In which we complete another ride by the Grace of God (Inshallah!)

This post is a bit overdue, but stuff keeps coming up.  Good stuff!  But stuff.  And...well, anyway, here's the ride report from Bare Bones.

We started in the dark.

Patty is on the Disabled List for another week after getting her arm and shoulder yanked around by a fractious horse at Renegade, so she stood by the start line with her camera ready.  Fiddle and I trot by at about :26   you can see the camera following the red light fixed to the back of my helmet.

Temps for the day were forecast for the high 90's, and we wanted to get out and cover some miles before it got too hot to move.

(During the ride we ended up talking about...all kinds of crazy stuff that isn't even horse related--much--and the phrase Inshallah came up.  It's an Arabic thing that people append reverently to all kinds of sentences, meaning, "if it's God's Will"  and culturally translating to "Lor' willin' an' de crick don' rise."  You can see that Inshallah clearly has a place at an endurance ride!)

Several of the Suspects showed up on Thursday, and actually managed to snag a camping spot in the SHADE.

Little camp in the woods...right next to the parking lot

Because of the ongoing heat/dryness in our Swamp, fires are absolutely verboten

We "made do" with a battery-operated
lantern under a bucket.
We gathered 'round, anyhow.

Out on the trail, it was a bit cooler, especially in the morning.  That meant keeping a brisk scamper wherever possible and pelting down some pretty rocky trails, which is never my first choice, but we mostly avoided the rocks, inshallah.

Also, there were bees.  Yellow jackets?  Hornets?  Truthfully, when the horses started jumping and bucking, we didn't stop for station identification:  we ran.

About 10 miles into the ride, I fell in with Duana and Laura. and we went along together up to the first vetcheck at 20 miles.  

There, we learned that the pelting and running and scampering had caught up with Hana, and she was out for the day.  

Late in the day, Du was able to get some more diagnosis:  looks like maybe an abscess brewing, possibly made "ouchier" by bee stings.  (She's mostly fine now, inshallah.)

Laura and her nice mare Penny and I continued forward together...slower, now that the sun was up and the heat was roaring along.

Topping up the tanks.

This ride is so pretty.
Picture doesn't really show the enormous MOUNTAIN
just above the second clump of trees from the right.

 We had to ride smart, though.  We encouraged the mares to eat as they went along when the terrain was too rough to trot...which was a lot, actually.  There were plenty of lameness pulls at the finish line, thanks to the rocks, the holes, and the stinging insects.

Penny and Laura practiced riding a "safe distance" from
the Dragon.  The distance got smaller during the day.
Practice helps, inshallah.

Despite the heat (which we really aren't accustomed to around here) there was only one metabolic pull for the whole ride, and no treatments needed, inshallah.

We heard some grumbling from folks who got stuck behind us:  "Hurry up!  We need to get going!  My horse is getting mad!"  and we tried to yield trail as fast as we could.  

But seriously, I was not interested in letting horses crowd past the Dragon when we all knew there were bees on both sides of the trail!  

And in at least one instance, the folks who (after being delayed for ... what?  an hour?  No.  More like 5 minutes, max)  finally got past us arrived at the vetcheck  about 10 minutes before we did...with front-end lame horses.

I really try not to be self righteous and smug about stuff like that.  And I really try not to say "I told you so," because saying that is rude.  Ahhhhh, inshallah.

Also my horse did not even try to kick anybody, even the folks who were crowding because "the horse was getting mad", although she was very unhappy. ( I was very unhappy too, and I didn't kick anybody either. )

Most of the time, my horse was VERY happy.  

Even in the heat.  Even with the rocks, and the bees. 

Here's how I know:

Happy horse flaps her dorky lower lip
Photo by Cassidy Rae

When she is asked to work hard--in a dressage lesson, for example, or climbing up a steep hill, or going fast in the heat--she holds her mouth closed, tucks her head down, and works.

When she's in her Comfort Zone, traveling with peaceable companions at a good pace, her lower lip flops with each step like an enormous pancake.

Lip has flapped "up" in this photo.
Photo by Cassidy Rae
Dignity:  we don't actually need any.

Another 50 miles in the books!


Oh, hey.

Update on the Endurance Standardbred of the Year Award :

Currently, Fiddle and I are in the lead...but not by much!  And of course, there's always a delay between completing a ride and having the miles recorded and available for viewing online.  Sigh.

There are ten Standies actively competing this year (up from 8 last year, but still not a huge number).

Fiddle:  280 miles endurance, 50 LD = 330 miles total
Lista:  300 miles endurance  
I'd never heard of this horse before this year.  And suddenly she shows up doing FEI rides?  I'm mystified.  Does anybody know her, or her riders?
Bunny:  205 miles endurance
Bunny has won the award for the last two years, and she's a good strong mare.  I'm not counting her out yet, not by a long shot.
Sidney Rain:  130 miles LD
I don't know this horse or rider.  Anyone?
Syd:  55 miles endurance, 55 miles LD = 110 miles total
Syd is new to the game, but she's Bunny's best friend, and another good strong mare.
Cecily G:  100 miles endurance
I was sad that Cecily G pulled at Tevis.  I don't know this horse, but I hope she finished Tevis someday!
Eli:  50 miles endurance
Eli won the award the first year it was given.  He's a handsome boy from the Other Side of the USA.
Hector:  25 miles LD
I think Hector finished the LD at Bare Bones last weekend, but the results for that aren't online yet.
Shea: 25 miles LD
I'm pretty sure Shea finished the LD at Bare Bones last weekend also.  
Private Time:  25 miles LD
A new horse to the sport, starting out with a nice solid completion at Foxcatcher.


  1. Is that word pronounce the way that it is spelled? Also I feel like I have to echo your comment on my blog about how I hate the insects :-). Congrats on a Nother ride finished in fine form and I hear you about the smugness. I've been caught behind riders that didn't let me past after five minutes or 10 minutes and 20 minutes later I had to be sort of rude in order to get it done. But it doesn't sound like that was the situation at your ride at all. Your comments about the standardbreds doing endurance made me actually miss doing endurance on my standardbred more than I thought it would. It's such a wonderful breed and I hope to have another one someday

  2. I did not manage to get any info on the mystery standardbred. Nobody seems to know her! I do know that Private Time was adopted from SRF earlier this year, so there's a good chance I will see that one out on trail sooner or later. Clover has been sidelined indefinitely by a sinus infection...

    1. Sorry about Clover. I liked reading about her. And yay for Private Time!

  3. An attack of stinging insects would flip me right on out. Love the campfire substitute. Congrats on the ride and the stats. :D

    Down here where that phrase originated - lyrics to a Johnny Cash song I think - we say "If the good lord's willing, and the creek don't rise..."

  4. Yay, good job! Love the flappy lip photo series :)


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