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

September 23, 2012

CMO From...(check, yeppers, got it) to....(sort of fuzzy)

I was invited to Marti C's home this morning about two hours north of here for a free "welcome" to the clan orienteering clinic, complete with horses, trails, and targets.  Marti is as they say in this neck of the midwest "good people."  She taught me, she fed me, shared her horses, and her at home course on the biggest farm I've ever personally toured.  She and her husband's home is a pre-civil war two story brick home.  Two rooms of this house would have held my entire living arrangement!  It is everything a house should be, solid three layer-German built brick, a fire burning, couple of cute dogs, and happy people living inside.  She also took me on the farm RANGER and I became intimate with wooden gates, tubular gates, hot electric fence gates, and various other gate configurations.  We toured the cattle ranging on the acreage, the cows  are calving so little calves all over the place.  I was served up a nice lunch, scoped out where they will be camping at the CMO ride next weekend, and promised to show up should the sky not fall on me.   I was able to find all of the from targets, but the to, was like someone put a stir stick in my brain and was whipping up breakfast.  But after getting home I think (check, yeppers, well...sort of fuzzy, but) I got it.  I can't imagine getting up a head of steam doing this on anything but a known trail system, otherwise this chick is going to be doing a different form of orienteering *LOL*.  I had a very nice day, and can't say how much I appreciated the instant friendship. 

Next on Journey's agenda will be standing still for me to read the compass, any of you all want to talk to the spotted wonder on this score?  I reckon I'd better be rattling a paper map around on her back too. 

CMO---Here we go!



  1. This sounds like so much fun. We can hardly wait to 'follow' you around on this next adventure. Besides, its something we could more likely do, if I could find somewhere around here.
    Bionic Cowgirl

    1. So glad you met Marti! She is a treasure. So are you going to Salamonie? I haven't decided yet, it's quite a drive for me. And you are correct -- I love doing CMOs on trails I know well. On trails that I don't know I can get lost real fast; I always try to ride with someone who knows the trail. And don't worry -- spinning horses are a common thing at CMO. It is hard to lock in a compass coordinate while you're in the spin cycle.. Expect to hear alot of WHOA and swearing. It's all a part of the game.

  2. I *LOL*d when you said you didn't get the "To" directions at first - oh yes, I hate them. Especially when you hardly ever see them - you almost don't even notice and you automatically do a From and then nothing works until someone else says, "TO!!" and you think ohgoodgrief why do they do this to us!? You're right - doing CMO on familiar trails gives a huge advantage but you're in the situation where most of the areas will be familiar to the experienced riders, and perhaps none will be familiar to you. It almost seems unfair, the advantage people have for riding known trails, but nothing you can do about it. So you have to wait until next year to start? That's gotta be frustrating!

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  4. For standing still: First, make sure your jaw is loose and your back molars are not touching. Sounds stupid, but if your jaw is clenched, your horse can feel that tension. Tension in rider = wiggly horse.

    Second, when you ask her to stand still, take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. But imagine that you are breathing out through your feet. Seriously! That relaxes your whole body. Remember: tension in rider = wiggly horse.

    Third, I NEVER use the cue "Stand" for my horse to stand still. Other people do it and swear by it. I don't. I use "whoa" because "whoa" means to stop moving your feet until I tell you otherwise. Whoa does not mean slow down. Whoa does not mean think about stopping. It means he needs to stop moving his feet, whether he is walking, trotting, cantering, or galloping. Period.

    If, say, I properly cue my horse to stop from, say, a walk and he kind of pauses but dances sideways or just stops for a brief second, then I take his nose away. That means that I simply pull his head around to my stirrup and normally just hold it there for a few seconds. Then I cue him for a whoa again. 99% of the time he will stand like a statue after he loses his nose. It is not a punishment, it is more like hitting the reset button. After I give his nose back and call out "whoa" he will normally let out a big sigh as he stands there quietly, almost like he is relieved.

    Good luck!