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

March 26, 2017

March 18, 2017

Acrylic 2017 Raven

Some day...I'm going to have this Baroque Bridle Set

My goal this year since my time is so limited is to get both of the girls riding like they have a brain. Phebes has issues that prevent her from high performance goals, but it would actually be great for her to do some trail work.  If I could get someone to ride the spotted monster it might be do-able to get them both trail worthy again.    A year off certainly hasn't done them or me a bit of good.  Journey is FAT, Phebes is CRANKY, and it is making me feel OLD.  Hells bells on that I say!  Spring is just around the corner and I can't wait.

March 12, 2017

Endings and Beginnings

One more step to go and all the legal entanglements of Green Bean Endurance will be complete.  It has been necessary and still brings me a sense of loss, but it just had to be.  I will officially close out the bank account and all will be in the capable hands of Deb Moe.   It has grown substantially this year, and I know first hand the hours of work involved to keep it running and up to date.  My own commitment was easily 10-20 hours a week, which I found doable working a 32 hour job, but with my current job?  NO. WAY. IN. HELL.  It takes some woman power to get the job done, that's for sure. Wore my official Green Bean Endurance jacket today to longe the horse, covered it in white hairs, and turned it into my "work coat."  I'm getting there ♥  it's hard, but trying to give it the perspective and place it should have rather than to wrap my happiness around "that one thing."

So on I move.   Several other projects on the horizon.  We are still waiting on the approval to get our permit for the CMO.  We have all our ducks in a row, and I'd really love to have that permit nailed down so I can get awards purchased, t-shirts ordered, etc. We are gonna have us a TANGO!  So many have said they'd come, and many I count as good friends...Marti, Jeanie, Lida and her gal pals, many of the CMO folks from other rides.  Praying for a permit and good weather (and maybe a little liquid sedation) *LOL*  It will be a good and happy time.  I'm actually excited about setting a ride up, which is an entirely new skill set for me.  I've also never done "timing" so that will be interesting.  CMO's have staggered starts not unlike CTR, but a more laid back structure.  Riders go out in about 5-15 minute intervals so every body isn't congregating on the same station at the same time.  Another interesting factoid about CMO is that as long as you stay "on trail" you can decide how you will go after the station markers.   For instance there are 10 stations out there and and let's suppose they are on 4 different trails.  One person might head out on trail A  and someone else may decide they can time it faster using another route.  So it involves trail savvy, map reading, compass reading, and as much speed as you can apply to it, without blowing by an important landmark (which would cause you to eat time back tracking). No ribbons to point the way on this one.

While I'm at it...want to thank Two Horse Tack for the donated item to the IN/IL CMO banquet held this weekend.  It was raffled off and will benefit the group at large.  Which sure helps!

The truck search continues.  I've been working extra hours in preparation in case I find the right vehicle.  I'm torn between buying a new F150 and switching to a 2 horse bumper pull to lighten the load, or staying with the steel grey monolith and purchasing a heavy duty truck, but if I do, I won't be able to choke down anything low mileage.  So would need to go diesel.    Everyone is telling me that diesel is awful to repair cost-wise.   But I am just done with this being land-locked with the horses.  So over it!   Our current truck has about 90,000 miles on it and all we get done is "fixing it." I truly believe that truck was rolled over and going for a second spin on the odometer when we bought it. This past two weeks we've had two repairs, and we still have not got the vibration out of the front end.  We had a front end alignment, balancing, and new shocks.  It is a GMC Sierra and the body on those trucks are like rusty tin cans.  I can push on the bed over the fender wells and big chunks of truck fall out.  Every truck that model I've seen has severe rust problems.  Apparently they cut corners on under coating and paint.    We've put two water pumps on, two fuel pumps, belts, worked on the radiator, brakes, rotors, some work I am not even sure of regarding the suspension of the truck and I kid you not there is a part hanging down under the rear that I'm unable to identify.  Time for a truck ☺

And somewhere...a part of me, really wants this in the worst nonsensical could even make me change tack colors.
Related image

March 11, 2017


Flowers in Pot, Acrylic, 2017

Marti's Yellow Suzies, Acrylic 2017

This one has been adopted!

Night Sky, Acrylic 11X14, 2017

Pink Dahlias in a pot, Acrylic, 2017

March 4, 2017

Marti & Dave held a really nice clinic!

My morning started late.  I'm up and about every morning by 5 AM , sometimes as early as 4 AM.  I chose this particular morning to sleep like the dead and require waking up at 7:00.   Not enough coffee, and very little time to throw my stuff together, hustle to the car and go.   It was darned cold, so I stopped and bought me a clearance hat, scarf, and gloves on the way up.  Things were going well running on time and I left Decatur County and entered Rush County and holy crap-Ola! SNOW, ICE, slipping and sliding.   Every mile the clock ticked on me, and then I got behind a crawling snow truck...and "our clinic" which was to start at 10:00 had me still behind the snow truck.  So I arrived about ten minutes late, and I'm never late to anything.  It seems the incoming crew had the same experience and they had beaten me there by just a few minutes which made me feel so much better.

The clinic was hosted by Dave and Marti.  They are the most experienced CMO riders I know, or probably anyone else in this part of the state knows.  They live in this great historic farm house on a huge acreage with a classified forest on site.  When I say huge, I'm not exaggerating.  I may be off a bit on this but my recall says around 500 acres?  It runs from one county road all the way to another.  It is a working farm with cattle, crops, maple syrup producing trees, horses, and a fine old dog named Tick.  Dave, Marti, Sara, and Larry are among my favorite people in this world.  They give so freely of their time and energy to promote this fun and not nearly well-enough known sport called CMO.  Welcoming and wonderful people.
Dave, Marti, and Tick photo credit: Lida Pinkham

So gather we did and we had a pretty good little group ready to find some plates (stations).  The warm up was at the house.  Dave gave a primer on the use of the compass, the map, the clues, to and from, and we all booted up, shoved on hats and gloves (that snow and ice thing) and headed outdoors.

 We going to woods? Are we? Are we?

The newbies all had their maps in hand, compass ready, and Tick, he was ready too.

Woops! No red in the shed....

Stations were set up around the yard to break folks in on the use of their compass and also to illustrate how ridiculously challenging it can be to find something that is staring right out at you.

Plate? What plate?  And yes that tree "is" that big.

Well look there, another one!  Easy  right?

Our ride awaits! Of which was pulled by the ranger and was a quite the fun adventure!

Dave did the driving, Marti rode shotgun, and the rest of us piled into the "chariot of fire".  Ever gone fast in a wagon in the snow? Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

So maps in hand (this looks like spaghetti to me) we went mud slinging and sliding through the snow to find some real life CMO stations in the woods.

Look there's one!!!
We found a couple stations out in the woods, and then we all warmed up by the wood stove, and filled up on bowls of chili, cornbread, slaw, cookies and other yummy things.  Once we determined we'd thawed to room temperature we did what any CMO'er worth his salt would do ---we suited up, and went back out to find some more ☺  A big thank you to Dave & Marti Caldwell for opening up their home and hearts to newbies in the sport ♥   It was a very fun day. 

Stay tuned for the upcoming Two Horse Tango and also a CMO upcoming at Midwest Trail rides here in southern / southeastern Indiana.  Come on out, and ride!

Sponsored by: Two Horse Tack

March 3, 2017

CMO Clinic tomorrow

So excited!  We are going to have a nice little group of ladies attending our CMO clinic tomorrow.   This is in preparation of the Two Horse Tango ride still in the "waiting for permit" application stage.  We will be learning to use the compass and then jamming into the Ranger for a brisk ride into the classified forest on Marti's property to learn how to recognize landmarks, and locate the stations (find the danged paper plate/code).  We are having Chili and fixin's, and tonight I'm baking my Mom's recipe for the best oatmeal cookies in the world ☺  Hope to get some photos to share.
The upcoming ride is being graciously sponsored by Two Horse Tack.


February 26, 2017

I'm a charge in an get 'er done kind of gal

And the logistics for the CMO are moving just glacially slow, like maple syrple dripping on a 22 degree Indiana morning slow.  I want results!  We are waiting for the insurance company to provide the insurance document needed for the event.  Then I'm going in guns a blazing at prizes.  June sounds like a long way off, but when you look at it in weekend days (which is all I have) it's close, very close.

In other news concerning the Two Horse Tango, Marti Caldwell is providing a clinic Saturday March 4th to teach our newbies the use of the compass in a low stress environment.   We will have chili and the fixin's, and beer & wine for the breaks, a ride around the farm and woods on the Ranger, it will be fun. 

Then, the royal spotted one has not had a saddle on since early last summer.  She is my locomotion, and breaks that long from a historical perspective have not always boded well for me.  The first 30 days of spring riding on Journey is a force to be reckoned with as she gets a barn sour recurrence that is no less than EPIC.  But I'm going to need her for setting the stations for the ride so it really must be endured.

Truck shopping.  I thought horse shopping was bad.   I'm really wanting a diesel, 4 wheel drive, less than 120,000 miles, a good service history, and a non-lemon year on what ever I decide to purchase.  Also considering selling my goose neck and purchasing a bumper pull, which means I could likely pull with less truck.   It would be much easier to get within my price point that way. 

February 18, 2017

Blog worthy: Good reading

The Reeling: An unexpected mare venture

This gal takes lessons, hits the shows, and even has some endurance riding noted.  Currently she is awaiting the birth of a new foal.  Her blog is up to date, and active.  A fun read.  The author is Andrea, and she's from the great state of Texas.

Trail Horse Adventures written by Judi Daly is all about the Morgan experience.  Her horses range from full Morgan to part-Morgan.  Judi has even written a book.

More to come.

Working with the DNR

First meeting today on working through what is needed to obtain a permit for the CMO we hope to host.  So far things are on track.   Marti has to send our proof of insurance, they look that over, if it is sufficient, we will be a go.  The meeting was fruitful in other ways concerning formation of a non-profit, there was some very helpful information given in regard to that  The park is going to try to accommodate our group even if it "swells" just a bit outside the space confines.   We are going to ask people coming in for the day to park in day parking and ride over for the meeting in the morning (only about a mile), let the horse chomp some grass and chill for a bit while they attend the meeting, and get their start times.    So the process is very painfully slow, but we are on track.  Woo hoo!

On Pins & Needles

Find out today if we get to manage a CMO at my favorite location!

February 17, 2017

Still painting

Worked on this night scene of wintry birch trees this evening. Not quite through with it yet.

Blogs of Note: Horse Woman I am

I've been in a rut for awhile.  Chasing the same old butterfly, armed with my tattered net.

"How's that working for you, she said."

"Not so good, said I, damned straight it ain't."

Endurance Granny is turning a page.   Well---actually I'm sliding the entire book up on the shelf.  You see, I don't really want a new chapter.  I want a brand new book.  Some other genre, some reason to be glad to see my horse, no my horses.  I long to do some new thing.  Deeply I just yearn to participate in something less of the same and the same and the same.  Something fun.   Something that is mine.  My heart has lost the desire to push my horse's limits.  Some horses do love the endurance sport.  I believe last year that Journey was speaking to me.  Cramping, lameness, appetite off.  All connected with our sport.  I want her to be eager and ready for what we do.  I want Phebes to be ridden again.  I feel time is short and I want happy horse time.  That's it ♥

Resigning from the Green Bean thing was  emotionally wrenching for me.  In all honesty I had a period of mourning.  It was the closest I came to belonging in my life.  But some had big dreams and hopes for it,  and I felt I needed to get out of the way.   I sank into a funk of epic proportion as that thing had become my identity, and really my passion.  But it is done accept for a few things undone that need cleaning up.   I love that group.  I truly do. 

So life moves on.  What will I not be doing this year?  ENDURANCE  

Looking for that something else will occupy me this spring, summer, and fall.   So I've begun to look at other's equestrian blogs and read about their personal journeys with their horses as a vehicle of discovery.   Maybe in my travels through the blogs I will find a niche that will take me, The Spotted Wonder and Phebes to new places, and new friends.

My first blog of note:  The Mindful Horse Woman

Logan Darrow of Washington (State)
"It's never the fault of the horse, it's always the fault of the rider."   

Check it out.  More blogs to come...

February 11, 2017

Meeting with the DNR next week about CMO

Say your prayers out there that I can get that permit!  CMO people are such a good bunch.  Can think of no reason to deny at all, just need to make everyone aware of the park rules as in: STAY ON TRAIL.  Which creates it's own little challenges of hiding the plates in "plain site."  I'm quite aware Marti is very adept at this (in fact maddeningly so).  But I have some learnin' to do.  So net up is the meeting and I'm inching along to success.

Next weekend I hope to knock the mud of the Spotted Wonder and do a creepy crawler of a ride in the mud.

February 9, 2017

North Park Soap Co.

I was surprised when I came home yesterday with a box A BOX full of fabulous North Park Soap!  One of my favorite things is handcrafted bars of soap.  Steven (the soap Meister) creates cold process soaps, and made my own eucalyptus / tea tree blend under the Jacke label.  Private label soap ☺  The bars are chunky, hard bars that last.  Creamy smooth, vegan, and smell of wonderful herbal and earthy scents.   If you get the chance check out the North Park Soap Co. on facebook.

February 4, 2017

Making a little headway on the CMO

Great minds think alike I guess.  Marti (CMO brainiac) called the park office and my husband stopped by as I was in the midst of about a 60 hour work week and could not get ten minutes to call the office when there were actually PEOPLE there to answer the phone.  But we got a foot in the door, and next step is to get the paperwork in. 

I've given the ride a name: Two Horse Tango  (Two Horse Tack is sponsoring some of our prizes) and I am hoping to finally meet Natasha who owns Two Horse Tack in real life ☺  She likes CMO!  Invited a bunch of my very favorite horse riding friends and even a lady from work plans to come out for the ride.  What is so encouraging about CMO besides the challenge, is they have really kept entry fees low (usually under $20) and as horse sports go that is unheard of.  You don't need any special breed of horse, or special tack (use what works).  You can ride your own rate of speed, just drag your butt in by the cut off (which is generous), can sleep in come morning.  Rides usually start off around 10 AM in the morning so you have all day to enjoy the trails and find those pesky plates!

Hoping with all my heart that this is a success and we can build a CMO coalition down here in Southeastern Indiana, form up some teams, and have a full schedule someday.  We have some very nice parks in firing distance.  Liberty near Brookville, IN, Versailles State Park, and Brown County State Park.    If enough people play the game, and take turns putting on the rides, we can have a fun activity to participate in with our horses and pit our skills against others across the country ☺I'm hoping and dreaming.   Hey if I can build (with help) something as cool as Green Bean Endurance, why not this?

January 27, 2017

6 Horses Dead in Region 7 rides this month

Article Here

It just makes me viscerally ill to here the continued abuse, and death of horses in endurance in good old region 7 of the Middle East.

I'm going to just give the short course here:  It reflects on endurance riding in general across the world what is happening there.  Anyone who would sell a horse to that group of people is equally as culpable in that horse's death.           

FEI also has that blood all over their hands.  It is so sad, so very sad.

Sadder is that our organization can't take a hard line in that regard.  It is not the same sport.  Let me repeat IT IS NOT THE SAME SPORT.

So why are we enmeshed with the International scene where it is about big money, prestige, WINNING at all costs.    It should never be about winning.  It should be about a glorious partnership with your horse, longevity, scenic trails, friends, and campfires.  But yet even at the amateur level, we honor those who win.  We honor those with top tens.  The point system is driven by those things.  This isn't a condemnation of our sport, but it is rather...thought provoking.  At the end of the day look deep into those big old brown (and once in awhile blue) peepers, and feel what your horse is feeling, and know that your motivations are right.

January 26, 2017

Ride Manager

It looks like I'm going to co-manage a CMO ride!  That will be really a huge learning experience for me and may help me to build the CMO horse network in this part of the state.  Honestly I'm kind of relieved that I have this other horse passion to fall back upon.  Maybe I'm mellowing out (yeah, right) but I want to more enjoy my horse.  I know the endurance sport was stressing her, and that stresses me.   What ever the Spotted Wonder does, I want her happy at the end of the day.  Far as I'm concerned she has proven all that needs proven for me.

 Two Horse Tack is going to work with me on this.  This company has helped me in so many of my goals.  They tacked Journey up early on in bright orange, and later green.  They supported Green Bean in a big way.  And the biggest thing is they trusted me.   Speaking of, they have their winter give-a-way drawing, be sure to sign up.  It is for a bitless bridle in the lighter shade of blue (I call it electric blue ).   The link in this paragraph or the photo on the sidebar will get you there to sign up.

The plan is to have the ride in the late Fall.  I have to get in touch with the park manager and see how / if I can work it all out.   My NACMO membership is in the mail, and this project will free me up to just "enjoy" the horses for a change.  Neither have been ridden for a long time.  Journey has been idle for months and Phebes again idle for a year or more.  Both of the lameness issues appear to have cleared up.  Work will prove or disprove that.  But let me tell you the idea of spring grass  gives me anxiety.  Have the horses on all forage presently with no concentrated feeds, and expect they can maintain on that as pleasure horses.  If the grass doesn't set things off.

That is the news on this front.  If you are local (OHIO, KY, INDIANA) come join me this FALL for the first annual Two Horse Shimmy at Versailles, IN.  I give the details out here as I work it out!

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 with "that kind of horse" while the sea of Arabians blast on by.   And therein 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 doing 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. They 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!