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

December 4, 2013

What Endurance Has Taught Me

I've had a few weeks now to think about my first 50 mile ride, and as I kick back in the squeeky office chair this morning I sort of reflected on my distance riding goals, how far I've come, and what this sport has taught me. 

*Negativity:  An open heart is an endearing quality but it also gives entry to less than positive types that are out there.  EVERYWHERE.   Stay positive, focus on the inside, and when you meet up with negativity, slide shut the door with a polite no thank you, and move on.   There are a lot of positive wonderful people in this sport, don't waste your time with the cyber-bullies, curmudgeons, and prim a-donas.  They are what they are, and do what they do.   It colors your world in shades of black and gray.  They draw their power from that, don't give it to them.  Delete, delete, delete.  (that is really all the power they have).  Meh!

*Positivity:  Be that person, and attract the same.  Look at pitfalls and failures as learning opportunities, because that is exactly what they are.  It is a game, a leisure activity, something to be enjoyed.  If you aren't having fun, change your game-plan. Smile a lot.  Stay positive, and watch what happens!

*Keep it simple stupid:  Truer words have never been said.  Keep your gear streamlined, what is in your trailer down to necessities, dress for the weather, train enough to get the job done, read interesting things, but take it with a grain of salt, and nothing more.  Set goals that are attainable, and life will have its rewards.

*Don't make comparisons:  The horse and rider you are reading about, or riding next to, has little bearing on you.  They are doing their thing to the best of their ability, and you are doing yours.  It is apples and oranges.  Focus on the pointy ears straight in front of you.  The person finishing top ten is not riding YOUR HORSE.  Keep your eye on your prize, a better time, better vet scores, and meeting personal well planned goals.

*Growth:  There is a lot to be said for that.  I've grown more as a rider in this sport than I ever could have imagined.  The learning curve though do-able is tough, but that is part of it.  You will be amazed what you will learn about your horse and yourself riding this sport.

*A DNF (did not finish) is not the end of the world:  I've had two of them now.  Got lost both times.  This taught me that I really need to learn map reading skills, and learn to orient myself on the map.  Still not great at that, but better than I was.  At least I'm thinking about it.

*Cheer and take pleasure in others success stories:  There are a few people who's blogs I've followed for years.  I've laughed with them, cried with them, and (yes really) did the happy dance for their successes.  It makes my heart happy to see people meeting their goals.

*Happiness is a choice:  When things start seeming not worth it, too much work, and the people around you are just that, around you...look inward.  It becomes easy to project something that drives people away rather than draws them in.  Happiness is a choice, and if you make up your mind to it, happiness comes easy.  My last ride I made of list of people that I wanted to meet, and managed to find most of them, take interest in their horses,  and the difference in my ride experience was amazing.  Pretty soon people were stopping by and checking out the Spotted Wonder. 

*Ridecamp is a busy place:  There honestly isn't a huge amount of time for socializing.  Some, but not a lot.  You are setting up camp, checking in, vetting in, pre-riding, getting stuff set up for the early morning, checking and re-checking, attending the ride meeting, and finally trying to get a few hours of sleep.  When the ride is done you are taking care of your horse, maybe breaking down camp, so there can be a lot to do.  I guess the better you get at those things, the more time you will have.

*I am more competent than I give myself credit for:  And that was a big part of what held me back in moving up in distance.  Let's say I had to give up my chronic inferiority complex. 

*Endurance is a wonderful sport:  You just have to find "your" personal niche, where you fit, and go for it!


  1. This is so profound. Every sentence can translate over to the way we live our daily lives. Thank you, Jacke :)

  2. This is so profound. Every sentence can translate over to the way we live our daily lives. Thank you, Jacke :)

  3. What an awesome post! I debating getting back into long distance riding, not racing but at least training to do one next year!