A serious re-alignment of my goals (as they are) for 2012. Maumee being a bust (from the record point of view), we are chocking it up to "good training." There are some things that happened that have kind of made me reflect on my place in the MW (midwest), how approachable the sport is to a newcomer, and what it all means to me. I'm not a person that needs a whole lot of propping up. I get pretty encouraged by a smile and a hello, it makes me feel as though I "belong." One of the women giving out the t-shirts at the ride came up to me when as I was withdrawing from the ride for the second day and said "you know...we really aren't bad people." I smiled, and I spontaneously hugged her, but I wondered later why she said that? I think people thought I withdrew because I was angry. I was never "angry." Just disappointed. I felt under the difficult circumstances of this particular ride it was not in Journey's best interests to do a second day. I made a pledge to myself when I purchased Journey to take the lessons from Phebes and my previous rides and ALWAYS try to do the best by this horse. Sometimes people read my quietness as something that it isn't.
I'm thankful to Maureen Fehr's, DVM, she has always been so gracious, and patient when I ask her a question. She also encouraged me that I'm doing a good job with Journey (who will never "race"), but it seemed to resonate with her HOW IMPORTANT doing well by Journey is to me. People who have done the sport for twenty years sometimes loose touch with the early trials of "getting it". I also want to fit in and feel like I have a "place" within the sport. I'm ready to try and find that place...somewhere.
But every ride is an educational experience. You sometimes over hear things said that bother you a little. You find people who are helpful, and you find the person who reaches out. So I take a deep breath and realize that I'm riding only for myself, and nobody else. There is no regional club where I live, and we (Journey and I) are just a small orbiting satellite on the perimeter of a bigger established sport out in the Midwest. My goals in the future will certainly have to be limited to the personal scale. I'll have to satisfy myself with how did Journey do today? My focus will have to align there, rather than reaching for a feeling of inclusion, or acceptance. I'm just a big square peg trying to force myself into a small hexagonal hole. This may all sound "gloomy" but really it isn't. At least I "know" my place, and it gives me a boundary in which to function and follow my dream to someday be an endurance rider, to someday be asked to sit around the fire with someone else, and talk about this thing we all love to do so much. Too reach for that illusive "something" that is just out of my grasp. ~E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association