In which we hop around a bit, because Mel started it (and it's fun)

This is my contribution to the "blog hop" started by Mel.  The link to her original post is HERE.

Name: Aarene Storms, aka AareneX
  • Like many other bloggers, I started out circumspectly disguising my identity and gradually threw caution to the wind.  Then, when Endurance 101 and my "other book" hit the shelves, I had to go to the other extreme and become extremely public with my identity.  So, there ya have it.  
  • The "X" is a legitimate part of my name, by the way.
  • Wanna steal my identity?  Have fun with that.  You could take everything I own and you'd still be deeply in debt to the universe.  ;-) 
Age: 50  and really quite comfortable with that

Where do you live: Swampland, Washington State

Family Status:  Without ever "having" children together, Jim and I still manage to "have" more children together than is really reasonable.  Plus, you know, the other residents of the Farm: a horse, two goats, three turkeys, nine chickens, two dogs and two cats....

1. How long have you been riding? Endurance?
I rode a bit as a kid, and returned to horses after I got educated and got a job.  Started endurance in 1999 (which doesn't seem long ago to me), and never looked back.

2. What does a normal training week look like for you?
If there is such a thing, I haven't had a normal training week in at least a year, due to painful hips, eventual surgery, and recovery.  I hope to return to "normal" next Spring...two or three rides per week (including a dressage lesson or two each month), plus intermittent trips to the gym or the bike trail.

3. Any advice for endurance riding spouses?
Jim already does this better than anyone:  "You've had a great week?  Excellent, enjoy your ride today."  "You've had a crappy week?  Excellent, enjoy your ride today."  

Not riding is not an option, my horse is not a luxury, and my friends don't ask "are we riding?" but rather "what time shall we meet up at the trailhead?"

4. Where will this sport be in 10 years?
  • Like most everything else, endurance doesn't travel in straight lines.  The sport takes two steps forward (in terms of things like horse safety, rider education, advances in education, helpful technology adaptations) and then takes a step back...and then takes a step sideways...
  • I am seeing more emphasis on rider education, and that thrills me.
  • I would love to see international endurance riding redeem itself.  That's going to take a lot more than a few steps forward, however.
5. What was your best race and why (AERC endurance – or if you are primary in another discipline, than your best ride in that sport).
Renegade Rendezvous, 2014.  Not just because it's my most-recent ride, or even because it's my favorite ride all year, but mostly because after all the stuff that went wrong last year, almost nothing went wrong this year by comparison.  And because my Dragon proved, once again, that she is nicer than she wants anyone to know.  Shhhh.

Bonus question: What’s your favorite beer?
Because you're going to meet me at the finish line with a cold one?  

Make it a dark, bitter, microbrew please.  I'm not fussy about brands, but I won't drink canoe beer on a bet, and if it looks like a cross between a chocolate milkshake and a tall espresso drink I'm going to want a whole frosty pint of it to myself.


  1. Didn't you start blogging after I pleaded and hassled you for a few years? : )

  2. Like the post! So happy that you've finally reached the "enjoyment" phase again! Congratulations on your finish!


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