Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Why I Do Endurance - Lisa Salas

Well, now I do it because I am addicted. I can't wait for the first ride after the long hot summer and the kids have gone back to school. Last summer, we drove to California and watched the Tevis Cup so that helped me make it through those long 3 months. But when we got back and I was ready for Big South Fork, I found out my axle was bent on my trailer. Then after missing yet another ride, I was ready for Prozac. My husband John, started making a hangman's noose out of my lead ropes, just for me.
How did I become so addicted to this sport? I'm not sure. My first ride (and my trainer Wendy's) was enough to make anyone say "What are you, crazy?" Turns out my "mentor" who introduced me to this sport was mental. His idea of a good ride was to haul ass so you had plenty of time to drink beer afterwards. Hey, that sounds like Howard! Anyway, Wendy (not my mentor, just my trainer) ended up with a concussion (with a helmet) and I was so sore I couldn't hardly lift my arms up to put my hands on the steering wheel. By the way, that's information your passenger doesn't need to know for the drive home! From that very first ride, we have been trying to perfect the Corona/Advil IV drip. The Corona is for the immediate pain and the Advil would be for the pain the next day. We are still thinking bute would be better.
It surely ain't the camping. I had my awning ripped off one year at Hahira. The evening cocktails went down so smoothly while we sat outside enjoying the balmy southern fall weather. But sometime during the night, the winds whipped up to about 40 mile an hour gusts. We heard banging noises and the trailer was rocking a tad bit but the temperature had also dropped to about 30 degrees and neither Wendy or I wanted to get out of the tent. It was ugly the next morning. (Wendy, I don't think we are in Hahira anymore) John said if I tore off another awning, I would have to use plastic bags for shade.
We woke to a monsoon at the Dupris ride one year. It was about 3:30 am and I looked out the tent (only Wendy's side flooded every time it rained, no matter which side she picked :) and the horses were soaked and shaking. We took them to the closest barn but there were only 2 stalls empty. We needed three. The other barn seemed like it was a mile away. Mainly because we couldn't see it. The palm trees were bending all the way to the ground due to the hurricane force winds. So the trees and hail were blocking our view and the wind was pushing us off the main path. Do you see the pattern here? Camping = rain and cold in any combination.Yeah, those were the days. Of course, now after all those fun trips, we have our camper. Wendy stays dry and camping is much more enjoyable.
I must love endurance because I can ride forever. I love horses and I love riding and the longer I do it, the better. I also enjoy the weekends spent with my family and friends. My daughter rides with me sometimes and while the actual riding time isn't always pleasant, we are still friends in the end. John and Evan, my son come and help sometimes and when we add Wendy, and my crazed mentor Terry and all the people we can talk about at camp, well that just makes for a great weekend.
I have always said, a good long ride, an ice cold Corona, steak on the grill, and being surrounded by your friends and family. Well, it don't get no better than that!
That's why I do endurance.
Lisa Salas, The Odd Farm

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