Thursday, October 17, 2019

Iron Oak 2019 - Christina Hyke

ChristinaHyke.com - Full story

October 14 2019
by Christina Hyke

Grace, Grace and more Grace, where do I start? This little mare was so ready for this ride, it is safe to say that all year we had worked up to this point. While Grace is doing so well, and I am so proud of her, it really took all this time from March until now to get her ready. Even with that said, it takes years (not months) to truly condition a horse due to joints, tendons, ligaments and yes, even bones to strengthen over miles of training. But, do you know what? It was SO worth it. It felt amazing to load her up and be confident in the program we had followed, the method of conditioning we are using and knowing we had done all our homework. I am not trying for a placing, we are riding for a completion. If over the years we bump up in the pack, so be it. Though we finish where we finish and our goal is to finish strong/get the mileage, and we did. 30 of them

Dogs to the sitter, housecare, horse care & chicken care all arranged, trailer fully loaded with enough snacks to keep the kiddos happy all weekend. We packed extra everything for Grace & for us. Extra food, blankets, batteries, flashlights , bridles etc etc. You get the picture. ALL week we had been watching carefully the weather as it approached, the forecast was not good. Night temps to almost freezing and rain/snow in the forecast. God Bless Jim. His attitude was, "Let's load up an go, Babe, if you get up there, and it is too bad weather, we can always come back home." Wow, just wow, how can I say no to that? So away we went, into a very uncertain weather forecast. Grace was beyond wound up when we got parked, the wind was literally blowing sideways. And it had gone from earlier in the week being so warm that she had sweated on her last two rides, to now being cold enough to see snow flurries. I turned her into the round pen at the campgrounds to let her work off some energy and saw some fancy moves from her I simply did not know she had. The dressage horse breeding in her definitely showed up and pranced around and she was so gorgeous that any carousel horse would have paled in comparison to her moves and beauty. She barely touched the ground as she floated around the arena. I quickly decided that she was not going to roll or chill, and that she was getting far MORE amped up- so I'd better get a rope and catch her. Glad I did- the horses on the other side of the fence thought about challenging her- so good thing I got her out of there asap. Instead we walked around and found a friend to visit with at the other end of the campground and that helped take the edge off of her and she settled back into the Gracie Girl we all know and love, calm and cuddly.

We vetted in and the vet had nice things to say about Grace and how well she trotted out for me. She really is looking good...

Read more here:
https://www.christinahyke.com/post/iron-oak-2019?fbclid=IwAR2QnPT90Hpr6YXfmo2mknEvYzbWr8Eftn_BoQOi3MRccxMESt6a4_gGDoE

Friday, September 27, 2019

Traveling with a Horse Circus in Guatemala

EquestrianAdventuresses.com - Full Story

September 9 2019

Traveling in a caravan with a horse circus in Guatemala is not really what you’d expect to see deep in the jungle. One adventuress shares her experiences as a gypsy riding in a caravan from place to place with pack horses and hula hoops. Their mission? To bring smiles to people’s faces wherever they go.


Author: Hebe Webber

The Calling

“Attention all Nomads! We are seeking adventurous, spirited souls to come join us on our journey deep into the jungle, deep into our natural wild selves. We are a community travelling by horse and giving a creative show to the local communities in order to experience cultural exchange. Every caravan is different because it is the tribe who makes it. Our quest is to gather riders, artists, healers, movers, makers, and creators of any kind and of any background to form a unified tribe.”

These are the words that echoed in my mind, urging me to follow them to the source. The dream began 5 years prior when I heard the tales of a friend who had ridden with this very community in Mexico. As the years passed, the calling stayed. Until one day I could no longer ignore it. I followed it through Latin America until I had landed in the very place my dream existed: Guatemala...

Read more here:
https://equestrianadventuresses.com/2019/09/09/traveling-with-a-horse-circus-in-guatemala/

Ireland: Saddle up – we’re doing the Wild Atlantic Way – on horseback!

Southernstar.ie - Full Story

Friday, 27th September, 2019 11:50am
Story by Jackie Keogh

A COUPLE who met in the most unusual of circumstances have embarked on an adventure of a lifetime – they are travelling into the Wild Atlantic West on horseback.

Krystal Kelly, a 29-year-old woman from California, who has been obsessed with horses all her life, and 32-year-old Christian Vogler, a German automotive engineer, met while she was doing the Mongol Derby on horseback and he was doing the Mongol Rally by car.

It seemed like an unlikely pairing, but since then, they have worked together on YouTube documentaries for Equestrian Adventuresses, an online community established by Krystal for women who love horses and adventure.

It was while Bridget Sheeran, who lives in Ballinard in Baltimore, was googling ‘sole travel for women and how to stay safe’ that Krystal’s website popped up.

Emails were exchanged and in one of them Bridget suggested they should come to Ireland, and – in true synchronistic style – Krystal said she had the very same thought, the very same day...

Read more here:
https://www.southernstar.ie/news/roundup/articles/2019/09/27/4180039-saddle-up--were-doing-the-wild-atlantic-way--on-horseback/

Monday, September 23, 2019

‘An amazing experience’: Pony and rider cross Britain coast to coast

Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article

Sarah Radford
17 September, 2019 07:02

A rider and her Fell pony have raised almost £6,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support after successfully crossing the UK west to east along the challenging Trans Pennine Trail.

Sarah Bartlett and Billy are the first horse and rider combination to have tackled the whole route from Southport to Hornsea — which involved big and busy roads linking up the sections of trail.

The epic trip involved eight days of travelling between 25 and 30 miles a day, which Sarah described as a “hard slog at times”but an “amazing experience”.

“There were the lows, including the horse lorry we were staying in each night breaking down halfway through the trek, but there were many highs and many memories made,” she said.

On the August bank holiday they got caught in the heatwave while crossing the Pennines at Woodhead Stretch and had to steady their pace, which meant longer gaps between the planned water stops.

“We’d done a lot of hill training but it was a hot day and we’d gone up one steep hill and there was no one to be seen anywhere, just sheep and the pennines,” Sarah recalled. “We came across a six-inch deep puddle and he just planted in it and started taking the odd sip — for a horse who doesn’t normally drink much on the road that let me know how hot he was. We had to stop there and rest for about 40 minutes..."

Read more here:
https://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/amazing-experience-pony-rider-cross-britain-coast-coast-696553

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Cuneo Creek 50 2019: And Then There Were Hills - Redheaded Endurance

RedHeadedEndurance.com - Full Story

SEPTEMBER 9, 2019 / REDHEADED ENDURANCE

Kenny and I had good fun at the inaugural running of the Nevada multi-day Torre Creek in May. We saw rain, hail, snow-capped peaks, and gorgeous flower-accented desert trails; we sponsored a junior on an LD and had a lovely time–but we didn’t get in our 50 miler for the Decade Team Goal.* Summer whipped by with a lot of work and some play, and suddenly we were looking at an ever dwindling ride calendar quickly heading towards season’s close on November 30th. I hit on the notion of trying out Red Rock Rumble in Nevada in October as I liked the ride management and Kenny had completed his first 50 in that area previously.

* (“The Decade Team recognizes those equine and rider teams who completed at least one endurance ride (50 miles or more) each year for 10 years. This would not have to be consecutive years, and the rider must be an AERC member each of the 10 years.”).

Then one day on a ride at newly reopened fabulous local trails with my dear riding buddy N and her Tennessee Walker, N asked why I had never been up to the Redwood Rides; simple: as 6+ hours hauls up into a rural area, I deemed them an unfair task for my 22 year old truck that is reaching for the 400,000 miles stars. N has been through an incredibly tough year that, among other things, resulted in needing to replace vehicle(s) and she wondered if I might be interested in hooking up my much larger horse trailer (she hauls a Brenderup) to her 2019 Dodge Diesel and going to September 7’s Redwood Ride Cuneo Creek together.

Why Yes. Yes I was!...

Read more here:
https://redheadedendurance.com/2019/09/09/cuneo-creek-50-2019and-then-there-were-hills/

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Appaloosa Horse Club celebrates history at the 55th annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride


Photo by participant Kristen Livingston

Clearwatertribune.com - Full Article

August 28 2019

More than 250 riders, drivers and spectators along with 106 horses from across the nation and around the world gathered together to experience in the 55th Annual Chief Joseph Trail Ride organized by the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), July 22-26, 2019. The Chief Joseph Trail Ride is a progressive ride tracing, as closely as possible, the route Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce took while attempting to escape the US Cavalry in 1877.

The ride is currently on its fifth passage of the route that takes thirteen years to complete. This year, when riders and their Appaloosas covered 113 miles in just five days in Idaho from Grangeville to Musselshell Meadows, the third leg was completed...

Read more here:
https://www.clearwatertribune.com/news/top_stories/appaloosa-horse-club-celebrates-history-at-the-th-annual-chief/article_4e288196-c9bc-11e9-8395-d399da609ee5.html


Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Crewing Tevis 2019 - Ashley Wingert

GoPony.me - Full Story

AUGUST 31, 2019 / ASHLEY WINGERT
This year, I was actually pretty “waffle-y” on whether I was going to go to Tevis or not. Earlier in the summer, I was pretty set on the idea that I wasn’t going. I’d had a taste for riding it the previous year, had fallen short, and although I hadn’t had high expectations for the day…it still stung, and I was battling back a lot of “if I can’t ride, I don’t want to go” feelings.

Well, that lasted until my friend Cathy messaged me, wondering if I possibly had any Tevis plans, and if I didn’t, if there was a possibility I might be interested in crewing. She’d asked me several previous years, but I was always otherwise committed to someone else, but this year, the way the cards ended up falling for various and sundry people, I was still un-booked when she contacted me. It was also a nice way to return the favor of her taking me with her and providing horses for the Tevis Ed Ride a couple years ago...

Read more here:
https://gopony.me/2019/08/31/crewing-tevis-2019/

Canadian Sisters Take Cross-Country Horseback Adventure

Horse-canada.com - Full Article

Sisters Katie and Jewel Keca embarked on part two of their cross-Canada horseback ride in support of the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.

By: Amy Harris | August 28, 2019

When Katarina (Katie) Keca was a little girl, she dreamed of riding a horse across the country with her sister and cousin. Time passed, life happened and she put her dream on the shelf. Years later, her sister, Jewel Keca, picked up the dream, dusted it off, and started making plans.

Jewel convinced Katie to join her and Ora, a seven-year-old Appaloosa cross mare, on the cross-Canada journey. She even bought Katie a horse for the trip – a 12-year-old Quarter Horse cross gelding named Lux.

The sisters decided to raise money alongside their adventure, and chose the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides as a recipient. The organization is close to the Keca family’s hearts, and between them they have raised five guide dog puppies.

With their older brother Joseph serving as support staff/videographer, Katie (25) and Jewel (20), set off on the first part of their journey in May 2017...

Read more and see a video here:
https://horse-canada.com/magazine_articles/canadian-sisters-cross-country-adventure

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Chief Joe Trail Ride - Onward to Musellshell - Karen Bumgarner

Karenshorsetales Blog - Full Story

July 29 2019
by Karen Bumgarner

This had to be the fastest week ever! It seemed like I had barely left when it was time to say goodbye to my friends for another year, and we all load up and go home. To describe this years experience I could overuse the word "amazing" very easily. We had our ups and downs, it wasn't perfect, but as someone said, "We weren't living in teepees and when we get to camp dinner will be ready for us!" Truer words were never spoken. It's all an adventure.

The Chief Joseph ride began in 1965 and this was the 55th year, taking place over the third segment of the trail. It takes 13 years to complete the entire trail and it averages 100 miles a year. This years total by an average of several GPS' was 113 miles!! Last year we ended at Tolo Lake near Grangeville, ID, and this year we ended at the historic Musselshell Meadows. We rode through thick forests with magnificent views through the trees, old burns, beautiful wildflowers, along scenic rivers, historic routes and places. Each night we had Nez Perce speakers to learn the history of the events and places along the way...

Read more here:
https://karenshorsetales.blogspot.com/2019/07/chief-joe-trail-ride-onward-to.html

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Going the Distance: Riding my first 50 - Jessica Isbrecht

Ride+Climb blog - Full Story

June 24 2019
by Jessica Isbrecht

My horse and I have just gone our furthest distance yet. I’ve been in the saddle for hours. My knees and back ache. The sun is beating down; temperatures are climbing, causing us to slow to a walk. It feels like it will never end. The enthusiasm I felt at the start is waning but I don’t want to give up, so I just keep riding, taking it mile by mile.

The sport of Endurance Riding has always intrigued me. The athleticism of horse and rider teams competing on courses of 100 miles in a day is awe inspiring. I’ve always wanted to make it to that level but so far have only competed in limited distance rides, meaning shorter than fifty miles. Recently, I decided to attempt a longer distance. Here’s the story of how we reached our goal of completing a fifty mile endurance ride.

I started competing on River, Byron’s horse, this season out of necessity since Mackenzie is still healing from an injury. In March, River and I completed our first 25 miles at Old Pueblo in Sonoita, Arizona. The terrain consisted of gently rolling hills and River handled it beautifully. We were able to buddy up with fellow Greenbean, Christina McCarty and her horse, Hot Shot. Riding with them was a real pleasure. It gave me the confidence to ride away from camp on a prancing, head-tossing beast who was screaming for her friend back at the trailer...

Read more here:
https://rideclimb.com/going-the-distance-riding-my-first-50/

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Chasing Oregon’s Volcanoes - Robert Eversole

Trailmeister.com - Full Story

December 20 2018

As published in The TrailHead News Dec 2018 issue

Over the summer I had the opportunity to camp and ride throughout central Oregon for two weeks, stopping at 4 different equine camps along the way and riding some phenomenal country.

Celeste and I started at the Quinn Meadow Horse Camp, west of Bend. It’s a popular destination point for riders throughout the Pacific Northwest. This very clean, very welcoming camp offers sturdy corrals, potable water, private camp spots and miles of loop trails to enjoy through dense forest, and remnants of the area’s volcanic past.

Within 10 minutes of the horse camp riders can step back over 7,000 years to a time of bubbling basaltic lava flows and volcanic vistas. Riding through the lava flows that tower overhead is quite the experience! For more info on the horse camp including accurate directions, GPS tracks, pics, and more, visit https://www.trailmeister.com/trails/quinn-meadow-horse-camp/

Great Minds Think Alike at Todd Creek

After a few days at Quinn we decamped and traveled an impressive 5 miles down the road to the Todd Creek Horse Camp where I would be completing my unfinished ride of 2017. Pulling into the immense parking lot that is the Todd Creek Camp we saw that two of our Quinn Meadow mule neighbors had already arrived, made camp and were now planning the next day’s ride...

Read more here:
https://www.trailmeister.com/chasing-oregons-volcanoes/?fbclid=IwAR2zrNOyUPO6cjaplm1iicUedlf9RM5bVikvKeS4xByxEnjSQRZdM_83Wkw

Monday, June 17, 2019

2019 Wild West 50 Day 2 - Nick Warhol

by Nick Warhol
June 16 2019

I rode Sorsha on her second 50 of the year on Day 2 of the now 4 day wild west ride at Skillman campground near Nevada City in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Gretchen Montgomery joined me for the ride on her mare Coquette. I have done thirty plus 50 mile rides at this event over the years so I know the area pretty well. The ride this day was a modified version of the usual route with some differences. The day has been a little short in the past, but not on Friday. It was easily a full 50 on a long day in the saddle in a weird ride. It was very hot, which does not bother me, but the heat and trail took it out of many people. An amazing half of the riders got pulled on this day which I don’t ever remember happening. The ride used to be about 60% single track and 40% roads, but not now! Ride management did me a favor and made it about 90% single track. It was a great trail for me anyway. Long story short Gretchen and I just rode all day and had pretty much a perfect ride. We missed several turns, as did many people, but were able to back track and find the route pretty easily. The ride started at 7am and we finished at 6pm in 19th and 20th. I believe about 48 started and only 26 finished. My knee did well again as it did at Cache Creek 4 weeks ago. My solution is to walk a quarter mile every 5 miles or so- it really helps refresh my knee.

Oh, about my horse. When I got Sorsha 3 years ago I told people I think this is going to be a good endurance horse. Oh boy was I right on that one! She is no longer going to be a good horse, she is now officially a very good endurance horse! I’m astounded how far she has come so quickly. She is a metabolic machine with incredible recoveries, which is a good thing. In her first few rides I had to lead her on foot from camp due to her nerves and excitement- not any more. We walk out perfectly looking like a trail horse. She would not go near water, mud, or moist ground. (On my test ride before I bought her we had to turn around because of a little mud on the trail) Now she crosses anything. She used to have a fit and spin around when another horse passed her or she passed one- not any more. She goes up hills like no Arabian I have ever ridden. She eats and drinks like a seasoned pro. Her number one issue is she is flighty and spooks. She was VERY spooky at first which led me to have to ride her differently that Donnie, that’s for sure. I know she is going to launch so I have to be ready at all times.

Here’s where I admit that you never stop learning about horses. Before the Cache Creek ride a month ago I was talking to my friend Ines Hoffman who I rode with. I was explaining how I had to ride Sorsha differently than Donnie because of her spooks. She gave me some simple advice that at first I did not pay much attention to. She just told me “Don’t ride her like she’s going to spook, ride her like she won’t.” I started thinking about that, and during the ride she pointed out that I was looking for things for her to spook at, which the horse probably felt. I stopped doing that and just relaxed, like I do when I’m on Donnie.

Yeah- night and day difference. She did not spook at anything during the Cache Creek ride, even when she was in the lead of our group of horses. Not one spook. At the ride on Friday Gretchen and I spent just about half and half leading the other. Sorsha did not spook once. She looks at things, and will move over on the trail a little bit when she’s looking, but no spooks other than one little startle when she walked over a deep rut filled with branches. She’s a different horse in the last couple of months, and is an absolute joy to ride. I was obviously communicating nervousness to her. It is so neat to see the incredible improvement in just a couple of years.

Next stop is Fireworks where I will ride with Judy and Donnie on the 25. My year is focused on getting Sorsha primed for the Championship 100 at the 20 mule team on November 2nd. It’s my trail and I can’t wait!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Across Argentina on Horseback

FEI.org - Full Story and photos

14 June 2019

Harold and Danaé were novice riders until they embarked on a 1,000km trek across Argentina with three incredible horses...

El Carmen, Argentina - April 2019: The young couple on horseback are tired after another long day on the road. They are 600km into their epic trip across the wild terrain of northern Argentina, and there’s hundreds of kilometres still to go with their trio of horses.

On the horizon a vehicle is coming their way. Dust spits up from the road as the engine roars. The car nears – faster and faster, louder and louder - and Pilpinto, their sturdy and reliable saddlebag horse, takes fright, leaping over a barrier by the roadside and then back over it again. He screams in pain.


The young couple, Harold and Danaé, come to his aid. Poor, brave Pilpinto is spooked. He’s bleeding from his leg. The blood rushes. He needs help...

Read more at:
https://www.fei.org/stories/argentina-horseback-los-nomados

Saturday, June 01, 2019

2019 Torre Creek 2019: Scenery, and Snail! - Redheaded Endurance

Redheadedendurance.com - Full Story

May 29, 2019 / Redheaded Endurance

Kenny and I jumped aboard adventure pal W’s trailer last Friday morning for a journey to the new high desert multi-day endurance ride Torre Creek in north eastern Nevada. Kenny and I’s last endurance ride (complete with exciting travel issues) was in September and we had had truly minimal saddle time since the new year between life and the new job; that coupled with ride camp at 6500 ft elevation (we live at about 1200 ft) with climbs promised had me already weighing the idea of changing my planned 50 to an LD once or twice in the week leading up to the event.

Morning of departure, the weather forecast was dire and we had a long (7 hr) drive ahead of us, but a friend of W’s was putting the ride on and we had long ago committed to attending. Feeling as discombobulated as one does after not going to a ride in ages, and then not in your own rig, I scrabbled together what I thought we would need for an “arrive-Friday, ride-Saturday, home-Sunday” weekend and off we set (note to self: always pack more hay than you think you should).

An aside: If you have followed this blog at all then you may know that trucks have a tendency to misbehave around me. Here I would like to record a BIG shout out to W’s 1997 Ford, who laid to rest all past transgressions by charging through the 14+ hours of travel like a fresh faced youth, apparently unphased by being backed into at ride camp mid weekend. Thank you, Ford!

Suffice to say that we arrived at ride camp as planned late afternoon on Friday–and that’s about where “as planned” ended for the weekend! Things got real quite quickly, as Kenny has barely made his opening tour of the grounds and taken in his ride camp spot before it started hailing– with conviction...

Read more here:
https://redheadedendurance.com/2019/05/29/torre-creek-2019-scenery-and-snail/

Friday, May 10, 2019

2019 Biltmore 50 - Liz Stout

Liz-Stout Blog - Full Story

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Shortly after I tossed aside my hopes of attending No Frills earlier in April, Lauren reached out to me about being her sponsor for the Biltmore 50 on May 3. (In AERC, a sponsor is an adult ride who agrees to ride with a junior rider for the duration of the ride.) I’ve crewed this ride for an FEI rider once and again for Sara on her first 100. With added time to put weight on Q during April and knowing the grass was coming in strongly already, I accepted her proposal, excited to finally have a chance to ride at Biltmore!

It’s always been a dream of mine to ride at Biltmore, but one that didn’t work out in the timeline I’d hoped after Q tore her LH suspensory at the end of August in 2016. As I’ve written about at length since the injury, I’ve brought Q back slowly. In addition to rehabbing her suspensory, we’ve rehabbed our fractured relationship and our trust/confidence in one another. Slowly and steadily, with a lot of patience and a lot of time and miles, we made it back to where we were and then beyond. Since then, I’ve been eager to put everything to the true test of an endurance ride...

So the short of it? Q exceeded any and all expectations I had for her. She carried us to a completion after 50 miles of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever competed on. She led for nearly half of the ride, 12 of 15 miles of the final loop, like a total BOSS. Does this mean that we don’t have more to work on? Absolutely not. We’ve still got lots to improve on, but this new baseline is lightyears ahead of the old one and I couldn’t possibly be more thrilled.

The long of it? Gather your drink of choice and settle in for the first endurance ride story on this blog since June 2016, and I’ll tell you...

Read more here:
http://liz-stout.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 02, 2019

A Hunter Jumper Gone Rogue - Sonya Bengali

RidingWarehouse Blog - Full Story

April 16 2019

There is a ton of crossover between disciplines these days, but often it still feels like each operates in its own "world," with unique sets of rules and customs. Below, RW crew member and hunter/jumper rider, Sonya, hops disciplines and shares her experience doing her first Endurance ride, the 2019 Nevada Derby!

-----------------------------------

A Little Background Info

I started my riding career in Pony Club, and throughout the years have dabbled in a variety of English riding disciplines. In my younger, crazier days, I hopped back and forth between eventing and equitation/medals, with the occasional dressage show or hunter derby thrown in the mix. Point chasing to qualify for Maclay Finals while simultaneously working towards my first CCI** (Long) was already seen as an obscure mix of disciplines, especially on the same horse. But, I genuinely loved both disciplines so I made it work.

Now that I'm officially an amateur, I've lost the guts I used to have for the upper levels of cross country, so these days I ride mostly in the medal/equitation ring. Still, I've always loved long solo trail rides and been intrigued by Endurance riding. I just never thought I'd act on it!

Then one day I found myself talking to RW customer and Endurance rider, Stevie Delahunt of Action Horse LLC., on Instagram direct message. She sent me a photo from a training ride to feature on the Riding Warehouse Instagram page, and casually mentioned that I should come ride with her sometime. Since I was a complete stranger, really just a mysterious entity managing the RW social channels, she probably didn't expect me to take her up on it. But after 10 seconds of contemplation, I thought, "why not?!"...

Read more here:
https://blog.ridingwarehouse.com/threads/a-hunter-jumper-gone-rogue.51/?fbclid=IwAR06M9UYt531v_hznnM2r75lHI6yQfPaQegdJVT2Y2Yq8dT9kgxslU8maaE

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Redefined Goals for Ride Season 2019 - Kimi Linnell

Milestogobeforeisleep Blog - Full Story
Merri Melde photo

April 23, 2019
Kimi

I am a person who thrives off of goal-making, planning and progression. So I find it a little odd that I never took the time at the beginning of 2019 to make goals for myself (and Sego). Now that our first ride of the season is out of the way, I have come up with some goals that I’d like to share here.

1. Attend All Utah Limited Distance Rides

Sego and I will be in Utah for the summer. Luckily for us, there is a good-sized endurance community here and plenty of neat rides (4 to be exact). Antelope Island (complete!), Mt. Carmel, Strawberry Fields, and Outlaw and the Virgin. With Sego being so young, I don’t want to do a 50 this year...

Read more here:
https://milestogobeforeisleep.blog/2019/04/23/redefined-goals-for-ride-season-2019/

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Riding through the Lesotho highlands

Getaway.co.za - Full Story

Posted by Teagan Cunniffe on 28 March 2019

Khotso Lodge’s new accommodation in Ha Thamatu offers an ideal base to experience the simplicity and beauty of life in rural eastern Lesotho.

What Three-day horse trail

Where Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho

Who Teagan Cunniffe

At 9pm on a Friday night, the door to our rondavel opened. We turned from the fire and peered out through the doorway, where a stranger’s face shone dimly back at us from the gloom. The man was wearing biking gear and had that worn-out expression that comes with an unexpectedly-long day’s journey. We were equally surprised to see one another: this deep into Lesotho, you encounter few other tourists. We welcomed him inside and the grateful traveller joined us with stories of his road trip.

Our day had started with the stamping of our passports at the Bushman’s Nek border post, and meeting our horses. Mine was Slowsaw, a Basotho pony with curious eyes and a quick gait. Then onwards into grassy transfrontier Sehlabathebe National Park, splashing through rivers with cameras held high, and 1,400 metres up, up, up through Bushman’s Nek Pass. We passed herders going in the opposite direction, and Khotso Lodge’s owner, Steve Black, pointed out shallow ponds where endemic Maluti minnows live, surviving the altitude and sun exposure...

Read more here

Monday, March 25, 2019

Riding Horses on Mount Spokane in Washington

Equitrekking.com - Full Story

August 4, 2017
by Shelah Wetter

Mount Spokane, at an elevation of over 5,800 feet, has a summit that's the highest point in Spokane County, and it is one of the tallest peaks in the Inland Northwest.

Mount Spokane is surrounded by Mount Spokane State Park, Washington's largest at over 13,000 acres. It's a wonderful place to explore on horseback in the summer and fall months with 100 miles of trails, huckleberry picking, and beautiful surrounding views of the Selkirk ranges...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/riding-horses-on-mount-spokane-in-washington/?mc_cid=b8d2d457aa&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Monday, February 25, 2019

20 Mule Team 65 - Nina Bomar

February 24 2019

I’m always enlightened by my fellow endurance riders. As we drive home from the 40th annual 20 Mule Team Endurance Ride, I’m heartened by the many stories that were shared over this past weekend. For some people it just wasn’t their weekend, while others were floating on cloud nine and ecstatic with their horse’s accomplishments. It doesn’t matter the distance but it’s more about the process that one goes through to get out there and do it.

With the recent weather, I’m sure there were many who couldn’t come but for those who did, I sincerely applaud their efforts. There were first timers in all distances and then there were folks like Laurie Birch who rode her mare Scud Run, completing their tenth 100 miler and reaching her horse’s 11,000 mile achievement. It’s truly mind boggling.

Kudos to my friend and frequent training partner Lisa Rushing for braving the snow and ice and still coming out with her horse Razor and completing the 35 miler. She often makes the trek all the way down to Malibu and we spend hours together climbing mountains and conditioning the horses. They are committed to building strength and confidence and will soon be doing the 50 -100 milers. I look forward to that day!

It was on this ride a few years ago in 2015 that I rode the 100 miler with my good friends Carlita J Roberts, Helen and Marci Schmidt Cunningham We had such a fantastic ride that year and I’ll always remember them passing by my trailer in the morning to pick me up so that we could ride together. This year Carlita did it once again completing the 100 miler with nothing but giggles and smiles. She is so inspiring and her wealth of energy is off the charts. She is always happy and having a good time. This morning we joked about how it was our 4 year friendversary and I feel blessed to have met her at such an iconic ride. She is as special as the history of this ride, which always reminds me of its earliest beginnings when Jackie Baumgardner got it all started. In fact John was given a special recognition award this year for his volunteerism after all these years. He rode the very first ride and is humble as pie and an unbelievably sweet man.

During the ride, Cheeky and I had the pleasure of sharing the trail with a variety of friends over the course of 65 miles. It was truly a solo ride for us with intermittent join ups that always left us smiling. Allan Horn on his hot mare Rosie went on to finish in the top 5 but there was a time when he slowed her down and we got to chat for a mile or two. She’s an impressive girl who reminds me of my Glorianna, with her busy mind and flawless movement. Allan is a big guy and his girl carries him with ease. It’s quite a site to see.

On a few occasions, we rode together with Crysta Turnage She is the ride manager for the Virginia City 100, which Cheeky and I also completed back in 2015. She shared with me how much she loves putting on the ride and said that she has a lot of great helpers to rely on. She’s a project manager by trade so keeping the ride going is her passion and a skill that she has lots of experience at doing. She also hosts AERC clinics and actively contributes to our sport. I enjoyed listening to her many achievements, while I admired her horse as we trotted alongside one another for several miles.

My longtime friend Lisa Schneider was out there on her boy Sky. We have done many training rides together and although we have not seen each other much of late, it was great to see them floating down the trail. Lisa lives in an area that was affected by the fire and most recently the rains. Her road and its bridge have been washed out for months now making it extremely difficult to get in and out with a rig. I look forward to the day when all that mess gets cleared and we can resume training. She and Sky enjoyed an impressive ride with an 8th place finish.

Terrie LaPorte had a very unfortunate dismount after completing nearly 90% of the 100 mile course, when her horse suddenly spooked and she found herself on the ground. Her story is harrowing but in true Terrie spirit, she managed to make it back and her horse is fine too. She’s another gal who loves endurance and no matter what’s thrown her way, she has goals fulfill and ain’t nothing stopping her.

Above all I’d like to express my deepest admiration for my horse Cheeky. He carried me with enthusiasm and purpose from the start until the finish. His vet card was testament to his level of fitness and his ability to take care of himself throughout the ride. I loved our time together and my heart swells with pride and sincere admiration for my special boy. He worries like me but always gives it his all and uses his skills to get us through. I wanted to finish before dark and he made that happen for me. We also crossed the finish line with all four of our grape colored Renegade Hoof boots... thx Gina Lander for sending us the good luck color 💜 Cheeky had lots of attitude as he showed off for Juan who was out there cheering for us from the start until the finish. It was a magical ride and we thank all the volunteers, veterinarians and ride management for making it happen.

Lastly... I want to thank all those responsible for gifting me the gorgeous Virginia City 100 sterling silver belt buckle. I never dreamed that would happen. I thought I didn’t want “stuff” anymore since the fire but this buckle has made me smile and it’s a beautiful reminder of one of Cheeky and my greatest achievements together. The inscription on the buckle is priceless and says it all. Please believe me when I say that my heart is completely filled with emotion and gratitude and total surprise that y’all did that for me... Muchas gracias from the bottom of my heart.

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