Showing posts from November, 2013

In which I do what I (almost) always do in November: I WRITE

I did my first NaNoWriMo in 2008.

That year, for the first time in my life, I wrote an entire book.

I started at the beginning with a premise (A 100-mile endurance ride open only to teenagers on horseback.  The completion prize is a wish.) and I wrote almost every day. Two days from the end of the month, my characters were almost at the finish line and I still didn't know how to end the book...and then suddenly I did.

That feeling is better than drugs, y'all.

(I tried revising the book for publication earlier this year, but it's not done marinating yet.  I will work on it, though.  I promise!)

Finishing that book left me looking around for something else to write.  So, in December 2008 I started this blog.  Did I mention addictive drugs?

The next year I signed up for NaNoWriMo again.  I spent the entire month of November on a book that I hated.  I hated the characters, I hate the setting, I hated the whole thing.  On the last day of the month, I loaded all the characters…

In which Endurance 101 is a splendid gift--order yours now!

Some of y'all weren't here last year when we released the first copies of Endurance 101 to the public, just in time for the winter holidays.

Almost exactly one year ago, on the only sunny day in November 2012, we got Santa Jim all dressed up in his gear, and got him and Jingles (aka Arianna) to pose for pictures featuring the new book.

Want to see all the fun we had that day?  Visit the blog post HERE.

And now, it's time to remind everyone to order copies in time for the 2013 holidays!  Priority shipping is now available for the paper version of the book, so you won't have to play "post-office roulette" this year.

Just go to the website

and order your copy today!
Or heck.  You have more than one friend, right?  You can order copies for everyone!

That website one more time?
p.s.  want something super-cute to tie to the outside of the package?  Look at Monica's latest creations: 

available on Etsy.  Go look at the page HERE!  

In which it's November, so the Usual Suspects detour a bit

What do endurance riders do in the off-season?

Well, some of 'em clean up a bit and attend a schooling show!

(...after finishing the Most Important Cup of the Day, obviously.)

Most of the Usual Suspects showed up to support our friends who were riding.

I'm really new to the world of showing horses in an arena.  Here's what I learned:  a schooling show isn't a place of high drama.

Especially on a rainy Sunday in November.

The hardcore competitors will start appearing at these shows in January and February.  This time of year, it really is mostly a chance to get some experience for horses and/or riders who need a chance to practice in an unfamiliar arena in front of a judge.

It was really interesting to watch, and not stressful at all for the horses and riders.

In fact, the biggest challenge for a lot of us was

staying warm while watching.

It was fun!

(yes, the fun actually surprises me)

And everybody learned stuff.

In which I visit an old friend and Fee takes me stomping on old grounds

Rosemary and I have told stories on stage together,  but not for a long time.

Facebook brought us back together again, and I was delighted to learn that she has a young horse that might be suitable for endurance.  "Come ride with us!" she wrote, and a few days ago, I did.

Rosemary lives in my hometown, which I left more than 15 years ago.  When I lived there, I rode my mare Story all over the Chuckanut hills.

Sometimes we'd get bored with our familiar trails and cross the freeway overpass (on foot, not via trailer--did I mention how much I love Team Sensible horses?) and then take the little trail behind the rifle range (did I mention that Story was a VERY sensible horse?) up onto the south side of Galbraith.

That's where we went with Rosemary and Griffin--only we went up the NORTH side of Galbraith, also known as the "Geneva side" (named for the nearby elementary school--my dad taught there for many years).

We admired the view on the north side of the hi…

In which Endurance 101 is on Horses in the Morning (yay!)

Usually, I only get up that early in the morning to ride,
but today I got up early to be interviewed by endurance blogger Karen Chaton  on the Horse Radio Network program "Horses in the Morning."

What fun!

If you missed the program because you were sleeping like a sensible person, you didn't really miss the program!  You can tune in at the link HERE.    You can also get the HRN app for smart phones, and listen to their podcasts.  "Endurance day" on Horses in the Morning is the first Tuesday of each month, but some of the other programs are fun, too.

My part of the show starts around the 27-minute point of the program, after Karen's good tips for longevity in endurance horses (she's the expert!), and before the hilarity of Angie McGhee's part.  We talk about the Endurance 101 book, of course--why I wrote it, and some of the basics about what's in it.

In only 15 minutes or so, of course, it's hard to talk about everything we'd like to say…

In which *Endurance 101* gets a "Boekrecensie," so, okay!

Monica is so cool.
When the publisher of the Dutch endurance magazine Her & Der (Here and There) contacted Monica in her persona of Publisher of the Endurance 101 book and asked for a review copy, she smiled and shrugged and sent them a copy of the e-book.
Both of us figured we'd probably never hear from them again.
But we did!

Here's the Google Translate version of the review:   
To begin : What is a good book ! The cover does not look particularly attractive, but that makes the content more than good. The book is written in English not too complicated and easy to read way . the author formulates its objectives very clearly : "Gain the skills you need to succeed with the horse you have and learn what endurance riders mean when they say That to finish is to Win . "
Like most endurance books this book will also be launched with some general text about what endurance is , what the rules are (in this case, the U.S. rules ) and what kind of horse you can practice the s…

In which I learn something, and (with the help of friends) I can teach something

We went to the Buck Brannaman clinic last weekend, and we learned a lot of stuff. 

Monica took copious notes and excellent photos -- for her full report, go visit her blog post HERE.

Of course, I was extremely interested in Buck's advice for the lady with the kickin' horse.  That's the one really bad habit of Fiddle's that I haven't managed to break yet.

I hasten to remind readers that Fee came with buckets of bad habits.  Some were related to inconsistent handling (on the track??) some related to her hormonal disorders, and some purely native to her, an opinionated and not extremely brave mare.  She used to bite, kick, and swing her body around like a weapon to people, dogs, and other horses.  She used to pin her ears and run at folks.  She used to strike out with her front feet, intent on smashing whatever--and whomever--she could reach.  A lot of people wondered why I didn't just send her to the canners.  It was a fair question, really.

But it's been a…