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Showing posts from January, 2014

In which I'm still hop-hop-hopping along, but really: only barely

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Lately, I'm in a bunch of pain.
How much pain?

Well, enough that the thought of continuing this level of activity with this level of pain in my arthritic hip is bringing me to tears faster than the thought of having surgery.

Whoa.  That's a big change.

My goal is to ride a (t least one) 50-miler this year.

Mostly to contribute towards getting Fiddle a "decade award" (we've got three years into that already), but also because it's what I do.  

At the end of last season, a 25 or 30 mile ride was not just do-able, it was almost easy...but a 50 seemed pretty out-of-reach.  I got a cortisone injection right after my final ride of the season, and felt better.  For a while.

I was hoping that cortisone might last me until a few weeks before the 2014 ride season started up, so I could get another injection, try to ride a 50, and then make decisions from there.

But it hasn't lasted long enough. Right now the pain meds are only knocking the top off the pain, and …

In which we survive Convention, buy stuff, sell stuff and have a real blast

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2014 PNER Convention!

We went there with boxes of used tack to sell, lists of tack to buy


and the intention to have a lot of fun.


Mission accomplished!


I led two Endurance 101 clinics (standing room only for session 2!),


and sold some books.



I managed not to buy much.  The new line of "PNER gear" was irresistible, so Jim and I now have grey sweats advertising our favorite endurance organization.  Raffle winnings were, as always, very popular.


We spent a lot of time socializing, of course, and meeting up with people we mostly only see online.


And then there's the banquet and dance.

None of the Usual Suspects were getting important awards (although I got to announce a couple of awards, and that's always fun)

so we mostly chatted and clapped through that part of the evening.

But after the banquet is the DANCE.


And for the DANCE, we like to dress up in fancy/funny outfits

In which I muse a bit, and there's sunshine and some ponies and some trails

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I saw this on Facebook the other day.

I'm not one who usually re-posts gushy stuff like "SHARE THIS PHOTO IF YOU HAVE THE BEST SISTER-IN-LAW EVER."  But that thing made me smile, and think of the Usual Suspects, with whom I do stuff.


Of course, any day on a pony is better than any day NOT on a pony, but there are some folks who make the miles seem short.  I'm pretty fond of those folks.

We don't add new Suspects very often.  After all, the group ain't broken, and it don't need fixin'.  But sometimes there are friends, new and old, that seem like they'd fit right in as if they'd been Usual Suspects for years.


Rosemary and Griffin are starting to join us on the trail now.  Rosemary and I have been friends for years, but we haven't ridden together until recently.  And then when we DID ride together, we decided that we needed to do it more!

Then, just as my ability to include people was beginning to stretch and make crackling noises, I met S…

In which it's THAT time of year again: break out the spangles and ruffles!

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What started as a joke has become a beloved tradition:

Shopping for thrift shop prom dresses to wear to the PNER Convention.
We all go together.  We all try on everything.
Some frocks are quite glamourous.

Some, less so.



Just because we lack seriousness, doesn't mean we can't also lack fashion sense.




As with all things undertaken by the Usual Suspects


trying on silly dresses is fun.

See you at the PNER Convention!



In which there are LOTS of reasons to come to our Convention this year

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What does $40 get you these days?
Well, on January 24-26, $40 gets you into the PNER Convention,  held this year at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel.
But what does that mean?  Why would you want to go to a convention instead of saving that money for ride fees?
Lemme tell ya:  convention will set you (and your pony) up for success this season.  
Here's how:
EDUCATION There is a full roster of speakers scheduled for the weekend, with topics ranging from Endurance 101


to GPS teaching sessions, feed management for competition horses, yoga for riders, a lameness diagnosis clinic, and a question/answer panel with expert endurance riders.
I don't know about you, but there's PLENTY of room in my brain for more information about being a better endurance rider, and these programs can put that information in there!
SHOPPING The convention vendor area can help you equip your horse (and yourself) from ears to tail.
In addition to the not-to-be-missed used tack sale, you'll see a wi…

In which it's not easy being green, but this year it might be more fun!

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For years, AERC (the national organization of endurance riders) and PNER (the Pacific Northwest regional organization) has been moaning about dropping enrollment, worrying about seeing fewer participants at rides, and generally fretting that we aren't attracting and retaining more new members.

Whatever shall we do?  said the various Boards and organizing groups.  When new riders show up, all they know is that Hidalgo movie, plus whatever some yabbo at the feed store told them.  New riders are ignorant and dangerous and scary--and we want them to be happy and knowledgeable and bring properly trained and conditioned horses to camp. 

I waited twelve years for somebody to write a book about endurance. Websites are great, but when I was starting, there wasn't a way to consult the internet while packing the horse trailer.  And besides, I'd rather read a book than go hunting through vast stacks of advice (good and bad) from Facebook pages or the old Ridecamp archives.

When the ed…

In which we celebrate Santa and Sunshine and DRAGONOSITY!

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After a month (it seemed like more) of dismal rain,  Photos with Santa Day dawned with fog followed by sunshine!

And after we got all dressed up in antlers and stuff, it was time to goof around a bit.  Monica held on tightly to her camera and kept on shooting.
Fiddle saw Hana showing off in the arena,

and then it was Flower's turn.

Finally!  Fiddle time!

She was determined to show those domesticated horses


how a DRAGON



moves out at speed.

We got her to stop and pose for a conformation shot.   Remember how, in an earlier post, I said that when she's standing still, her bum is higher than her withers?  


Here at last is photo proof:  When she moves


the booster rockets in her butt push her front end skyward.  

NOW, conformation experts:  we have some decent pictures.  Please evaluate the Dragon!

Extra points for inclusion of the following words

Smoke. Fire. Danger. Caution. Explosion. Bonecrushing.

And, of course: Beautiful.

Want to see the rest of Monica's Santa and horse pho…