and just getting things done.  I also like a puzzle at times (especially solve-able ones).   So my hope is that somebody will recognize that I can be a great employee and that my down time won't last very long.  I interviewed for one company twice this week and I have an interview scheduled with another on Thursday.

So my personal horse adventures have been set aside for the greater good of hearth and home until life reaches a level once more.        The Green Bean competition is doing it's thing and we have some real go-getters in the competition again this year.   Some of our people will max out on mileage which is awesome and bitter sweet all at the same time.   We have two riders who completed Tevis this year, and our number of hundred mile distance riders is increasing---four or five this year already, I'd have to check stats to say for sure.    But growth abounds in this group.  It makes me happy ☺

July 9, 2016

2nd C25K run

Only being able to do 5 out of 8 yesterday really bugged me.  Selecting the month of July to begin a running program probably is in the category of "you ain't smart."   But here is the thing.  I'm five foot one and my weight has gone up to 160 pounds.  I'm FAT.  Plain and simple and it is all upper body, from the top of my neck to my hip bones.  It is a horrible place to be in life.  I'm good with getting old.  Old means you've done some living and learned some things, but my body going to hell in a paper basket with a butane lighter poised under it does not resonate well.   I don't eat a lot, but often don't eat "well."  My exercise for the past seven years has been primarily on the back of my horse which is good for having a stronger core, but doesn't do much for the rest of me, and obviously does nothing for weight control.     Are the walk/runs fun?   Just to be blunt they (all two of them) have literally kicked my butt.  KICKED. IT. FLAT. 

Yesterday I did the workout a bit later in the day and it was pretty hot and the humidity was so high you felt like a fish thrown up onto the bank, sucking for oxygen.    Today I hit it a bit earlier as 70 degrees has to trump 86, right?

Since yesterday I was only able to do 5 out of 8 jogging intervals, my goal today was to shoot for 6 of 8.   So I suited Bella up in her harness (in case I needed JackRat power to pull me up a hill *LOL*) and off we went.  Unfortunately my route is uphill on the first and third interval.  That fish thing.  Yeah....but I noticed I made it farther on the away from home half this morning and was able to add another rep there at the end.  Half-way point we turn back and the 5th rep, okay I'm more and we did 6,  and I'm pointed towards home so if I die right there on the paved road my body will be found and hopefully I'll not land on the JackRat who weighs only eleven pounds,  7 reps in (fist pump *gasp* gasp* gasp*) we are both still alive though I am at times slightly dragging the JackRat and yelling go go go! As much for myself as for my little dog Bella.  8 reps WOOOT!!!

It was HORRIBLE.  I'm going to DIE doing this.  It is wonderful and challenging, and I've drafted my daughter to try it with me TOMORROW.  So I might be repeating week one again to get her caught up to my week.   Looking for a 5 K that we might attempt in September ☺

Learning lessons from this morning:

* The mental game is almost harder than the physical.  The body will do what you tell it, it has too however unpleasant that may be.

* Don't exercise in the hottest part of the day.

* Um...don't skip breakfast.

Bella Boopster is collapsed in the second office chair sound asleep ☺

July 8, 2016

C25K or Ru2Gray (aka: one foot in the grave)

I've wanted to try this for a while.  But I lack time, or I'm not very good at "managing time."  This old gal has never been able to successfully run.   I have a weird heart rate, resting 99-126 and that is all the time, for all my years.   So when I exert you can imagine how high my rate goes, which results in becoming very light headed.  I also have sudden drops in blood pressure that puts my diastolic in the 56-60 range.   So exercise is tough for me.  Let's add to this a metatarsal joint with a bone spur, intermittent sciatica (*weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)! and a propensity for heat exhaustion.   Getting old is highly over-rated!

But if you always sit on the couch you are always going to be sitting on the couch.    So today I started the Couch to 5 K (C25K).  
A wee bit warm out there...humidity is high, and a thunderstorm is just itching to happen.

The first work out is supposed to look like this:
Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.   This means you will have eight one and half minute jogs over the course of 20 minutes.  Piece-a-cake!

****visualize**** ROTFL!!!

I strapped the Boopster into her hiking vest, and snapped a leash on her.   Turned on my C25K app which prompts you when to walk and when to jog, but does not serve iced water, or an oxygen tent.
Bella says "screw this! I'm gonna rest with my mookie."

I picked a direction that I felt we were fairly risk free from loose marauding canines that might try to eat the eleven pound Bella Boopster.    Paved road, so had get off on the grassy edge for the sake of her little paws as often as possible.     Bella kept up the pace but quickly discovered that catching a squat at the jog wouldn't  work out too well.   Okay...I'll quit about the dog and get on with it.

We made it to the half-way point (4 of the runs), but had to shut it down to a brisk walk for the return homea nnd picked up run # 5 after that breather.   Not kidding THOUGHT I WOULD PASS OUT. 

So my road to 5 K is likely going to be a bit longer than the program indicates.   I'm going to delve around for a forum of just starting C25K oldies but goodies and see if we can find some like minded beat up but not given up comrades in this goal to help keep me motivated.

So the score today:
C25K=1     Jacke=5/8

Next trip  out will try to get it up to 6 of the jog intervals.   The program is three times a week.  Perhaps I'll have amnesia by then and it will all be good ☺

But  you know what?   I had 20 minutes of non-stop exercise, and walked the dog, AND dodged the thunderstorm which will roll in here any minute.

July 3, 2016

Now the flip side of shod

Getting to the end of the cycle and looking at the long hoof, with toe and heel migrating forward.  It ties me up in knots.  Trying to find a "match up" time with farrier vs. work schedule ***very sad face***.          I'm used to having much more control...even though booting was driving me up the wall.     My opinion for whatever it may be worth is that Journey needs a very tight shoeing cycle if she is to be a non-tripping moving out horse!

June 26, 2016

A Nurturing Place

People ask me now and then about Green Bean Endurance (the competition not to be confused with the larger Green Bean Movement).  I've seen a lot of folks dreams trampled on over the past several years.  Maybe their goals weren't "lofty" enough.  Perhaps they ride a non-arabian breed.  Maybe the rider just isn't competitive and could care less.   New endurance riders are the backbone of longevity for AERC regardless of if certain riders care to accept that fact.  Yet again, and again I've seen personal attacks by longstanding members in the sport (always via the bully network of social media).   All the excitement drains away from that new rider, and they decide they will spend their limited dollars at a "friendlier" venue.  You know, at the end of the day who wants to be around folks they perceive as having a hot poker up their keisters for some reason or other?   N-O-B-O-D-Y.

The irony in all that is that you can go to and muddle through a couple of actual distance rides and begin to relax and look around, and see that the physical world of ride-camp does have a good census of pretty darned nice people.   But first that new rider has to feel encouraged enough to attend a few rides.

Hence the competition.   The first goal is to establish a network (even if it is far flung regionally) of riders in TEAMS of five riders.   Second is to encourage a mentor.   I stress encourage, not mandate.  Because honestly the group is made up mostly of adults that have some previous background in other equestrian pursuits.  Third is to encourage camaraderie among the group at large.  Because the overall goal is to get each persons horse from the start, to the finish.  That's it!   The points the riders acquire are based on that simple principle.  Go the distance, get your completion, take satisfaction in your growth.  

In short, Green Bean Endurance encompasses a nurturing place to get people started.   We will have a good number of riders who started just a year and a half ago...mileage out (hit the 1000 combined competition miles) by the end of this season.  I'm so gratified by all of them.

June 20, 2016

Product Review Roma Fetlock Boots

We've had this intermittent interference issue on her inside fetlock.  The old brushing boots I was using would turn and she'd get scraped up.  So the search was on for a set of fetlock boots.

This set was purchased from Horse Lovers from E-Bay.  $31.95 plus shipping.   When I received them I was a little dubious, they looked big and kind of hard.   The wrap itself is a perforated neoprene, and a firmer neoprene that cups over the inner fetlock. After some squishing and shaping they wrapped her fetlock very well and they did not turn.  They have a double velcro fastener. She came in after a pretty wild gallop (whole 'nother story) no rubs, no abrasions, firmly still in position.   So I'd say this was a good purchase and I'd order them again.  (These were a gift from LSEGH)♥