I always kind of digest our rides...think about what went wrong or right, and usually come to some kind of decision about something I could have done better, or something I need to fix.
* Point 1: My medications are exacerbating my proclivity towards heat related illness. There is little I can do about that. I've tried all the solutions that I know of and am still inclined to trouble. There are many reasons not to continue to ride hot humid rides which include possibly dying out there as I ride to the back with no followers for the most part, and if someone did find me incapacitated out there it would surely ruin their ride, and the biggest thing is I could lose Journey out there and she could be injured, or never found and die out there. So this old lady will never point towards a 50 hot/humid ride even if it is self-limiting towards my other ride goals. LD's are still on the table, but I will have to do some homework on how I can improve, and if I can't...then no hot/humid rides what-so-ever. Last year I was able to do some heat training ahead of Summer Breeze which was very hot and humid, and we managed to get it done, but I did feel pretty puny about 5 miles from the finish of the LD. It also puts the thought of the Old Dominion thoroughly and finally to bed. There is no sense in spending a thousand dollars on a ride, traveling nine hours to get there, so I can succumb to the heat. Just plain stupid. Not even giving it another thought.
*Point 2: Journey is for the most part a great little horse. She tries so hard...is mostly steady and trust-worthy, and if I say trot, trot she does. She definitely exhibited super compensation from the back to back days at Indy, she came through her vet check very well, an perked right up and looked plenty good to go back at it (if I'd have been able). She will always be a slow finisher but not because she doesn't have potential. It is because I worry more about her well-being than I care about placement. It sounds weird I guess...but I don't care about beating any person/horse at the ride game, rather I just want to improve our own ride. The whole race thing just doesn't resonate with me. It never will. Riding a minority breed of horse is enough challenge for me and I take pride in that fact alone. It excites me when I find people at the rides with their Appaloosa, Kentucky Mountain Horse, Tennessee Walkers, Morgans. It honestly takes a much larger skill set to be successful (complete) on these non-typical breeds. It is my favorite aspect of the sport, and though I love the beauty and toughness of the Arabian horse, if I had to buy another horse tomorrow...I'd buy another Appaloosa☺
*Point 3: This booting thing is wearing me down. WEARS.ME.OUT. If I put Gloves on her they stay on through pretty much thick and thin, but they are not a "good fit" and she interferes on the hind and beats herself all up even with the brushing boots, and even with the new gaiters she can get rubs at the attachment point of the velcro. Renegades are wonderful until we power up a hill. One step at the canter on any kind of incline and that left hind is going to come off. It will be laying out there and I'll figure it out too late to retrieve the boot, and a hundred dollars swirls down the drain, not to mention having to stop, tie up the horse, have to replace a boot one to three times over twenty miles...just not acceptable. AT.ALL. Journey's hoof walls are very thin, and I'm unconvinced she'd hold a shoe. So maybe we need to think on learning the glue on process. I don't know. But the booting option is frankly a pain in the butt and a sore point with me right now.
*Point 4: The climate of friendliness at the rides I usually attend has hit a major turning point. People are being treated in a welcoming way. Don't get me wrong, there will always be someone (or two, or three) at a given ride who turn their noses up a bit at new people just out dinking around and enjoying their horse for the day. But the larger group is doing a better job at making people feel welcome no matter their ride goals. So nice to see Green Bean peeps with these wide smiles on their faces, and you know what? They are doing a good job of starting their horses, riding carefully and sensibly out there on trail, those horses don't even "know" they are doing endurance and that is as it should be. Education is key to that and the open dialog that exists on NAGBE (facebook) has helped a lot in that area, as well as getting people to attend intro clinics, intro rides, and gradual stepping into the sport. I am a rather extreme introvert, and have to push my comfort level to interact with people at rides. But pushing that boundary has helped me feel I have a place in the sport. Have faces and names that I connect with and care about. Good stuff that.
So my unsuccessful ride becomes a successful adventure as I learned some things, figured out that there are still some holes need fixing if we are to have a stress free ride. I don't feel like a failure even though I did fail. Look at it as another learning experience, and that is quite okay.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association