Endurance Riders

Endurance and Long Distance Equine Disciplines

Somehow, I've quite fallen quite behind on these entries...probably because I'm having more fun having fun than writing about having fun.

Yes, that sentence made sense.

When last we saw our green standardbred mare, she was NOT attending the Milwaukee Rail Trail Ride in Ellensburg WA. The ride is a good one, but not a good choice for a green horse who uses wide open trails to go as fast as possible, given the laws of physics.

Our April activity was originally planned to be a "short-course" ride-and-tie at the Mt. Adams Endurance Ride.

Alas and alack, 3 feet of snow (!!!) on the trails caused the ride to be cancelled. Undeterred, Don Betts--prez of the national Ride and Tie organization--sent out an email to all of us RaT hopefuls, inviting us to come camp at his house in Sequim to do a Practice Ride and Tie. We were delighted to have an alternative to staying home and weeping into the beetpulp, so up we packed and off we went: Jim and I, Hana and Fiddle, and our teenage RaT partners Jill and Madeline.

The horses were a little surprised to leave camp, trot uphill for two miles, and then be tied to a tree and ABANDONED. Soon, however, they figured out the drill: after trotting and tieing, a different sweaty person will approach and mount and then there is more trotting and tieing. Hey, this is fun, they thought. And we agreed. It *is* fun. We'll be doing more Ride and Ties in the future!

In May, we participated in a Warhorse Challenge Playday at Bridle Trails park in Bellevue WA. Jim's arab mare Hana was brilliant.

Fiddle was terrified of the plastic swords, was completely freaked out over the wooden broom handles we used as practice spears, and wanted *nothing* to do with the other prospective Warhorses. She was NOT afraid of the knight in the clank-y armour....until he fell off. After that, we stood over in the corner by ourselves to watch the fun and stay out of trouble. Not all of us are destined to be warhorses, apparently.

(but we practice anyhow.... some of the skills came in useful later in this blog....)

June saw us in the Cascade Mountains west of Yakima, where we camped and built trails for 9 days preceeding the Renegade Rendezvous endurance ride.

Trail-building is hard work, and trekking up and down hills built character in all of us. But ah, the beauties of the mountains. The hardest part of the entire adventure was packing up camp to come home again!

In July, we returned to Langley BC for the summer Standardbred Game Day. Diana Ball, the organizer of the games, convinced me to enter Fiddle in the "not-so-green" division, which was much more interesting and challenging.

This is where those Warhorse skills are useful....she is no longer terrified of spears, swords, or even FLAGS!

...but even a Standardbred can be naughty every now and again....

The obstacles for the "not-so-green" division are more complicated, the courses are longer, and the jumps are just a leetle bit higher...we had a BLAST!

Who needs ribbons when you can have fun?

So, now I'm caught up again, until it's time for our next adventure. Which should be very soon now, I think.....

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