Contact information:

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

July 26, 2009

No miles-no energy-nada

We had the memorial service for my stepdad (my dad for the last twenty years or so) today. No time to ride, no energy to ride. If I can't get myself focused and on track this ride season will be a total wash. Today I feel as if someone unscrewed my plug and all of me has ran out...and seeped deep into the ground. You all have been there at some time or other. This person who was not my biological Dad, was my Dad for all intents and purposes. Loved my Mom with all his heart, loved my kids, and their kids. Suddenly I feel that half the anchor of my life has let go, and I'm adrift. He was the person who cared about all of our hopes, dreams, and desires. I'm really going to have to suck it up if I'm going to make my October deadline with my horse. Will really have to reach to even want to. ~E.G.


  1. Hey there E.G. you really have been through quite a lot this year. I just wanted to tell you that it never, ever hurts to slow down. Your pony is so young, and taking an extra year to just grow up before tackling bigger goals will never hurt you or your girl. When I first got my current endurance horse three years ago (and he was 8 at that time) I took the year to trail ride. No conditioning, no endurance rides except to go and hang out/camp for the weekend and no pressure. I feel like you are being super hard on yourself and I hate that because you seem like such a sweet person! Sometimes it's best to just slow down and smell the roses ;-) I think your girl will be an amazing horse, but maybe feels pushed to do things she doesn't quite understand. Let her learn to love the trail without pressure, explore and keep her happy. Good luck!!!!!! A

  2. I do think I've had way too high of an expectation for Phebes. Her sixth trail ride on forward was with seasoned endurance riders. Her boundaries pushed to fast, especially for her emotional well-being. She is a very sensitive and flighty horse. She has given me over 700 trail/training miles since late fall 2008, which included being put under saddle. Much of this has me rethinking even my smaller goals in favor of training a really fine trail horse vs. an endurance horse. I feel that the horses with longevity learn a partnership first. It would mean an end to many of the frustrations I face with Phebes, and bolster her confidence. Phebes just hasn't read the instruction manual that says a five year old can do LD. I'm not sure what the remaining year holds for us. Maybe a fall ride, maybe not again until spring. I'm finding that I need a mental break, to lie on a beach in the sun, or sit on the porch with my feet propped with a glass of "sweet tea", and Maggie Mae & Spoody (dogs that don't know they are dogs) to keep me company.

  3. Awww. Love dogs on the porch ;-) Phebes just sounds a lot like my horse. I didn't have him when he was 5 but everyone says he probably would have killed me had I tried to start him then! I had great expectations for him right off the bat- at age 8 it was more than reasonable, but quickly found out that emotionally, he couldn't do it. Like I said, we spent one complete year camping at endurance rides and doing trail rides. He learned to trust me and love going down the trail, with no expectations. It wasn't easy for me- I had done 500 miles the summer before and it was hard taking a season off. But like I said, both he and I are much better off for it! Plus camping at ridecamp is actually kind of fun, and was more beneficial than I ever knew. I plan to do the same thing with the 3yr. old I just purchased. BTW- what is Phebes? Half-arab half? A

  4. Phebes is 7/8 arabian, though registered as half because the stallion was registered as a Pinto. The other breeding is saddlebred, so sort of NSH. She can be pretty hot, and is extremely emotional, though she is gradually getting better. Just slow.....progress. I have so much of myself invested in this little horse, and I do love her. I would probably change disciplines rather than let her change hands. I think we will make it if I can just hang in there LONG enough *LOL*.

  5. Too funny- my guy is NSH too. After knowing several, it is clear *most* have similar issues, er, personality traits. Hang in there!

  6. I'd be very interested to hear your spin on the characteristics of horses with the Arab/Saddlebred cross. Willing to share? ~E.G.

  7. Do you really want to know ;-) I think the cross is amazing, however, both Saddlebreds and Arabs have some pretty well-known traits. Saddlebreds are beautiful and stoic animals, but aren't known for being exceptionally intelligent. They are fairly reactive but don't ten to remember things like the Arabs. Arabs are extremely smart, don't forget things and are sensitive. I think the cross tends to be a reactive but intelligent horse that needs to be handled a certain way. I used to show Arabians so I make the trip to the Scottsdale Arabians Show every February. The half-arab classes are my favorite. Most of the half-arabs are National Show Horses (half-arab/half-saddlebred). I watch with great humor because in every class, there is at least one "moment," in which I recognize explicitly, meaning I have been on my guy during an identical antic. The jr. horse classes are the best because they usually aren't as broke and you can really watch some action! It took a long time to really form a partnership with my pony. We still work on it at times and some times I don't even like him! That said, once he was ready mentally, he began throwing down the miles on the trail. It's his second year and he now has over 600 miles. He is strong and forward and loves his job. The first year was difficult because he was so spooky and didn't have much of a work ethic. I kept things slow, NEVER pushed him, NEVER let him hurt or become tired. In turn, he became more willing and more forward and is now a bad-ass endurance horse! Are you on Facebook?

  8. Yes I'm on facebook. You will find me as Jacke Reynolds better known here as ~E.G.

    Phebes and I have our days. One day I'm ready to swap for a three legged mule. The next day I'm madly in love with her because she did things just right, then before I know it I'm hitting the trail in the wrong kind of way. I will say this horse has been an adventure. But the holes in her training belong to me. I've taught her what she does know, and sometimes ....I just don't quite know how to speak her language to get across what she needs. Not so sure the two of us will make it as endurance wanna-be's, but if we tried our best and then we fail, well...we did our best! That will have to be good enough. I'm feeling that this horse needs things slowed down. I may not get what I want year one, year two, or maybe even year three. When she is ready I think I'll know. My criteria is changing.

    I want a balanced seat, and a balanced two point.

    Phebes needs to be able to relax into her job. She makes it way more work for herself than it needs to be, and I feel she lacks confidence.

    We need more teamwork. Phebes hasn't handed over enough of the leadership role to me that she feels I can make the decisions when the flight instinct begins kicking in.

    My girl is goofy...if ever there was a "stereotypical blonde horse" Phebes is.

    I've pushed so hard towards the goal that I've lost the journey, and I WANT IT BACK. ~E.G.