In which the start of endurance season is fifty three days away

I'm getting more excited about the 2010 endurance season than I have been for a couple of years...mostly because this year I actually think I might get to ride in a few competitions.

Because we were busy the last two years--training young Fiddle in 2008, buying and fixing up the farm in 2009, Jim and I have spent a fair amount of time in ridecamps, doing trail work, taking pulses, and doing other stuff that needed to be done. But this year, maybe we can ride a few!

Seeing the short movie Arabian Silk at the PNER convention got my heartrate up. And I just watched a short YouTube video about the Tevis. It was originally posted on Karen Chaton's blog, and I'm posting it below, because it's just fabulous.

...not that I think I'll be riding Tevis this year.

Someday, yes.

When I did the 100 at Mt Adams in 2007, the ride manager told me that there was a difference between a "100-mile horse" and a "horse that does 100s." A horse that does 100s does them because that's the job for the day. The 100-mile horse gets up early on ride day knowing and loving the challenge of an incredibly long day on the trail.

I also believe that there's a difference between a 100-mile horse and a Tevis horse. Again, some horses do Tevis because that's the job. Others, according to them whats knows, achieve some sort of magical strength on the Tevis trail that is almost visible to the eye. Zayante was one of those.

I don't know if Fiddle is a Tevis horse. I suspect she isn't, if only because the soles of her hooves are tender--and I do believe that if a particular horse requires a lot of extra support to finish a particular ride, maybe it's not a good idea to take that horse to that ride.

Fiddle shows early signs of being a 100-mile horse, at least.

As for Tevis...well, time will certainly tell about that.


  1. I hope you have read Juli Suhrs book, Ten Feet Tall. Great read. Some feel they are called to the Tevis trail. Many go, and some never want to see it again, while others want to go back again and again. I want to go back again and again, and not sure if it is good or bad that it is 1500+ miles away.

    I have never had an urge to do other 100's, except maybe the big name ones. I want to GO some place, not do loops in and out of camp all day. I don't think of Tevis as a 100. I think of it as TEVIS. Hank was awesome the year he finished. But, not sure he is as you said, a 100 mile horse.

    You have to feel you will finish. If you have doubts, chances are, you will not finish. It is a mental ride. You have to be thinking te whole way. Watching your time, listening to your horse, taking care of BOTH of you. Part of that is what calls me back. I like that kind of challenge.

    Hoping to get to some 50s again this year, then who knows!

  2. When I did the 100 (on Toad) at Mt Adams, I knew we could do it barring the usual hell/high water. I guess I'll find out more about Fiddle when we've done a few competitions.

    I have not only read Julie Suhr's book, I currently own TWO autographed copies. (I won a copy at the recent PNER conference--bought my original copy yonks ago when she first published it).

    Hmm. How's about I give the extra away to the first person to walk up to me at a Washington State ride and ask for it? Seem fair?

  3. There you go, a contest for the book! It is a MUST read to me, for all endurance...wait, all horse folks. I always thought Oprah should have gotten it on her book club..

  4. My behind is not a 100-mile behind :-)

  5. Finally got a chance to watch the video - very cool!

    I think it'd be awesome to do Tevis, but it's way too early for me to say whether I will or not, and whether I have a Tevis horse or not. We shall see!

  6. Whoohoo! I hope you get to do endurance this year! that would be exciting.

    BTW - I really agree with you that there are horses that doo 100 milers and there are 100 miler horses. It's a perfectly elegant way of describing the difference of a horse that gets stronger and does it for themselves and who you know, if you got off of them, would continue in the race and finish in fine condition without you!


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