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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1000 miles

I'm half way to my goal of 1000 miles and what an adventure so far!
Why is the 1000 mile point important?  I've *heard* that the steepest learning curve is in the first 1000 miles.  Although you keep learning after that, you don't get quite the same "curve balls" and you are better able to deal with the curve balls.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll start to become more confident that I'm actually qualified to do this.....
Yep....90% of indecisiveness and agonizing over (perhaps) trivial decisions is the fact I look around and realize I have so few miles.  And so few years doing this.  And everyone around me *knows* better because they have more experience.  So I try to listen to their advice, but I have my OWN opinions on what works to, and integrating my opinions and their opinions and trying not to make too many mistakes makes for a very crowded party in my brain.  When I first started I didn't care what anyone thought and got myself in trouble because I didn't listen enough.  Now, I'm too far on the other side of the pendulum and I probably care TOO MUCH what others think.  Hopefully this next season brings a healthy balance!
Let's look at the numbers!  (and let's hope that my next 500 miles - 425 miles to be exact - do NOT simple double these numbers....)
3 years (first ride was April 2007)
3 horses (in a little known fact, I conditioned my Dad's Morab for an LD after Minx got hurt during my first season)
3 bowed tendons
1 colic death
1 Hock injections
16 sets of shoes and 1 set of pads
16 total boots (2-size 2, 7-size 1, 7-size 0)
2 pulled shoes
2 boot failures
4 boot colors (yellow, black, burgundy, bronze)
4 DNS (Did not start) rides
5 ride pulls
10 endurance completions
90 hours of trail time during endurance completions
6 LD completions (LD mileage is not counted towards my 1000 mile mark BTW)
22 hours of trail time during LD completions (very approximate)
4 saddles (Mclellen, Thorowgood, Duett, Arabian Company)
4 saddle pads (army blanket, skito, woolback, Haf)
3 Helmets (not counting my dressage helmet, which I will NOT be wearing on the trail)
15 falls from horse back (all in the first 18 months)
0 broken bones
0 concussions
380 blog posts
Sometimes I minimize my accomplishments so far because it seems so insignificant.  The number of competition miles doesn't give credit to the many many conditioning hours, pain, joy, and tears that it took to get there.  This list makes me feel a bit better.  Wow!  look at all that!  Maybe I'm a *real* endurance rider after all!
BTW - advice heeded:  Farley and I will be gallivanting off to the AR 50 as long as all goes well in the next 1-2 weeks.  And yes Zach - we can definitely ride together as long as the pacing is good and the horses stay happy.  Who's sponsoring you for that ride?  It's a bummer that overnights are not allowed Saturday night, so I'll make sure I catch up with you Friday night!
Farley update - Farley looks like she's doing just fine.  She's on bute for the next 3-4 days so it's tough to tell, but I think I notice a different in how she moves and stands.  :)  I rechecked the sides of her withers and she's definitely a bit sensitive so I'll keep an eye on it and see if it resolves itself now that the hock pain is (*crosses fingers*) is gone.  It's not really where the saddle rests so I'm thinking it's compensation pain. 


  1. Curious, is she more sore on the right side of her withers than left?

  2. Definitely keep her on bute. I've had joints injected and what nobody tells you is that it hurts TERRIBLY for a few days. :( It's definitely for the best, but poor girl!

    A thousand miles sure sounds like a lot to new people - but once you start trying, you realize just how many more miles go into the thousand that count. Very impressive!

    I sympathize about following other people's advice. It's so hard to find the balance.

  3. We are getting their late Thursday night (i am letting myself off of school for one day :p) and just relaxing/glueing boots on Friday... Rose bishop is my sponsor for the ride, and pretty much all my rides for the rest of the year, we did a few rides together last year and our horses (well my horse, her mule :) go really well together...

  4. Wait, where is the 1 100 mile finish? Anyway, good luck on your next ride! I haven't been in contact much but I am still reading most of your posts. Everything is just so, well I don't really have a name for it yet, but I'm a bit out of it.

    I'll try and send you an e-mail about places to park at Fort Ord.

  5. Jonni asked about the withers soreness, and I'm curious about the same thing because even if the saddle fits properly, the soreness might be caused by pressure during mounting and/or dismounting.

    So, is she more sore on the right? If you usually mount from the left, that could be a contributing cause. If she's sore on both sides of the withers and you mount from both sides, try using a mounting block whenever you can find one. Since my mare is tall and I am short, I've taught her to stand next to all kinds of weird things so I can climb aboard. She will also stand in a ditch--even two or three inches of "lift" makes a huge difference.

    Equus magazine did a study (more than 10 years ago) showing the stress on the horse's back and on the saddle tree--the results made me a believer in mounting blocks even for short horses!

    I think you should do a post about what you've learned the hard way. I could probably write a whole book about that, myself....


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