In which we are couch-surfers, become shiny, and go riding with Sky

Monica and I have become the vendor equivalent of couch-surfers.
Brent Skill built the Ansur western-style saddle he's sitting on. 
I prefer the endurance-type rig...but any saddle is better than standing on cement all day.

Our small-time publishing display needs are (thus far) pretty tiny.  We don't need a double-booth to sell Endurance fact, we don't even need an entire table. 

The corner of a table is just fine.  Wanna buy a book?
Sharing space with other equine vendors has been a great way to shine our unusual spotlight on worthy businesses, while learning the secrets of the the trade from experts.  We knew that we were learning lots from the American Trail Girlz. That made us even more eager to learn from Brent and Carole Skill, local representatives of Ansur Saddles.

And it was really fun!

Meeting an eager reader: I love this part of the job!
Tiring, but fun.
Our weekend didn't start with Complete Auspiciousness:  we were already in Oregon when Monica's phone chimed the 26 messages (only a slight exaggeration, I swear) from her husband:  she'd left her suitcase at home.

But hey.  We are not women who lack resources.

St Vinnie's thrift store in Corvallis to the rescue!

Soon enough, we were mixing it up with our friends from the Pacific Northwest Endurance Rides. 
PNER booth
(photo by M. Bretherton)
We can't sell books out of the PNER booth without endangering their non-profit status, which was fine--the couch-surfing at Brent's saddle booth was plenty comfy!

I did have to earn my keep, and I did:

Endurance 101 workshops were well-attended by
potential recruits to the True Faith.
And then on Sunday, our efforts were rewarded:  Sky took us riding!

Monica on Cricket, Sky on Barney
(not shown: me on Trinket)

Here's how we did the math:  there were three horses.  There were three riders.  One horse per rider? 

Nope:  three horses per rider! 

We played "musical ponies" so that each of us could try out the Standardbred (Cricket), the Standie/Arab (Trinket) and the brand-new-out-of-the-box green Paso Fino (Barney).  Monica wrote a delightful description of our adventures on her blog (HERE).

 But here's something that was not allowed a place in the sun on the Horsebytes blog:

BLING!   Sky's helmet has a modern-yet-classic goth look,
reminiscent of the studs on James Dean's leather jacket.

Helmet bling.  Sky started it, and I was inspired to take it to a whole 'nother level.

My helmet bling is more over-the-top,
reminiscent of the studs on Frankenfurter's fishnet stockings.
Thus decorated, we hit the trails, and met up with coincidence.  This nice fellow
Neil built this trail.  He's also kinda interested in this "endurance thing-y"

not only introduced Good Boy Barney to the joys of Bicyclists Who Carry Horse Cookies, he also inquired about our horses and their breeding and training.

Turns out, he had wanted to attend the Endurance 101 seminars at the Horse Expo the previous day, but had missed the opportunity.  That's okay.  We sent him a link to the E101 website.  I hope he enjoys the book! 

The rest of the ride was just the usual:

Barney is now convinced the all bicyclists carry horse cookies!

ladies talking and laughing,

Scout showing us the trail 

Crossing the Red Sea: Barney looks like a seasoned pro, and Trinket is right behind him!

the forest being pretty all around us,

 and me taking pictures with ears at the bottom.

Cricket's ears.

Scout still showing the way

Barney's ears.

I'm plenty tired from all this fun, but you know what?


It's good.


  1. Forests in your region are always so stunning.

  2. This post was at least Two! :-) The helmet "bling" will take off like wild-fire! :-) Looks like you couldn't be having more Fun!

  3. Must. Bedazzle.
    MUST. that The Bad Idea Fairy behind you during the book signing? I might really really need a signed photo of you with The Bad Idea Fairy. You brought to life one of the horse worlds most loathed and beloved characters. And made her so funny we all laughed. Strike the "might". Need. Photo. ;)

    Love the virtual (for me) LD ride. Thank you!


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