Monday, January 18, 2010

She Rides, I Pay: Endurance

January 18, 2010
By: Elizabeth Howell

Who’s crazier? The endurance rider or runner?

Here in Vermont, there’s an annual event I have volunteered at for several years. It caters to two groups of elite athletes. It’s the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Race.

There are actually two races happening simultaneously: one for runners and one for riders.

I have only ever participated in two sports: horseback riding and running. This event is the most fascinating apex of the two. When you pull into the parking area (a huge field) there are tents, portable paddocks and horse trailers. The runners are as fascinated by the horses as the riders are by the runners. There is one thing these two groups have in common: no fear of porta-potties.

I am one of the few people I’ve encountered at these events that has a foot in each sport. I’m no ultrarunner, but I have run (jogged—slowly) three marathons and a dozen or so half-marathons. Going to an ultramarathon is sort of like watching a grand-prix. It’s one of the most extreme events in the sport.

This year, the event takes place on July 17, and the starting line is in South Woodstock, Vermont. South Woodstock is the postcard-Vermont you’d imagine when fantasizing about moving to the country: stunning views of green mountains; bubbling brooks; old, well-tended red barns and valleys dotted with wildflowers.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Storm's Death Valley Encounter Adventures - Aylisha

Life With Firestorm Blog

Ok, now that I am somewhat combobulated after coming back from DVE, I can post our adventure...:) Overall in summary, he did an awesome job for his first ride and I think he'll make a great endurance horse! This may get long...hang in there or just skip along if you get bored :) I think I will split it into two posts anyway....
Since deciding Storm was going to do a ride sometime soon, I have been looking for one to take him to. It had to be an LD, as it will be a while to get him in shape for 50's, with our rainy winter weather. I decided on the Death Valley Encounter over New Year's for several reasons. It was an XP/SSR (managed by Dave Nicholson) ride so I knew it would be low stress and a great intro for him without a bunch of horses galloping off in a tizzy, riders worrying about "winning", etc. Management is fairly loose too, so they don't harass /you with a gazillion vet checks, spotters, etc. You just get a trail to follow and some mellow ppl to ride with... for me, a perfect setting for a horse's first ride :)

We would also have a longish 2 day drive to get there, so it would be a good chance to see how he'd travel (a BIG key that I think a lot of ppl forget about in endurance, though perhaps not everyone is as nutty as Terri and I...


Friday, January 01, 2010

Looking Back ~ Moving Forward - Endurance Granny

Endurancegranny Blog
December 31 2009

Looking back on the year and what a year it was. I was full of ambition and hopes of accomplishment for 2009. As they say pride goeth before the fall. My year of great accomplishment became my year of humbling experience. It is said that we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes and I can fully attest to that as an essential truth. I worked hard with Phebes, but there were just too many elements missing in my mental arsenal. Our first LD was a disaster on so many levels. Horse out of control, the unexpected heat, too much speed, my crash off of her, metabolic melt down, heat exhaustion (rider), what a way to debut my horse into the world of endurance riding... So there we sat, Phebes on IV fluids, and me with cold wet towels dripping on my head, too sick to even taste the humble pie. But that experience sure steepened my learning curve! I can not say with assurance that Phebes will never have another tie-up. But I can say that I will not ever be the cause of another tie-up. We learned a lot about rating.