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

September 10, 2012

Endurance Granny / No more.

I love this sport.  I like the people that I've come into contact with through this blog (with only a very few exceptions).  Most I've found so helpful and encouraging.  But I've come to a decision that I'm laying this thing down.  Probably, maybe...for good.  The rah!rah!rah! cheerleader and follower of endurance (which I've never done, but so admire) and LD (which I have done) has decided that I'm done.  Stick me with a fork.  To continue on and do this sport like "I" want would require a financial step that I'm unable to take.  I also received my last and final nasty-gram from a long term person in the sport for the use of the word "only".  When things are no longer fun, one needs to regroup and find something that is.  There are good people out there riding the distance sports.  The one's I've personally connected with live half a country away.  What I personally needed from this sport was camaraderie.  I didn't need to win.  I didn't even need to "go fast."  I only needed a sense of belonging.  Just that, and not much else.  Journey is a sweet and give it a go little horse.  However, I'm not seeing that spark of drive needed to really hang in there, and do multi-days.  It is possible that would become better with time, or a riding partner to inspire her.  We are going to do and my spotted wonder, and Phebes too!  My Phebes has been set aside for over a year,  and much of my heart still hangs with her, maybe it never left.  So I have some thinking to do...will we wrap this thing up in Ohio next weekend, or will we just wait, and finish where we started at Henryville, or will I even do those?  I'm paralyzed by indecision on those simple things.

I've learned a lot.  Ridden thousands (no exaggeration) of miles on trail, put two horse's under saddle, earned what will be my one and only chevron, turned Journey from a piece of work to A PIECE OF WORK.  I'm proud of where I've brought the Spotted Wonder, the horse that wouldn't leave the barn, you should see her little hooves fly! Away from the barn!!!  It makes my heart happy.  There must be a sport out there for us.  Something that makes sense to Journey & Phebe's temperaments, that I can enjoy.  In the meantime I'll be putting Phebe's back under saddle.  Her year off will call for a refresher, so we will just start from the ground up.  Since I won't have to set aside dollars for gas, hauling, membership, entry fees next year, I may take Journey to a trainer I like for a month or two to refine some things.  I'm not good at refinement.  I'll keep you posted on where we go from here.   If you have a heart for the distance sports, I do encourage you to try with all you have!  The best rides I ever had were with my friends, riding my old arabian mare Puddin'.  Great friends, great horse.  I miss them  a lot.

If you are new to the sport and you happen onto this blog, please use the links provided for great information on starting distance riding, and the search box on this blog will bring up useful information.  Just always remember the source is your safest bet for the scoop on distance riding.  My top recommendation for someone who is at the top of the sport is Karen Chaton.  It gets no better than this gal.  Her blog link can be found in my sidebar. 

Distance riding friends from best wishes to you all.  Dixie & Funder will always have a warm place in my heart.  I'm so happy that they both have found their place in this thing I love.   I understood those early struggles on a horse having a hard time wrapping its head around the sport.  But they did it.

Maybe someday, someone will let me sling my saddle over a finished horse's back, and catch ride a slow 50.  You all have no idea what that would mean to me  ♥  If I were really "dreaming" it would be aboard MONK.

Other stuff:

The BBBDR is very close to wrapping.  Only two folks still in contention in Cavalry.   Pioneer a done deal.  I think I've settled on the award and we will finish that up the first week of December.  I'm writing sponsors the end of this month as a reminder of their promised award item.  Nutrena happily has already shipped their's.  We still have Moss Rock and Trailwise to contact,  the actual completion award itself will be from me.  You women are awesome! Having racked up some serious mileage to be proud of.



  1. Well, call me depressed.

    I'm a longtime reader --lurker -- on your blog. I'm a newbie, a re-rerider, lover of endurance but not sure if I'll ever have the right horse. But I read, and I try to learn. Your blog is one of my favorites, and I'm really, really going to miss it.

    I read Ridecamp too, but I have no intetion of ever trying to participate on there. The nasty-grams are legendary. I'm sorry that happened to you and sorry it was the final nail.

    I really wish you'd keep the blog going, even if you aren't officially trying to pursue endurance right now.

  2. The Journey isn't over--you just changed courses. I will be interested to see where it takes you.

    I give you much credit for giving it all you got and knowing when it was time to do something different. With that determination, you will be (and have been) a success in everything you do.

    Now the question is, "What kind of Granny will she be next?"

    Author of "Trail Training for the Horse and Rider" and "Trail Horse Adventures and Advice"

  3. One needs to have fun at what ever sport they choose. If you and your horse are not having fun, look at making a change so you do. That may be changing sports, or changing ones idea of what makes it fun. I wish you had more NATRC rides nearby to try a few. I always felt they would be a good fit for you and your spotted pony, as the speed/distance is not as long per day, you get to show the basic of the obstacle type training you have done in relationship to trail riding, and you also get score cards that show you where you excelled, and where you may be able to improve. Smaller rides, so the connection to the people is easier for some.

    What ever you do with your girls, make sure you are enjoying it!!!!

  4. Oh...the blog will still be around. With the "new" name, and a new direction when I find one. It was just as well the decision came when it did as I found a rash of heat bumps this evening. We had a forty mile week in prep for the "planned" LD's I'd planned this weekend. I didn't know she had them again until after I'd written the post. Went out to check her over good from her ride yesterday, and sore back. So we'd have been sunk anyway. This is the first time we've had this issue since starting with an all wool pad. I'm wondering now if this underlying issue may be the answer to our hanging pulse counts post ride. Could be.

    CTR, honestly I think I would love it. The one and only CTR I ever did, was the most fun I ever had. I loved the challenge of riding in that time window, stripping tack like crazy, and the wild card aspect of who places where, it was exciting! The only organization close that offers any of those is OAATS and only then with a lot of driving. It is something to think about.

    I let my membership to ACTHA lapse as I got more involved with Journey. If the economy doesn't totally tank (our feed jumped $3.00 more a bag this week, better check your's) this might be an option for me and the girls. With some retuning I feel Phebes would do well. Journey would take some work. She has forward going really well, but totally lacks any refinement, so that would be good for her as well to learn some new skills. Journey also needs a saddle made to fit her. Phebe's saddle is a fair fit, but not a "good" fit, and may resolve those pesky bumps.

    Hay prices hit $5.50-6.00 a bale here for a fifty pound square, so that puts our hay usage at ummmm.....$250 per month (all year this year) and our bagged feed at $16.80 another $200 a month. We live in a very depressed area as jobs go even when times are good. I was actually earning more 20 years ago than I am right now, and I work harder now! So I feel some hard choices needed to made. I am currently more concerned about keeping my horses fed through the coming year when feed prices are going to go higher than has ever been seen before.

    As for endurance? Well---unless someone offers me a "ride" I will never know. I loved LD, but I just never fit in. People for the most part doing the sport have been doing it a long time and have friendships established and for the most part don't want to use their ride dollar fostering a new person into the sport. I get that, really. There are some people who prefer being alone at a ride, and riding alone. I liked the riding alone part most of the time, but would have loved to pull up a chair and talk to people.

    Melissa, if you have the desire, I say go for it and ride it girl! It is working well for a whole lot of people. My choice to lay it down is really multi-faceted. If life were to change, and some of the barriers removed, I might reconsider. But I won't go back unless I can have the whole ball of wax. A welcoming ride community, finances to throw at it, a year to call it my own, and probably a horse that is bred to handle the demands of the sport. But you know what...I wouldn't ride much different than I do now. IT WOULD STILL TAKE ME ALL FREAKIN' DAY, because I like to see the trail before me more than the finish. So don't be bummed. If your heart is there, saddle up and ride. If you are ever in Indiana and need a camp buddy give me a holler, I'm good with a sponge and would make a good crew ☺ I haven't lost that part of my rah rah rah.

    Our horses are such a blessing. At the end of the day I want my herd to have full bellies, and a soft, happy eye. That is what matters most. I may hit a local ride when times are better just because I can. My focus is just going to move elsewhere. It was a really hard decision for me, as I've been trying so hard for a long time, but I'm okay with it. Just need to turn the page.

    Thanks ladies. I appreciate the moral support. ~EGNM

  5. You have been such an inspiration to us. I love the links you have and all of the hard work with the research you've done and your produce reviews. I have gotten so much good information from your blog. My husband and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting started in this sport. It defiantly gives us a goal to our riding. I know what you mean by being done however. I've had a love/hate relationship with western pleasure. The frustration of a bad judge, wrong lead, riders cutting you off.... That is why I like endurance, that hard work isn't negated by any of that. Hope you can find a disciplined that suits you and your horses. Good luck and God Bless. Oh, and I used you as an example for a friend that wanted to do a ride with us, she had only ridden her horse 5 times in the last 2 years. I told her, "look at all of the riding/training EG is doing." She said, "ok, maybe my horse isn't ready." Thank you

  6. I've learned a TON from your blog as I, too, "lurked". Never much for comments as I tend to be @ work when I read... Can't wait to see how things unfold for you and your girls. My journey is finally beginning after a childhood/teenage/college years of wishing for it. Thanks again for teaching me so much in the past year. =)

  7. Liz & 4R

    If the past few years have given me a gift, then you fine women are it. What I always wanted this blog to be was a starting place for folks looking for information, ready to throw a leg over that horse and ride. Thank you for letting me know that I did accomplish that. That feels better than TWO CHEVRONS ☺

    I'll be in touch friends when I figure it out....

  8. I have been an avid reader of your blog and I have found it to be such an inspiration to me. Thanks to all the information you have amassed and so generously shared with everyone, I have spent the summer conditioning my horse and we are going to try our first LD in 5 weeks. I too can't help but read the forums and frankly, reading some of those posts make me a bit nervous about going to a ride with my non-arab grade horse. Like showing up with a violin to play at a Rock jam. I am going to do it anyway.

    I wish you and your horses all the best. Thank you for keeping such a detailed and informative site for new people like me.

  9. What a decision! Life does throw us moments where we need to make such decisions - do what is best for you and your horses... and remember, a decision now can produce a wonderful outcome!

    And if the result isn't what you desired, make a new decision! :)