Photo by Lynn Glazer
This is not my warrior story, although someday I intend to claim the accomplishment.
Tevis is a 100 mile ride from near Lake Tahoe to Auburn, CA. It passes through the Granite Chief Wilderness, by Emmigrant Pass, and over something called Cougar Rock. Click on the link for more amazing pics of horses climbing this rock. Aside is one taken by fellow endurance rider Lynn Glazer. Just getting into position for these photos is a feat!
The closest I've been to Tevis is crewing for a friend several years ago. Melissa is an amazing woman. She's skied on the slopes of Everest, run a rescue foundation for exotic animals, and had a pet cougar named Ruby that she would take for walks - with a horse on a lead and the cougar running free.
The year I crewed for Melissa, she had badly fractured her leg (in dozens of pieces) months earlier and been told she'd never walk. She had her horse taught to kneel so she could mount in case of an emergency and she carried a folding cane on the ride. She finished this tough ride which often has a completion rate of 50%. Now she's hanging out in Africa with her friend Jane Goodall and getting involved with elephant rescue organizations.
My youngster Csavannah on her first ride
One of the best things about endurance riding is the care given to the horses. There are frequent water and food stops and hour long holds for the horses to rest where vets go over them thoroughly and make sure they aren't dehydrated or muscle sore. If there is even a hint of a problem, most riders will pull their horses rather than risk a problem. Riders will get off and lead for miles through canyons and high temps to take care of their partners.
Even though I haven't done Tevis (yet) there is nothing like the partnership developed with your horse in this sport. And the horses love this so much more than turning circles in an arena!
Now for the really nutty people - there are those who run a similar trail to Tevis on foot! 100 miles in 24 hours. My hat is off to everyone, both rider and runner who tackles this amazing terrain. Just google Tevis or Western State 100 trail pictures and you'll be amazed too!
Since my husband is still injured, my neighbor rode one of my horses on Saturday and we did 10 miles on what I consider my Tevis prep trails. We did manage to put in 7 fence posts (hey, it's rocky here, hard work!). I didn't do any writing although I made a few stabs at outlining a series I'm working on. Pansting just isn't going to get me through 5 books! I'm not any good at plotting, so instead I focused on a character arc. More on this in a later post.
So who do you revere as a weekend warrior? Are you taking steps to meet the same accomplishments?