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

May 18, 2014

Thoughts about the whole danged thing

It was a nice weekend at the Daniel Boone Distance Rider's Indy 30/50.  Thinking initially that we were only ready enough for the 30, I'm glad I had a brief conversation via Facebook messaging with Mollie Krumlaw Smith who thought that I could probably get it done if we paced ourselves.  Though I had still some trepidation about going longer I figured I could always pull the plug, it wouldn't be the first time.

Journey proved to me that she can really move out when she is feeling "inspired."  She was trotting at a good 8-11 mile an hour for a lot of that first loop (still walking through deep mud, steep hills, etc), she also proved she can canter like she has a brain up there somewhere.   I wish I knew how to get those things from her with our solo training because I do not believe training slower, and competing faster is in anyone's best interests.  That is the downside, the upside is I know her potential.

The Spotted One even though I've worked on it since February and thought I was close to fixing it, had some nasty refusals and evasive maneuvers at the start.   I don't want to endanger anyone so until I can get that giraffe NOOOOOOOOOOOOO....I wanna go THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS way trained out of her I'll have to have back of the pack starts.

Not sure how many 50's one needs to do, or how many in a series until you can determine the horse you have, meaning the horse has reached their peak potential and you decide what you can do with that.  Currently I feel Journey would be a much stronger LD horse than an Endurance horse, but the goal is going to be at least one 50 a year if respiratory issues don't kick us down. We will preferably attempt them at the end of the season rather than at the front.  I'd like to see what a 50 would look like for her after doing a series of LD's first.

Journey isn't drinking on her first loop even at 20 miles.  If we are pacing along with another horse she isn't going to drink.  She will only drink if we are in our own quiet little bubble.  Not as bad for an LD maybe, but on a 50 it worries me.    I electrolyted in her mash the night before, gave her a dose in the morning after she ate, and rinsed her mouth well after.  In hindsight, I think another dose after the second loop, once she was drinking might have worked to our good.  I was not willing to give her anymore though until she had water.   I failed to grab our vet card,  but do know her scores related to hydration were mostly B's and A-s.  She seems to have no issues with gait or muscle tone, or gut sounds.  Capillary refill, skin elasticity, etc all related to some dehydration.   She'd never pull it off in the heat at all.

As for the rider?   I felt like I'd been rolled through a concrete mixer.  Fibromyalgia/Osteoarthritis/Seasonal Allergies coupled with sweating through my clothes in 47 degree temperatures, then riding through sleet pellets in a tank top did not make my body feel too good.  I can't seem to get to the point where I can sleep well in a camp setting, and I get so anxious about "things" that I'm riding this big adrenaline surge that a quart of Valium probably could not put down (no I don't take Valium).  And yes, I am sensitive and reactive.  Maybe I should drink wine *LOL*

The trailer trash make-over last year has definitely helped me at rides.  I can find things quickly, have all my clothes in a drawer, food in its place, know where the paper towels are, have my own personal camp toilet, a comfy bed, etc.   I'm not so well organized at the vet check area and need to give thought to that.  Journey wouldn't drink out of our buckets and liked drinking from everyone else's which is very bad etiquette on our part, but try dragging her head out of it once she crammed it in.  So we have to do better in that respect.  She likes the big tubs, and shuns buckets apparently.

I'll never camp that far from the vetting area again if I can help it.  It about wore my poor husband to a frazzle hiking all over hell and creation trying to keep up with where we were between trailer and the in/out timer.  Next time we camp at Midwest I know exactly where I want to be parked.

It was great to see Trudy Horsman again.   She is always so positive and sweet.  Her little mare is LOVELY.  Donna Beall was so friendly and kind, sat with me during the meal, and told me some of her story the past few years.  Had a few minutes with Janet K.  who was back riding after a bad car accident side-lined her last year.  Saw Stacey J. but didn't get to really speak with her, hope she had great luck with her Morgan the next day.

The Daniel Boone Distance Riders are now in possession of the turtle rocks.  They awarded one to the turtle in each category, with the toughest luck rider getting THE BIG TURTLE.   I felt good being there.  Felt a part of things.   Finally. 


  1. re: how many 50s: It took five successful 50s in a row (2012) before I felt like Dixie was maybe actually a real endurance horse. Of course I immediately launched into trying hundreds, with all the suffering and joy that entailed. My point is that she's still, at 12 years old and five seasons of competition, still improving.

    You're not going to get much more external validation than you got this weekend. You have to let yourself believe that Journey is a Real Endurance Horse (tm), and that your job is to keep her comfortable now. She'll keep getting better as long as you keep up with maintenance (health, saddle fit, body work, blah blah).

    Again, I'm really happy for you both!

  2. It looks like you obviously need to working on a T-shirt for that horse. I do love her personality; kind of goes with the spots... and congratulations again!
    Bionic Cowgirl