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Friday, May 8, 2009

Poker Ride Try #2 and a BIG thanks

Tomorrow I head off for yet another poker ride - so far there no chance of rain for this one - in fact it suppose to be over 80 degrees! This poker ride is held at Camp Far West, which is also the site of an endurance ride held over Labor day weekend. The poker ride fee includes entry into the park and lunch, so it will be a good opportunity to scope out the trails and get a solid 20 miles in this weekend. This is my last chance to get a trail ride on Farley until Wild West (15 days!).

I know I do this every once in a while and it's sappy and probably no fun to read - but I again want to thank all of you who come by and comment and read. One of the hardest things in endurance for me is the lack of actual time spent AT rides. I might, if everything goes well, go to 6-7 rides a year. That's not a lot time to spend with friends and getting to know people in the sport. Since so much of the sport's preparation is spent solo, the support I get from you on this blog, and from reading your blogs has made a tremendous difference in this season's endurance riding, compared to the previous two seasons. I think in the past I was so desperate to go to a ride and get to BE in the endurance world, I pushed myself and my horses too hard, didn't enjoy the preparation as much, and didn't appreciate just BEING on a horse. I'm much happier now, I'm making better decisions for my horse, and (most importantly) I'm having a lot more fun.


  1. I sent you an email!

    Also I'll take this opportunity to ask the obvious question - what is a poker ride? Good luck on it, whatever it is!

  2. Have fun at the poker ride. In my region (the Swamplands) we use poker chips with numbers painted on at poker rides instead of cards. Except at the very height of dry season (and sometimes even then) the cards would get wrecked by rain, and would only work for a single event. The chips are much sturdier in our maritime climate.

    As for the loneliness of endurance rides: it's often a solitary sport, and that's not a bad thing. But sometimes it gets a little too lonely, esp. if you are riding the late-night tail-end of a 75 miler! My solution is to attend at least one or two rides a year WITHOUT my horse--just helping out by filling water tanks, pulsing horses, or whatever else needs done. One very hot ride weekend I spent two days sponging horses as they came in from the trail--the riders were sooooo happy to have the help, and I was the *least* hot-and-sticky person in camp. (Also maybe the cleanest!) Anyhow, that's a good way to meet people and still spend time in camp.

  3. I've enjoyed reading your blog. I'm just getting back into the sport and bringing along a new horse, and so I'm soaking up all I can from fellow rider's blogs.

    This can be a solitary sport in many aspects - most of my riding and conditioning is done alone, and I'm trying to find other distance riders in the area to meet. I do enjoy volunteering at rides and so in the mean time, until I feel Huck is ready to do his first ride, I'm getting as much in as I can in the form of clinics and ride volunteers. Volunteering is great because it allows you to meet a variety of people without the stress of taking care of your horse at a ride. You can move from one rig to the next to meet people anytime you like!

  4. The biggest thrill for me this year was finding "others of my kind" out in the blog-o-sphere. I used to feel like the solitary sole out there waving my wanna-be endurance flag at the wind. Now through networking there is always something to learn, someone to encourage, or someone to be encouraged by. ~E.G.

  5. I totally understand what you mean about wanting to get into the endurance world, everything I know about it makes me want to get more involved and makes me feel like they are the best people of any horse sport!

    But I have always been very solitary about riding. I quite often don't enjoy my ride if I ride with someone else, even someone I like a lot. I find being out on the trail alone to be a challenge as well as absolutly wonderful! It can be challenging in that I start to assess how my horse is going to behave 1/3 into the ride and half to remind myselft to just enjoy the ride and do whatever my horse and I enjoy before assessing how the ride went!

    I think for a while I will have to live through you as any actaully endurance rides go, so do well!! Haha!

  6. What's ironic is that although I do enjoy being around the other people at the ridecamp etc, when I'm on the trail I struggle to find my "bubble" the entire time. I ride as much as the ride by myself as I can. But once at camp I enjoy at looking at the horses, at everyone's accessories, and eating at the potluck.


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