In which early mornings are never easy, but the ride is worth it
Ride-day mornings come early, and with them always comes my question:
|Early morning trail at Cariboo Gold|
"Why on earth do I do this?"
|The south end of Sucker Lake|
I am not a morning person, and Fiddle is not a "morning horse."
On ride days, we shamble through the usual routine of food and drink, but being awake and in the saddle before the sun is up and warm is never enjoyable for me.
|Obstacle-that-isn't-an-obstacle on the trail.|
This cow peered at the Dragon for a moment and then hightailed it for the trees.
Early in the morning, it's easy to focus on stuff that might go wrong during the day.
The cows might eat essential trail markers, the weather might turn dreadful, the pain in my hips might flare out of control, my horse might turn from a relatively tame dragon into the other kind....
I can't remember a ride morning where I haven't seriously questioned my sanity.
|White birch trees, so different from our Swamplandic landscape|
Why on earth do I do this crazy sport? It's hard. It aggravates my arthritic hips like crazy. It's expensive. And (most of all) it requires me to be up and mostly-functional before 10am. What's to like?
|In the far distance (around 2:00 on the horizon) is the Hill lodge.|
Ridecamp is just below it.
And then the day gets lighter (if not warmer). And the trail in front of me is beautiful.
|A skier's warming hut. These trails are used for dog-sled racing |
and cross-country skiing in winter.
And the trail behind me is beautiful.
And my Dragon is the most beautiful of all.
|She went forward for me all day with barely any bad thoughts.|
|David's horse Laser had his 100th start at Cariboo Gold. |
Laser's record for endurance is currently 100 starts, 94 finishes--outstanding!
It always seems that it's over too soon.
|We didn't spook at the finish line banner, but Fiddle kept her|
"warning ear" pointedat it as we passed by...just in case.
And I can't wait to do it again.
|Day after the ride. She lost a shoe at mile 16, but finished the ride |
with A's for gait and impulsion wearing 3 steel shoes and a bright red Renegade boot.
(and at Cariboo Gold, riders can relax in the pool and hot tub after the ride--pure luxury!)
|Feels so good after a ride!|
I never believe it early in the morning, but by mid-day I almost always remember:
Life is good. And endurance is good, too!