Let’s just say that in spite of the zebra tights my life isn’t exactly a walk on the wild side. Each of us in life has our ups and our downs and we awaken each dawn with the profound hope of more of the former, and less of the latter. In many respects my interjection into the distance disciplines has been more of a spiritual ride than a distance ride. I’ve learned so much from the sport that has so little to do with distance riding, and more about myself and others. I’ve thought a lot about prospective goals for 2013 only to come around full circle again to “what happens happens.” I sacrifice most of my free time and money to my horse discipline, my husband sacrifices his time on hoof care, and assists me in other ways so that I may have joy with my horse. In this way he shows that he loves me, as he knows my journey brings me happiness. But a funny thing happened on the way to the endurance ride…I’ve discovered that the trip has been far more satisfying than the destination. The hours in the round pen, learning to communicate with horse, my hands entangled in a horse’s mane, releasing my breath for that first canter, hours and hours on the trail building the capacity for distance, the warmth of a horse on a cold winter’s day. Riding in this sport, at least to the best of my personal aptitude has taught me above all patience, persistence, acceptance, and most often humility. For when we stumble, we are offered the great lesson of experience, of standing back up, climbing back on, and having another go at it, kind of like life in a nut shell. To set a goal higher than the gift that I have already found, or to symbolically place a period at the end of the sentence all seems so unnecessary and final. For those with a competitive spirit, my ride would be lacking… yet, for me…it is everything. It is where I’ve found my passion, and is as elemental as the ground beneath my feet for you see, I finally have found myself.
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