Friday, May 27, 2016

Mt. Adams 2016 – we completed our first LD! - Red Mare Running

Redmarerunning Blog - Full Story

Sunday, May 22, 2016

We did it! I didn't jinx it! Deli didn't injure herself the day before! She got in the trailer! We arrived intact and rode 30 miles!

Deli and I COMPLETED our first limited distance ride yesterday! We completed 30 miles at the Mount Adams Endurance Ride.

I am so very happy with Deli and had a blast on the trail. The Mt. Adams ride is beautifully run. Which is a good thing, because it is a BIG and BUSY ride (with 68 riders, I believe, in the LD and… 30 started in the 100 miler!). The trail was well-marked and the scenery was absolutely stunning.

Deli felt great all day. We dealt with some over-excitement on her part, which was expected for her first ride. She got fairly strong at points (though never out of control) and I was glad I opted for her snaffle bridle over the side-pull. Her power-trot was exhilarating as we wove our way up and up through the forest. It threatened to rain all day, sprinkling on as at times. When we climbed through an old burned out area, the mist crawled in between the blackened trees. At one point we got a close-up view of Mt. Adams’ snowy base. The first loop was long and involved a lot of passing and being passed by other groups of riders. I rode all day with my friend Vanessa and her horse Jinn and had a great time with them...

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A Test of Training (Grizzly Ride) - Laura

Rarejourney - Full Story

May 9 2016
by Laura

I will be honest, there are many times that I find myself wondering if I have done a good job with a horse or is what I am doing with that horse productive, am I good enough to be training horses? Usually these thoughts are when I am falling asleep, or driving somewhere. Or after a bad ride, almost always on one of mine. (hardly ever a bad ride on Quick oddly enough) My inner critic has gotten worse, I used to not worry about that sort of thing. Now that I am upping my game it is happening more often. Sometimes I reach that moment of wanting to quit, then I look a one of the horses and know that I could never do that, that the thought itself is silly.
On Sunday I shut my inner critic up. There was not a bad thought she could pull out. Nothing. Silence.

In a last minute decision I took Foo to Grizzly on Saturday night. It was my first time hauling over the pass in my new truck! Entirely nerve racking until I was actually doing it, then I had to laugh because pulling my aluminum straight load with only one horse in it was so much easier than driving Paula's 3 horse gooseneck with two horses and all of the stuff we needed for ride camp. I love this truck. I am still horrified that my trailer was quite green, I didn't have time to clean it. I got done my lesson, and hooked up and left.

I got there as they were having the ride meeting. Set everything up for Foo, registered and vetted her through. This was not only a huge test of Foo's future as an endurance horse, but also a test of how well I had trained her. Foo loves trail work, compared to the issues I have had in clinics and shows, all of the time spent on the trail has been different. Last year at this time she could barely handle a dressage show, intro- walk trot level. Yet it was in an arena, and she is not an arena horse.

In the few short years I have been in endurance I have come to want a few things in the horse I ride. That does not mean that Quick is there yet, he had a lot of deep emotional and mental issues to work through. Foo did not.

First I want a horse that walks out of camp on a loose rein. One day she might get ot the point of racing with someone, but before that she MUST walk out on a loose rein.

Second, I want a horse that listens, that I can rate with just my seat on a loose rein. I know there are times when you need contact, but generally, loose rein and listening.

Third, I want a steady tempo. Especially with the longer distances the more consistent pace you have the better.

There are more, but that is what you can train into a horse...

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Great Britain: Enduring the elements! A first experience of Endurance riding - Full Story

May 16 2016
by Magic's rider

A well-executed event showcasing an exhilarating and technical sport which had the welfare of the horses at the heart of it...

Before actually attending my first endurance race my knowledge on the sport was minimal. I held three fairly rudimental opinions on what it entailed. Firstly competitive endurance riding was galloping flat out for hours on end. Secondly the majority of competitors in the UK were happy hackers. Lastly that the sport had been subjected to many years of negative press showing images of exhausted horses brought to their knees in foreign countries.

Given my rather crude presuppositions on endurance you might be asking yourself how I found myself volunteering at such an event. My livery yard abuts 600 acres of forest called “The Kings Forest”, situated about three miles from Bury St Edmunds in the heart of Suffolk. My yard is predominantly filled with hairy cobs and naughty natives but amongst these reside two very handsome and light footed Arab endurance horses who have been staying over the winter. Since their arrival I have been intrigued by these magnificent animals and what their “job” entails.

Each year two FEI endurance rides take place at The Kings Forest and our livery yard is utilised to provide FEI secure stabling. A week before the spring ride my yard manager opportunistically asked the liveries if anyone fancied helping one of the FEI riders who was low on crew – seemingly the only one not to have checked the weekend’s weather forecast I keenly volunteered.

So at some unearthly time in the morning I arrived at the yard to meet with Andrea Champ – the FEI rider who had somewhat unwittingly taken up my offer of help! Andrea had two horses competing over the weekend both entering their first FEI 1* race of 80km. Saturday was the turn on Magic ‘A touch of magic’ a ten year old Arab x Appaloosa – who seemed infinitely more excited about the early start than I did. Breakfast finished (for Magic) we loaded up to get to the race start...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Cache Creek 50 2016: One Tough Mudder - Aurora Grohman - Full Story

by Aurora Grohman
May 9 2016

I already have a 12 hour Cache Creek completion story, but that’s a more typical one, involving heat, endless boot losses, and electrolyte worries. This was the first year that Cache Creek had 2 days of rides and also the first year ever, as far as I could glean, that it misted, rained, and drizzled darn near all weekend. It’s a notoriously hot and hilly ride with generally great footing–generally, but not when you add water! Of course we mortals can do absolutely nothing about the weather except worship the NOAA app and pack everything *and* the kitchen sink because you just never know in these events if you will need shorts or a waterproof parka and it’s really unfortunate if you have neither.

As of Cache Creek, I have had sale mare Ellie home 4 weeks and ridden her 3 times. She’s a high drive, forward, impatient mare and an impressively gifted athlete. She is a mare that can drive you crazy if you don’t accept the simple fact that she is who she is. That is not to suggest that I allow shenanigans, I am an endless foot placement and general manners enforcer, however accepting the very nature of the beast allows you to not let it affect you mentally or emotionally, because it’s merely the mare being her. She’s a little spacey, and she wants to go and she always will. There’s so much more to it than that, however. This is an athlete gifted from birth, like one of those 10 years old with mind blowing voices on reality television, she’s born to do it and flourishes in her element. And that is why a horse that moves restlessly and sweats trailering alone, finds herself on her first solo camping trip in ride camp, feeling like this.

Simply put, she loves it. She settled right in, camps phenomenally, eats, drinks, poops,pees, stuffs her head into her bridle, chomps down electrolyte paste and carrots with equal enthusiasm, and eats all night. Like ALL night. She’s a racey greyhound built mare and requires plentiful groceries, but she consumes and expels, yes she does. Many of my horses drink best when walked to troughs intermittently in camp but she drank well from her trailer bucket, too...

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Ghost Riders at Still Memorial - Karen Bumgarner

Karenshorsetales - Full Story

by Karen Bumgarner
May 7 2016

Last week I just had to get out of Dodge! I was going to burst if I stayed home. So Friday at 9:30 AM I was tossing stuff in the trailer, loaded the Blue and off we went for Prineville. My dear friends Cole & Charlotte Still, along with Alice Warner, and the Prineville Ridge Riders had put this ride on for over 40 years. We used to help every year in the old days when that area was "home". However they are gone now to better trails but I could hear their voices calling me.

Cole and Alice built many trails and added to the trail system each year as time went on. And I'm sure Cole rode the ride for 32 consecutive years and as I rode this year I recalled many of my old endurance friends. I know some of them were riding with me. My trail angels...

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