Friday, March 26, 2010

When the going get's tough... stick with endurance

Boots and Saddles, a horse off course
Thursday March 24 2010

Crysta had a very good point on my previous post about First Rides. I failed to point out the positive and uplifting things that are a part of endurance.

I guess I glossed over the positives since I think *most* of us got into endurance because of those ideas...and I assumed we all understood why endurance is so magical. I tried to address the reality of the first ride - and that is that endurance is hard. As someone who had their sights set on 100's and was only using 50's as a stepping stone, my biggest surprise was just how HARD the whole thing was - from start to finish. Even after I decided I needed to finish some LD's to restore my confidence that this was DOABLE, I still found it HARD. My first season I was kinda casual about the 50 mile distance, because it was "just" 50 miles (remember - 100's were my goal). After that disastrous first season, my motto throughout my second season was "respect the distance".

That being said, it does no harm to reiterate what we all know - that endurance is THE horse sport. (I'm just a bit biased...) :)

* That "magical" bond between rider and horse. I'm not a particularly emotional person. I've gotten good at faking socially correct emotions as not to be labeled as "potential serial killer", but when it comes right down to it I can be a bit... hard. Picturing Minx's effort at the end of our first, disastrous 50, or thinking about Farley's first 100 mile completion brings tears to my eyes. It was a YEAR after the 50 before I could accurately describe the 50 without bursting into tears. Horse and rider are so in tune to each other, it's magic. We are equals (even though I STILL get the final say on speed :) ).


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