Friday, November 05, 2021
At the Bill Thornburgh ride in southern California
by Nina Bomar
November 3 2021
When the Caballeros show up for their first endurance ride, you take notice. It
sweetness and his rider was friendly, soft spoken and took a few minutes to chat with me before catching up with his friends. When I asked how the ride went afterwards, he noted that the long trots were really challenging. He then whispered something about feeling a little sore and wearing jeans
Amongst the group, there was an Andalusian /Quarter Horse cross, a 20 year old Paint/ Tennessee Walker and a purebred Quarter Horse. Bob G who is Allan’s more experienced friend rode Allan’s red headed mare “Ruby” who is an Arabian/Paint. They won the Limited Distance ride (30 miles) and also received the Best Condition award. Bob has even finished the Tevis Cup 100 so this was a mild version of all that has accomplished since Allan introduced him to the sport.
It wasn’t surprising when Allan later told me that they all wore jeans except for he and Bob, but I’m guessing that those Cowboys may invest in some riding pants, before the next endurance ride comes along. The real beauty of this group of men is that they all board out their horses, because they live in the city. Two of them are beach boys who live on the sand in Newport Beach and in Long Beach, which is a far cry from the desert conditions at the ridecamp in Inyokern, CA
It’s the women behind the men who we need to credit for this brigade. After all Allan’s wife “Lauren” got him involved with the Caballeros when in 2008 she invited him to their women’s riding group’s Xmas party. He met one of Lauren’s friend’s husband’s and he then invited Allan to hook up with the Caballeros. Allan said…”He assured me that I would enjoy myself and ever since then we have become good friends”. In the end all the boys/men had a great time and they were extremely happy to finish the ride. With Allan at the helm, how could it be anything but fun and exhilarating. Allan commented how, “they learned a lot about their horses and what it is to keep a pace, with training and cooling techniques, plus more. Allan was so over the top cheerful in the end and he proudly bragged about how his star student had even expressed an interest in stepping it up and trying to do a 50 miler in the future.
Without a doubt, the guys appreciated Allan’s guidance. It was not an easy ride even though it was flat... it was still long and there are time constraints that must be adhered to. Allan shared that struggle and said, “During the ride it was all going good until we reached the final water stop at Callie’s. I’d brought a hand held heart rate monitor and had been checking heart rates throughout the ride. He went on to say… “When I checked everyone with 7 miles to go and only 2 hours to finish, the heart rates and recoveries were not to my liking. I went into the “just finish” mode. I completely hosed their horses down and we all walked and trotted slowly to just make the cut off time”. The magic of it all is that they finished and everyone got a completion.
Being a mentor isn’t always easy and Allan set a precedence and offered a commitment that will forever stick with these guys. Their horses might be hoping to go back to sorting cows, but I’m betting they too were very proud of themselves, the work they did and the miles that they completed.