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Showing posts from November, 2011

In which the Bad Idea Fairy writes an Endurance 101

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Endurance 101 – The Bad Idea Fairy’s Endurance Ride Diary

Intro:I am the Bad Idea Fairy (giggle!)and my horse is a super-special Lipizzan-Morgan-Mustang Stallion.I started the registry myself online and Fuggles is my foundation stallion.His registered name is “HOLDMYBEERANDWATCHTHIS” because that’s what kind of registered names LipiMorStangs will have. They are beautiful and have the best of all the breeds, and they have special gates, too: the Trollop™ and the Cantelope™.His breeder called him “Fuggly”, which I think is adorable, so I call him Fuggles because he’s my Snuggley-Wuggley-Fuggle-Boo.We are going to be beautiful together and win every race.

Friday, 2 pmFinally I’m ready to pack the trailer and load Fuggles and go to our first endurance race!I thought that nail artist was going to take all night, but I couldn’t imagine going to such an important event without getting my fingernails painted in our barn colors—PINK and GREEN forever!

Friday, 3:30 pmNo more room in the trailer.I …

In which Endurance 101 covers food and fluids for riders

Endurance 101: Human fluids + food, and why you need them
Here’s a topic that I totally overlooked when I began riding endurance:taking care of myself!
I studied and researched and queried and did all kinds of thinking about what (and when, and how) to feed, water and electrolyte my horse during a ride, and gave absolutely no thought whatsoever to my own metabolic needs.
And guess what?That strategy didn’t work out nearly as well as you might think!
Endurance is hard.To finish your event, you will want every scrap of extra energy and every single grey cell the Almighty left in your custody; you can’t afford to compromise any of those tools.Your horse is depending upon you to take care of yourself so that you can make good decisions on his behalf!
HydrationWhere I live, we don’t think much about a need to consume water.It falls from the sky pretty constantly 11 months each year, for one thing, and it seeps into our boots pretty constantly for those same 11 months.There’s not enough time in …

In which Endurance 101 considers post-ride recovery

Endurance 101 : after the finish line, you aren’t done yet
Congratulations, you’ve finished your first endurance event!Time to kick back with a cold one and socialize a bit with the other riders…right?
Uh, no.Not quite.
Your horse worked hard all day, and you took good care of him on the trail.This is no time to quit watching out for him!When the excitement and adrenaline of the day’s event wear off, your horse may start feeling a little tired and sorry for himself.In most cases, that means he’ll sleep really well through the night.Set him up for success by anticipating his needs for the next few days.
After you finish your finish-line vetcheck, return to your camp and un-tack your noble steed with care, looking for any scrapes, bumps, swellings, rub-marks or other oddities.If the weather allows, sponge his entire body to remove the sweat crust from his hair and skin.Scrape off the excess water, and allow him to dry in the sun if you have any available.If the weather is cool, cover him wi…

In which Endurance 101 endeavors to prevent "bewildered"

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Endurance 101 : Trail markers, route-finding, and avoiding bewilderment

“I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was bewildered once for three days.” --attributed to Daniel Boone (1734-1820)
The last thing you want to be, on an endurance trail, is “bewildered.”

Actually, that’s not right.
The very last thing you want to be, on an endurance ride, is “bleeding, cold, alone and bewildered.”
It’s up to you (and whatever gods of luck you ascribe unto) to avoid the blood and cold and solitude.
In this post, I will do my best to keep you from getting irretrievably bewildered on the endurance trail by describing some of the commonly-used trail-marking conventions.The ride manager (or “RM”) is not obligated to follow the convention, but if the trail-marking system is unusual, the RM will certainly discuss it at the ride meeting—make sure you are there, and take good notes!

Ribbons on the rightAt the ride meeting, you will be told what color to follow on the trail.Pay close attention!When trails criss-…

In which Endurance 101 addresses the care of a good crew

Endurance 101:Be kind to your CREW

A Song for The Crew!with apologies to Sir Paul McCartney(to the tune of “When I’m 64”)
When I get tired, starting to stare
Many miles from now
Will you still be listening when I start to whine
Mend my bridle with baling twine?
If I'd stay out ‘till quarter to three
A hundred miles (or more!)
Will you still lead me
Will you still feed me
At mile ninety-four?

(ooooooh) You'll be tired too
And if you say the word
I might crew for you!

I could be handy driving the rig
When you start to yawn
You can mend my breeches by the fireside
Earlymornings, go for a ride
Trotting my horse out, while I go pee--
Who could ask for more
Will you still lead me
Will you still feed me
At mile ninety-four.

Every summer we can go to ridecamp
At Trout Lake or Nile, if it's not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
(oooooh) Bandages on my knee
Ice pack, Vet wrap, tape!

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
stating point of view
indicate precisely what …