Saturday, July 18, 2015

Endurance #amreading #horses #endurance #weekendwarrior

No Best in Blogs today! I have been away from my computer and missed all those posts this week. So, what have I been doing you ask? Well, maybe you didn't ask, but I'm gonna tell you cuz I'm pretty proud of it.

Obviously from the name of this blog I'm into horses and I do manage to do a few horse related posts even though it's more focused on promoting books and authors. Todays' is all about the horses, one in particular.

I bought Ava as a 5yo, fairly fresh off the race track. This is her the day I brought her home. My goal was to do endurance on her (25, 50 miles, maybe more!) She seemed to love the trail, and she was extremely well behaved. Too calm! I like crazy, that's why I ride arabs.

My thing is taking messed up horses and rehabbing their minds while searching for that diamond in the rough, the one that wants to do what I want to do and be fun while doing it. I thought if she was that calm, someone else might enjoy  her more. I think she overhead me say that because the next ride, she brought a little of the track enthusiasm to the table. Okay, now we're getting somewhere!

Since, she's done over 500 miles of competition. Those rides have comprised a combination of 25 and 50 milers. One of my goals is to do a 100 miler, maybe even Tevis (look it up, amazing!) and decided a stepping stone would be to do back-to-back 50s first. We tried once last year, but she got a little sore slipping on some muddy clay trails. Then we had our big move which took forever, so kind of started all over this year.

She did three 25s, coming in first twice and getting best condition on one of those. We did a 50 which killed me since it had been a year since my last, but I swear she was laughing at me cuz she barely sweated.

This week, we got an opportunity to go to a mid-week ride. I hoped to finally get that 2-day completion. I had been getting a little frustrated with Ava before though. She's really tired of conditioning and fights going out, then tries to relive her racetrack memories to blast home no matter how rocky or steep the terrain. I was beginning to believe she wasn't happy with endurance.

I think it's important that  horse enjoys their job (and hopefully doesn't even think of it as a job). Especially endurance because it's a task that takes many hours. You don't want to fight for 4, 6, 8, up to 24 hours!

So I mentioned that if she didn't seem to enjoy this competition, I might have to consider selling her. She might have heard that!

Ava really is a spoiled little brat! And thankfully "little" because otherwise she'd probably knock me down daily trying rub her itchy little head on my shoulder. She stomps and snorts at vets, thinks it's her job to scream a welcome to every horse showing up to camp, and can stomp, gnash her teeth, sling her head around, and buck ... all while at a canter dead set on catching the horse in front of her.

Well, this week, she was all alone, no buddies. Maybe no one to show off too. She was generally very quiet in camp, nice to the vets (who might have thought I was nuts warning them to watch out for her hind legs), and only threw in a couple half-hearted bucks even though she had more energy each day. Someone clearly forgot to tell her she'd done 50, then 100 miles the days before. Even this morning after completing 155 miles, she was trotting circles around me.

Hmm, Tevis? Maybe in a couple years, but we'll start with an easier 100 first.

Okay, now back to catching up on 296 unread emails and scrolling through pics people took of us. I don't have any - my hands were glued to the reins!

Oh, and by the way, she's not for sale! Thanks to all the vets, volunteers, and fellow riders who helped make this possible!

P.S. To make this about writing/reading, an author friend of mine recently published her memoir about her experiences with horses through her mid-life-crisis years. It's called Stable Relation by Anna Blake. I started reading it before I went to bed at the ride. I'm not finished yet, but am enjoying it - and even got to mention to it out on the trail since her reference to Cheetohs as vegetarian pork rinds totally cracked me up while we ate Cheetohs for lunch! Check it out - I'll have a review here soon.

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