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Friday, August 2, 2013

What did I accomplish this year?

Before we get into the post today, just wanted to say that I actually took a good look at Farley’s feet yesterday, ~10 days post Tevis and DANG they look good.  I think that’s my favorite part of riding a 100 in strap ons - the hooves just look incredible afterwards (in glueons they are always feel a bit soft and are smelly).  There’s a ton of growth, and the retained sole that I’ve been glaring at for the last couple months is falling out, and the hoof that is the “High” of the high/low is actually wearing heel and the hoof that is the “Low” is actually wearing toe.  So Cool!!!!!!!!!  If an argument could be made of riding a 100 miles being beneficial to a part of the horse, hooves would definitely be the winner.

Since Farley got hurt and I started vet school in 2011, I haven’t posted my normal “goal” posts.  It’s hard to have exciting goals that I feel like striving towards when both time AND money is severely limited, and I didn’t know whether Farley would hold up under a 50 mile effort, never mind a 100 miler.  But, it turns out I’ve had quite the successful season.

This year was all about tying up loose ends and being a part of endurance in a bigger way than just riding the rides.

  1. Farley’s 1,000 miles: Complete
  2. Get Cougar rock pics: Complete
  3. Start Tevis (and feel good about my horse): Complete
  4. Crew for the first time: Complete
  5. Go to a ride just to volunteer (as opposed to finishing and then volunteering): Pending.....haven’t decided which ride, although I have some 2014 rides on the list.
  6. Go to a trail maintenance day: Pending.  Haven’t quite figured out where to start on this one.

I think as far as doing rides my season is done, but as you can see, I still have an item or two to check off the list. 

Farley’s 1,000 miles is probably the achievement that means the most to me.

I can’t bear to put it away, so it may be the first thing that has ever lived on my rear view mirror. 

Of all my riding related goals, this was the one I knew was the most doable, and it was the one I cared the most about.  When I started the season, I was 3 50’s away from Farley having 1,000 career endurance miles.  When she got injured at 20MT in 2011, that was the goal I most regretted possibly never being able to achieve, and it was on the top of my priority list if we ever did endurance together again. 

When I got lost on the first day of Wild West I was so pissed at myself and kept telling Farley how sorry I was that she had a moron for a rider.  I knew there was a good chance we were doing Tevis that year, and the odds are not “ever in your favor” for finishing Tevis, so I couldn’t count on the miles there.  After Tevis we were done for the season, and so by having to RO at WW I was letting that 1,000 mile achievement slip away for yet another year.  A lot can happen in a year and there are no guarantees that me and Farley will have another season, or a season after that - sh*t happens.  Of course, we know the ending to the story - I was convinced to go on after learning the trail was short, went out the next day and Farley had her 1,000 miles.

But, the point is: as much as this award means to me, I was willing to let it go this season if I couldn’t do right by my horse in the process.  And I think that’s what I’m most proud of.  I earned this award, even while being determined to pull Farley at the *hint* of NQR in any of the last 155 miles.  That wasn’t always true over the course of these 1,000 miles - Before I was willing to manage through minor issues, and thought many of my less than “A” scores were “normal”.  But, my perspective and goals are different now, and while I know I’m a competent horseperson enough to managing issues during a ride, now I realize that I don’t want to if I can’t feel 100% good about what I asked my horse to do  when I look back over the ride.


  1. Congratulations! It wasn't until I earned my first medallion on Montoya DSA that I truly felt like an endurance rider. Interestingly enough, the second one came pretty quickly. I quit endurance riding before earning my 4,000 mile Chevron, and it still nags at me a bit that I didn't do those last few rides to get it, but it just wasn't worth it to try on my gray pony. He didn't care about the chevron so I moved on. Now, he's helped me earn my USDF Rider Performance Award at Training Level (it's a patch similar to what AERC offers) and my first "plate" for CDS. We'll get our second one this year.

    I LOVE incentives, but not so much that I'll push a horse for the wrong reason. Congrats again. :0)

  2. Getting *my* 1000 mile patch was definiately a high point, but I think the 1000 horse medallion means more to me.

    How many 50's were you away from your 4,000 chevron?

    I'm a long way away from my next "incentive". 815 miles away from my 2K chevron, 6 years (and 6 50's) from a decade award, 4 100 completions from a "silver level", and 965 miles away from a 2k medallion.

    and considering I'm planning on riding ~3 50's a year and a Tevis attempt.....I'm not sure we are going to make any of them but the decade! and I'm OK with that. I'm learning if I earn an incentive because I did right by my horse then they are a visual representative of an accomplishment I'm proud of. If I go out and earn an incentive because of the incentive's sake, there's a hollow feeling in a small part of my heart, wondering whether I paid a greater price than I should have for the trinket. You know?

    I really wanted my first CDS plate...but if didn't work out. At least I have that "recognized rider" designation that CDS offers - it was really important to my trainer that I get it, and I suppose once I reconcile the mixed feelings I have about the whole experience that went around earning it, I'll be more happy about it :).

  3. Congrats on your goals achieved (and man, I love that the Decade Team exists -- what a cool thing to honor!) and hey, what's life without a few more still to chase? :-p


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