Monday, July 20, 2009

Vermont 100: Patty Stedman's story

Patty Stedman's Story

Hey Ridecampers!

Ned is 15 this season, with over 2000 competition miles and eight seasons to his credit, and the most frequently used phrase when I talk about him and our endurance competition plans is “he doesn’t owe me a thing.” He doesn’t.

All those miles on a body that is not classically made for endurance – too big, too warmbloody, movement more suited to dressage than the profound daisy-cutting efficiency that is ideal in endurance, heat management issues, a topline only a mother could love, a profoundly opinionated temperament that often lands us in “I refuse to go 1 mph faster than this” territory. But stoic, and never a quitter. (A slower-downer, but not a quitter.) Recently, his chiropractor started talking kissing spine in his SI region – which would be a reasonable explanation for his lifelong aversion to steep downhills and the ongoing issues we’ve had with loin soreness, which I’ve always sworn was not related to saddle fit, but the work, based on the patterns of soreness. I’ve managed Ned with a huge dose of worry and a lot of paranoia over the years.

So my younger horse, Ace, physically more suited to endurance, has been getting primed and prepped for a 100, and Rich and I decided we’d head to Vermont for the 50 with the two veteran horses, and ride together, with Rich understanding that Ned and I would be slowing he and Sarge down mightily.

full story at

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