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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fall Apart and Annoyed

As you can guess, Day 4 is all about my carefully laid plans falling apart.
Allergy meds made me stupid and groggy.  I anticipated that, which is why I started Monday.  However they also made me sleep through my alarm, which means my trailer will NOT be going into the shop to get the DOT lights fixed this week, since this morning was the ONLY morning I had available. 
And have I mentioned yet that it's raining here?  Which means my fabulously planned week of ground work is NOT going to happen.  And my plans of running have turned into walking.  I'll be trying out my rain outfit (pants included) which is a GOOD thing because the forecast has moved from "rain unlikely" to "definitely rain" for Saturday.
I'm contemplating doing the whole drive on Friday instead of leaving Thursday evening.  That's one less day she has to stand in the rain.....
Now since I promised you no more whiny posts, I have to pretend that the post below was the real reason for this post.  In reality, I just wanted to whine. 
On one of the boards I follow and post, someone asked the question of what annoys you the most when new people show horses.  Along with the more predictable responses of "I'm annoyed when the veterans aren't nice to use newbies!", there were a lot of complains about newbie turnout and horse cleanliness. 
Now - before you get all hot and bothered, I will admit that there is a LOT veteran riders can do to make a newbie's experience enjoyable.  HOWEVER, I remember as a newbie being very concerned about being a "nuisance" and really wanting to do the right thing....if I just knew what was expected.  Lists like this one really helped me ride courteously at my first ride and as a result, people were more likely to stick around and help me out and explain stuff. 
Here are my top 10 pet peeves in the endurance world (no matter if it's a veteran OR a newbie:
First my list of caveats:  Sometimes "stuff" happens.  I totally understand.  We are all human.  An apology and a quick smile goes a long way.  I don't expect any horse to be perfectly behaved and I've been horrified at behavior that has NEVER happened at home.  I think we've all been surprised......however how the offending rider handles such a situation in recognizing and rectifying it counts for a LOT.  So please don't' assume if some poor innocent person accidentally does one of these, I automatically roar and singe the whiskers off the horses face in rage!
  • Using my horse as "brakes" because you are in a hackamore, have no brakes, and somehow it's OK because it's "their first ride".  BS.  Control your horse or take it home.  You are putting my and my horse's safety on the line. 


  • People who ride up my tail.  Never appropriate.  Just don't do it.  I usually tell the person behind me that "she's in season, can you please give us some space?" as a polite way of saying "DO NOT PUT YOUR HORSE'S NOSE IN MY HORSE'S A$$ PLEASE!!!!"  She's sweet and doesn't kick, but doesn't concentrate as well on a technical trail if some is RIGHT THERE.  I then I'm ultra careful I don't do this to anyone else.  :)


  • Flashing your car lights into the tent and setting off the alarm CONSTANTLY throughout the night. 


  • People who talk to me in the early morning of a ride (before dawn) with their headlamps on. 


  • People who don't listen to the ride managers instructions so we can ALL have a good ride - such as sponging or scooping out of water troughs when it has been expressly forbid so that the WHOLE ride will have horse water, not just you, in the middle of the ride.  And guess what?  Your horse may LOVE sweaty, salty sponge water, but maybe mine doesn't?


  • Pushing my horse off the water trough when crowded when she's still drinking because your horse is thirsty.  They all are.  but since you stopped my horse from drinking, now she won't drink as much.  Please be polite and wait your turn. 


  • Letting your horse say "hello" to mine by touching noses.  She's hear to drink, not flirt and you are distracting her, not to mention possibly spreading disease.  AND even though you think it's "KWOOT" when horses touch noses and squeal and strike (apparently, because why would you let 2 strange horses do that unless that is what you are looking for?) please dont because my horse has a job to do and I'm also interested in all of us (horse and human) getting to the end of this ride alive and in one piece, ready to ride another day. 
So for most of these offenses I have cute little phrases I have pre-formulated so that no one's feelings get hurt, but so we can both have a good ride.  Of course I'm also totally guilty about a snappish, witchy person too....but the frequency decreases when I have a throught out response to most of my pet peeves.  Here's some of mine....
  • "I don't let my horse say hello.  Thanks!"
  • "She's in season and being a bit difficult.  Do you mind giving us some space?"
  • "Please no touchy noses!" (said in a high-pitch "cutie" voice to the other person's horse, therefore alerting them to the fact their horse is trying to blow it's snot up my horse's nose)
  • "My the water is getting low!  Do you think the turtles will have any when they come by?"  (to the sponger and scooper from water trough that was expressly forbidden...)
  • "Is this your first ride?"
  • "I'm sorry but my eyes are very sensitive to light this early, do you mind turning your headlamp off while we talk?"

What are some of yours?


  1. I often address comments in my most cutesy-pie voice to the offending animal, "Hello, nice dog running loose in camp! Where is your leash?"

    I will also "scold" my horse for the other horse's intrusion, "no no, punkin, you know you aren't allowed to sniff noses." Again, grossly cutesy voice that my mare knows is NOT addressed to her.

    I'm a big fan of red tail ribbons. Fiddle was a kicker when I got her 3 years ago, and I've mostly fixed that...however, she's a horse. And a mare. And a recovering kicker (in the same way that a recovering alcoholic still considers himself to be an alcoholic). If somebody unwarily runs a horse up her butt, I'm pretty sure she'll try to nail the horse...or the rider. So, red ribbon. Maybe it will help.

  2. I've only been to one ride and pretty well kept to my self the whole time (at the back of the pack) but one thing that really bothered me was the LD riders cantering past. I understand that you aren't going as far and maybe you CAN race your horse for 25 miles, but PLEASE come to a walk to pass others!

    I don't think I should have to breathe a sigh of relief when it is cut off time for the 25 milers.

    I did start calling out "young horse, please walk" and got quite a few nasty looks. Everybody did come to a walk to pass, but I got the feeling some of them felt like I was interfering with their race.

    Was it wrong/rude of me to request they alter their speed to pass me (in either direction)?

  3. I'm not nice, and will be a bitch and tell them they are an idiot. Or, make snide comments to another loud enough the offending person hears.

    "Gee, I guess some people did not hear this water was drinking water only"

    "I'd really rather not have my horse as your horses hood ornament when you run his head up my horses ass"

    "Thanks for pushing my horse out of the water, that was rude"

    You get the picture. hehe

  4. TXTRIGGER: I admit, I often think those rude thoughts. Sometimes I even mutter them. But since I'm out to have a fun day, I try not to fill up my mouth with bitter words. The sickly-sweet cute voice often gets the job done.

    I have been known to speak strongly and specifically to ride managers, however, regarding the behavior of riders. In one case, several people spoke so strongly BEFORE the ride about a rider who is known for rude/dangerous behavior that the RM gave an "etiquette" talk at the ride meeting...and I saw her speaking strongly to that rider after the meeting. Seems to me that I didn't hear any reports of rudeness about that one on that day. Maybe she learned something. That'd be good.

    I will take my horse waaaaaaaaayyy off trail to stay out of the way of a screwball. I only ride to complete anyhow, a few extra seconds on the far side of a big rock won't cost me anything.

  5. how come you have time to talk to somebody wearing a headlamp in the morning before a 100 mile ride? :~) I probably won't have time to even find my I probably will have it on long enough to get Bo's boots put on.

    If I find somebody sponging and scooping where it's not allowed I just whip out my camera and say "you don't mind if I take a photo, do you?" That usually stops

    To add to your list of annoyances - the person who wants to ride with you, but then tries to take over. Such as directing you to walk, trot, etc. when you either want to go faster, or want to go slower. If I say I want to take 8 to 9 hours to ride the 50 that day then don't try to get me to speed up and get it done in 6 1/2 hours. Or they need you to stop often and are late getting out of the checks. I may be a conservative rider but I am also Type A and don't like to waste time.

    At 20 MT you will probably be run over by the 65 milers. I hate that part of the ride! Dave and I were run over last year and used as "brakes" by the front runner. I finally got off the trail, stopped completely and told her to go on she was bothering my horse. Be sure to keep that in mind, because if a 65 miler catches you on the 100 they are most definitely riding faster than you and need to get on by.

  6. you hit my number 1 pet peeve. I hate rude people at the watering areas. Don't push my horse off and don't sponge your horse with our drinking water.

    Drives me mad.


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