Friday, July 27, 2012

Complainy Complainerson

Perhaps it is just that I am more than a week out of it, but I have to say, Bandit wasn’t so bad. I could for sure ride 50 miles. Yes, pain. Yes, tired. But 50 miles is absolutely possible in the basic, literal sense of the word.

This is a Thing That I Can Do.

Sorry I was such a Negative Nancy in my last post.

I think we’re going to try again at Santiam Cascade in Sisters in a couple weeks because it is so close.

I’ll try very hard not to embarrass myself this time.

And lest you worry that I’m going to cry “breed bias!” every time my horse gets extra scrutiny, trust me that I don’t feel that way at all. Talent bias is more what I was feeling. I mean, there were only 12 of us riding in that 50-miler, and YES, my ability and my horse’s ability DO suffer in comparison to Dennis Summers and his horse. That has nothing to do with breed. :) Bandit, like most ride camps in the northwest, was super diverse. Many mustangs and appy butts, plus haflingers (!), misc gaited, mules, paint, QH, STB…

I just hope that three weeks off will be long enough for Blue to be fully recovered and ready to roll at Santiam. His recoveries were so excellent at Renegade, I expected to see that pulse dropping like a stone again at Bandit. Perhaps it was just a little too soon and not enough electrolyte.

New motto: To eternally tinker with your training, feeding, tack, etc… is to win.


  1. you were not negative! you were just telling your story.

    i think, honestly, you live in the best place on the earth. i will live there again someday.

    i will not die here.

  2. Yeah, your last post was just fine!

    It's a really fine line for the non-Arab people. We really ARE riding horses that are less genetically gifted than the average Arab. It really IS harder for us - we have less of a margin of safety. I don't say that to complain, at all - I love everything about my horse, and I kind of think our endurance journey is more rewarding because it's harder. I didn't think it sounded like you wanted special treatment :)

    And it's especially hard to keep your chin up and make a nice upbeat post after a pull. I've gotten pulled twice - metabolic and lameness - and both times it was such a maelstrom of emotions. Posting about the pulls was HARD. Deciding not to give up was easy!

    Fingers crossed for you at Santiam! It's a hard sport, but you two are doing fine.

  3. Go Ruth! You just had yourself a stellar training ride last time ☺ Hang in there, you'll get it done, and so will I (eventually). I'd give anything if I were close enough to partner up with you for a 50.

  4. Go Ruth!
    Trust me-nothing is quite so embarrassing as having to do a rider option pull...because you forgot to eat breakfast or wear sunscreen and now have such bad heat exhaustion that if you were not on a horse that was actually an angel, you would have fallen off three miles outside of camp. That was my Grizzly experience....and I've been scheming ever since to try another ride, only smarter this time! And I love your new motto :)

  5. OH, E.G., I would love to ride with you too. We could just plunk along on the spotted wonders and enjoy the scenery together. :)

    You know, my folks live right on the western edge of PA. Do you ride in Ohio much?

  6. I've never ridden my horse out of INDIANA (yet) but will be heading to OHIO soon for our next LD.

  7. It's a funny ol' thing, endurance. Someone once asked me how I got started in endurance (I've only done a few rides). I said that no-one ever let me think I couldn't do it.

    But it would have been more correct to say: I rode with a very experienced (old-school) endurance rider, on a calm, athletic (naturally suited to endurance) and reasonably experienced horse. I was nervous enough myself wondering if I might not be able to do an endurance ride. And he never once gave me the feeling that I would NOT complete the ride. He never made out is was easy, because endurance is not easy. But he made out it was achievable. And since he was the experienced one, I figured he knew what he was on about. And that was how I (or rather, he) got me and the horse qualified in the space of about 60 days (well, then we both had to wait another 30 days to send in the paperwork). Cos I had EVERYTHING on my side: the horse, the mentor. And the belief that it was achievable. I don't know how I would have gone if people were under-mining that belief (even with facial expressions, etc)

    Whilst I think believing that I could do it was integral, I am very grateful that I had virtually no other obstacles to overcome. Not having the calm, athletic (arab) horse, well that would have made things a lot more of a challenge. And not having the mentor there (every step of the way), well I don't know how long it would have taken me!

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is: don't be so hard on yourself! :) Endurance isn't easy, even with everything on your side. What you've already achieved is awesome - be proud! And be even prouder of your first completion, when you get it - which will be soon! And most importantly, keep having fun! :) Cos that's what it's all about!