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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Follow up to Tevis post

I have gotten a lot of feedback from my past post (which I think - ironically - was also my #100 post. I didn't realize that at the time of posting!). I started to respond in the comments but then I kept typing and typing and typing.....Here's what is going to through my mind right now.

First of all: Thanks for all the feedback. I gotten myself in trouble before because I didn't listen to others who were more experienced than I, and I was too focused (is there such a thing?) on the goal. I have no wish to get myself in that situation again!!! It's a lot less painful to sit out a ride than to try and put yourself and horse back to together again after pushing too hard.

Good Advice
I've noticed that when people ignore good advice and do what they want, knowledgeable people stop giving good advice. I don't want that to happen to me!!!! I want everyone here to post in the comments giving me advice! Please don't stop! It might take me little bit to figure it out, but I realize that I'm still figuring it out - I don't want to be the person that asks for good advice all the time and then continually ignores it.

Karen - your advice means a lot to me. I will definitely take it under CAREFUL consideration before deciding for certain to do Tevis or VC100. I learning there is always another ride! I don't want to be a danger to myself or others on the tevis (because I've gotten myself in a bad situation and have to be trailered out) and I don't want to burn this horse out - we are both having so much fun at this point.

The Dilemma
If she stays sound through 2 days at Wild West and Diablo AND the pre-rides on Tevis trail, is she OK to do the Tevis?

1. Especially if her ultrasounds are clean, after doing 2 days at WW and Diablo, if 20MT is her only poor ride of the season, is it still the *right* thing to do to not do a 100 this year? I think this is a judgement call in which you have to weigh doing today what you may not be able to do tomorrow, and be able to live with your decisions tomorrow, knowing you made the best decision at the time, with the information you had.

2. "What's the rush?", you say "You have your entire life in front of you to do 100 milers and the Tevis!" I'm going back to Vet school in the summer of 2011. I'm paying for it by joining the Army Vet Corps. This season and next season is probably going to be my last chance to do 100 miles or the Tevis for quite some time. My lack of time is NOT an excuse to selfishly trash my horse to achieve my goals, BUT if she can do it, I want to do it.

Where I am now
I'll know more after Wild West obviously. IF the ultrasounds come back clean before WW and IF she does WW strong and IF the ultrasounds are clean afterwards, then I'm considering doing the Tevis. I won't enter unless I think she's 100%. It's quite possible that Farley WON'T finish strong at Wild West and this situation will resolve itself!

After I do Wild West, I'll also have a talk with Dr. Melissa Ribley, if I can find a moment that I feel I can ask without bothering her. She's vetted almost every ride I've had on Minx and Farley.

My Obsession about Farley's "lameness issues" clarified
I want to clarify Farley's "lameness issues" so that as the months go on and I try to make the "Tevis decision" we are all working off the same facts!

Farley hasn't had any pulls for lameness, or what my vet would call significant lameness problems. As a comparison, I would consider Minx as having significant lameness problems. Not doing endurance is what would have kept that horse sound! Which is why shortly before her death I was looking for an alternative career for her, such as driving. Anyways - back to the topic at hand!

In December of 2007, when I first got her she interfered and hit her LF SDF with a hind hoof (a result of an evil cow chasing her along a split rail fence on a canal bank). She wasn't lame, but because of the slightly thickened tendon at that spot I took her to the vet the next day. Even though she wasn't lame, as a precaution the vet and I made the decision to take her off work for 3 months. We drugged, wrapped, hand walked etc. for 3 months. Then, over the next 3 months we gradually brought her back up to regular work. Then I started doing rides.

She has completed every ride I have taken her to successfully. She has done each ride better and stronger than the last. She does MUCH better on hilly, rocky rides. The rides that are mostly flat, with sand, get us into trouble. Probably because we train in hilly, rocky terrain.

Here's the rub: After finishing 20MT she was not 100%. More like 90%. The verdict from the vet after the ultrasound: Ride lightly for a month and then put her back to regular work. Exactly what I would have done even if she had been 100% after the ride!

You can probably tell I really really really want to do this ride. If you are a fellow endurance rider, you can probably even sympathize with me! LOL. I've gotten really really good at making better decisions this season and following my gut feeling instead of sticking my head in the sand.

I will now stop typing because I'm starting (heck! "starting?" some of you might say? "you've been there for the last 10 minutes!!!") to obsess......


  1. Sounds like your fairly on track. Not really being an endurance rider (yet!) I can't really give you any advice about weather to enter the Tevis or not, but I have always found that if I obsesse over something long enough I will find out exactly why I am wanting to do it and if that is going to make me the happiest and my horses happy and healthy.
    In the end I think you will make the right decision based on what you want and what Farley can handle.

    Good luck!

  2. JB - so true - it does seem like my obsessing serves a purpose! LOL

  3. Mel, I'm so there with you. The yes/no battle over Tevis has been going on in my head for the last three years or so. I'm definitely obsessed over it, and I'm sure it's one of those things that'll start cropping up even more in the blog as time goes on. :)


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