In which endurance is a great sport, but it's the *people* that we love

We went to Foothills of the Cascadesand the weather (unlike recent years for the event) was FABULOUS!

(blog reader Karen W, is this you drawing on my pony's nether end?)

I drove to Molalla to help Sky celebrate her birthday by riding one of our favorite rides together! Although we've known each other for years, and we ride together whenever possible, we've never actually ridden together at an endurance event. This year, the weather was forecasted to be not-rainy, Sky's back wasn't sore, Cricket had a shiny new set of shoes, and Fiddle was finally ready for the additional challenge of doing an event with another horse.

We went!

We rode!

We had fun!

Some pictures from the (beautiful) trail:

I loved the trail signs. Most of the trails are named for kids and grandkids of ride management.

Yes, lytha , there were plenty of rocks on the trail. Next time I do this ride, I will put shoes and pads on my horse's feet. Fiddle did fine with just shoes, but for this ride the extra protection is warrented. Most of the pulls at this ride (with one notable exception, which I'll discuss in a later post) were for lameness. There were plenty of rocks to choose from--I am happy to have a horse who is careful where she steps.

We weren't alone on the trail:Ride and Tie-ers! I don't mind saying: some of those RaTs were plenty buff. We joked that the ride would get twice as many entries if the managers had told folks that we would meet Chippendale models running along the trails with us.

Actually, I'm not sure that we were joking.

One time at a ride years ago, Mads and I were trotting down a trail at about 7mph (I was wearing a GPS that day), when our trail joined up with a R&T trail. A very buff runner came alongside us, and talked with us as he was running for at least 5 or 10 minutes. Then his watched beeped, he checked it and said, "Oh, my rest break is over, I gotta go" and he sped up and left us in his dust.

(boggle) Those people are a very special and wonderful kind of crazy.

Speaking of special and wonderful, that's what endurance people are. Paul makes the best gumbo, and he feeds anybody who comes near his rig. I love parking next to him. He sent gumbo home with me--lunch tomorrow!

There is a kid under this blanket. Just hold tight for a minute...

Spencer has a beautiful smile, doesn't he? He had the task of collecting cards at the in-gate for our finish line when Sky and I came through. It's so nice to see smiling faces at the finish line.

Here's somebody else who always makes me smile:

Ashley Ann, age 3.5, is my very first grand-junior.

When Ash's mom Tiffany was a kid, she was my junior. She will always be one of my favorite juniors, even now that she has a kid of her own. Tiffany and Ash did the 10-mile fun ride. Tiffany said that Ash didn't complain (much). How many kids can do that before they learn to read? (Of course I frequently bring her books to practice "reading"...and she's definitely going to be a big reader when she gets old enough!) (Happy sigh) Ash is also an excellent lap warmer at the chilly awards ceremony.

Sky and I talked and talked and talked. It's been years since I've been able to ride an event with another person. Both of us could have travelled the trail much faster if we'd been alone--Fiddle had emotional issues at the start line and Cricket isn't quite as fit as my Fiddle. But that wasn't the goal of this ride. Our goal was to have fun. And we did. Oh, yes, we had fun.

We also decided that, although we'd started out doing endurance because we wanted to camp with our horses and see lots of beautiful stuff and challenge ourselves mentally and physically, we stuck with the sport because of the people. Are endurance people nice because they have fun?

Or do we have fun because we're nice to each other?

Either way, these are my peeps. I'm here to stay.
Life. Is. So. Good!

(p.s. Has my horse always been so tall?)


  1. Anything equine is more fun with buddies, although I must say, I had a lovely solo ride on Jaz yesterday. Sometimes it's nice to be left with one's own thoughts and agenda.

  2. Congrats on a great ride! I love Blanket Kid and the Grand-Junior.

  3. Spending time with my horse and a love of camping are the main reasons I am so interested in this sport... I love doing both. Some day I hope I will get my chance!

    It looks like you had a lot of fun and the forest trail pics were beautiful!

    Ashley is adorable....perhaps a future endurance rider there :-)

  4. I'm digging that big, bright, shiny red ribbon in her tail. :) Hintity-hint-hint.

    I am not digging the fact that I snuck through to your blog while at work and clicked on your Chippendale link... only to find that it wasn't code for something else, but rather a link to the Chippendale website. Murphy's law states my computer should have frozen there, but somehow I escaped.

    WV: Rideast... hmmm. I wish I could be creative with this one, but it just looks like Ride East to me, or a misspelling of ridiest (We had the ridiest weekend!) Besides, I'm intimidated by these word verifications now. I mean, you CONJUGATED my last word verification. Way to throw down the gauntlet!

  5. I love good horses and good people and wonderful, frabjous times with them both. Sounds like a fantastic event. Life is what you make it and y'all are doing it right. :-)

    As for those crazy Ride-n-Tie folks, I love hearing about them and wish there were more opportunities back here in the southeast US. A crazy friend and I are seriously training for one next September in Tennessee because we are just tetched enough that we think it sounds like a blast. We've not yet told our horse about it though; we'll let her live in blissful ignorance for just a few months longer.

  6. Hey- That IS me putting on Fiddle's number!
    Wasn't that a great ride? I really enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and the trails were great.
    I had a blast riding my friends' awesome gelding- some day I just might get me one of those gaited horses too.
    I really like that ride, its the only one I've done twice (so far:))
    Hope you guys had a safe and uneventful drive back home- we were only about 2 hours from home and headed out before awards this year.
    Karen W.

  7. Fiddle does look very tall! How tall are you?

    Those rocky trails look just like my mare's pasture. With her challenging feet maybe I should keep her in shoes and pads all year long. hmmm...

    Looks like a great time on the trails for all. Sure wish I could ahve joined you. I love Autumn riding.


  8. Fee is 15.3 hands high.

    I am 15.2 hands high.



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