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

September 30, 2012


Let me say..."that was the most fun I've ever had on horseback."    I drove up to  Salamonie  which is in Andrews Indiana on Friday.  Left home at about noon, and it took three hours to haul up there.  I did okay once I unplugged the TomTom.  If that thing told me to make a right one more insisted I go to Indianapolis, which would have made a four hour drive and a lot more interstate driving.  TomTom be damned...I made it without getting lost.

 LSEGH sat this one out, so sorry no photos.

I was paired up with a rider who had three CMO's under her belt, a day rider who was doing her second (the first she did back in the 80's...) and she's also an endurance rider that I've talked to at various rides, and a  another rider who was very nice but possessing  dubious directional and map reading ability.  Four more or less newbies with various stages of aptitude rating from 0-10.

So morning of...we were instructed to show up for the ride meeting at 10:30 AM (yes, you get to sleep until you are ready to wake up).  So about then you mosey up, fill out your paperwork.  When you are ready to leave you come back to the ride managers, and get your map with the target areas which are circled and numbered.  They wave goodbye, record your time, and you are off!  Well folks, you are aware that I am somewhat directionally challenged even when there are ribbons marking the trail.  If I'd have gone the course alone it would have been a very bad experience.  I CAN'T READ A MAP FOR CRAP.  Will have to develop some skills in that area.  But what I can do is find a target if I have the coordinates.  I turned into a target finding fool on Saturday snabbing at least 6 of the 10 codes myself.  Today, was difficult.  We spent an hour in a meadow and kept coming back to the same spot, and not finding anything.  Our navigator stood and pointed a line for me and scrabbled off Journey and braved timber rattlers (okay, there weren't really any snakes) trying to find the target.  We were beside ourselves knowing we had it, but where was it.  Turned out in was in the foliage right above our map readers head, pinned into the leaves flat.  It had been over her head for fifteen or twenty minutes while the rest of us searched.  I was feeling bad that I'd only found one today, but on the last one again we were thwarted, and I decided again to get on foot and follow the line a little farther in the wood line, and BINGO!  It got us the tenth set of code so we found all targets both days.

I joined CMO and THE SPOTTED WONDER now has 20 CMO points!  Even more exciting I found out that this little mare has been doing some sandbagging as she was hauling some serious butt on Saturday for twenty miles.  My endurance friend was leading the trail from point to point with her seasoned horse, and Journey was hanging right in there, really digging in.  This sport is a lot of fun, and if you are bringing along a distance horse it would be excellent for teaching all those important trail skills you need before you do endurance.  You camp, you walk, you trot, canter, and gallop.  You stop, your horse has plenty of time to tank up, or graze on grass, because though you are on the clock, there is NO TIME LIMIT.  If you wanted to you could go out and find five targets, call it a day and go home.  Points are based first on your finding the targets, and then speed is secondary.  The winning team Saturday did the course in 2:30 which would be really smoking along to cover 20 miles, and find the targets too.   Three teams that are in contention for a national championship were riding this ride, so it was very competitive.  We came in eighth on Saturday, and last today.    Journey won a new fly bonnet and a lead rope to match her blue stuff.

But tragedy did strike.  I lost my beloved BLUE sponge somewhere....three hours north.  It fell off my leash.  My left hand got between Journey and the trailer door and is looking kind of ugly, but is still functional.  ☺

It was a blast and I hope to do some more after I learn some better map reading skills.   ~E.G. ( I may have to change that to CMO/ ~E.G.

p.s.  The people were spectacularly friendly.


  1. SO happy to read you had a great experience! Quite an accomplishment to find all 10 both days! Nothing like those frustrating 45 minute searches, is there? Yep, a bunch of really fun people. Hope to see you at some rides next year.

    I was thinking of clicker-training my horse over the winter to touch white paper plates. Then maybe HE would find those suckers for me...


  2. Jackie,
    What a fun experience! I'm so glad for you and Journey - sounds like she was wonderful at it!! It sounds interesting and challenging - and I'm so glad you met some nice people (you deserve to meet lots! of nice people, for a change). I'm proud of you, tickled to death for Journey, and am kind of inspired by your adventuresomeness to try something new. Good for you!!!!

  3. Karen, It was FUN. I have a level of ineptitude with maps though....I am going to try to find a map reading course over the winter somewhere, or hire me a boyscout for a personal seminar. What I loved most was the stop and go pace. About the time you start to get a little tired you are at the target location, and you really get pumped up again. The poor woman Linda who was riding with us (GOD BLESS HER SOUL) I know would have liked to tear her hair out. We got lost from each other twice (once we thought we were doing a split that circled and would meet up) (the other half of our people rode off having found the target and we were looking for it and didn't hear the quiet signal that they had it and to move on) and had to regroup to find the next target. That was a little frustating and hairy as we knew we had to stay together for the target finding. We figured out what the nearest next target would be and rode like crazy there, and a few minutes later they showed up and we found that one together. The experience as a whole was just fun as heck. The closet ride to me will be a two hour drive, most are three and four hours away so I'll likely only get to do a few. I'd like to put on a ride though if I can stir interest down here.