Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tevis Congrats

Congratulations to all the riders who finished Tevis this year!

Extra congratulations go out to Mel Faubel and Farley and Karen Chaton and Bo for completing the ride in Renegade Glue-Ons!    This is two years in a row now that Renegade boots have finished Tevis.

Barefoot is a movement that is here to stay, as evidenced by the number of booted horses that I understood were at Tevis this year.  I'm thrilled about how many riders are taking that step and booted -- and not just in endurance.  The park I do most of my riding at hosts a lot of casual trail riders, and it's exciting to see how many of them are in boots as well.  I've had quite a few people stop me out on the trail or in the parking lot to ask me about boots, and it's been a delight to see how many of them end up showing up in boots.

Many hikers we come across on trail are also intrigued when they look at our horses' feet, and I've found the explaination that the boots are "like hiking boots for horses" tends to be both easily understood and entertaining.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tevis webcast

I'll be following the Tevis via the webcast today:

Funnily enough, last year when I was at Tevis,  iwas texting back and forth with my dad, who was at home following the webcast.  He often knew more than I did about how was where and who was pulled, ironically, and we keeping me in the loop.

I've got quite a few people I know riding this year that I'll be cheering for.  Keep your fingers crossed and send your best wishes to:

#49 Karen Chaton & Bo
#64 Melinda Faubel & Farley
#98 Jonni Jewell & Hank
#114 Julia Lynn-Elias & Trinity
#138 Stephanie Palmer-DuRoss & Hadji
#177 Rusty Toth & Stoner
#179 Lory Walls & Alex

Good luck to everyone riding Tevis this year, and have a fun and safe ride!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Everything I Need to Know About Life, I Learned From Endurance

Ask anyone that has done yoga: Flexibility is a learned skill.  Some people are naturally more flexible than others (this would be everyone else other than me), but everyone has to do some degree of work to keep improving their flexibility.

And it's not just physical.  Mental flexibility is also an acquired skill.  And I've found that nothing in my life has taught me that more than endurance.

I'm sitting here this morning under a low-lying level of thick, gray clouds -- literally and figuratively.  Monsoon season is upon us in Arizona, and we're being taunted by those clouds and their accompanying thick, oppressive humidity into thinking rain might be on the horizon if we're lucky.  However, even if it were the brightest, sunniest day ever, I have to admit, I'd still be sitting under a pile of gray storm clouds hovering over my head.


Because according to my Life Plan, this weekend was supposed to be very different than what is actually happening.  Life Plan dictated that, at this moment, I should have been standing around with my cup of coffee, inhaling silty red dust, braiding manes, packing crew boxes, and trying to remember how to breathe at 7200' elevation.


This was going to be it.  My year.  My one and only shot at that silver buckle with Mimi.  Our chance to defy those odds stacked against us; to pit ourselves against the wilderness and the clock; to experience all the tension, nerves, excitement, and worry as participants, not just as crew members on the sidelines.

That obviously didn't happen.

Circumstances (school, work) even conspired against me this year to keep me from going up and crewing and enjoying the chaos in that fashion.  I'll be following things vicariously this year, via the webcast.  The good: I'll be making money instead of spending it.  There's my silver lining.

But I will admit: I'm sulking.  This has been something I've wanted so bad, for so's been very tough to let go of this particular dream.  I know that I'll find my Tevis horse...someday.  And get to the Ride...eventually.  But my heart knows it'll never be the same.  Even when my mind knows that putting it on the shelf is the right decision, my heart has yet to be fully convinced.  Such is the way of optimists and dreamers, I suppose.

I haven't even ridden in six weeks: A bad combination of icky weather and pony antics.  Both ponies are currently mooching their position on the Equine Disability List for all its worth.  It started about a month and half ago, when Beamer got kicked in the shoulder, and flies invaded the tiny little gash on his shoulder.  Within a few short days, it had grown to an irritation the size of my palm.  Naturally ,this spot is right on the point of his shoulder -- an area of constant motion, and an area that's impossible to keep bandaged and covered.

After several unsuccessful weeks, I started brainstorming.  I raided the garage, and the dresser that holds all of my extra tack, for my old show supplies, and one sacrificed Lycra mane tamer later...

His bandage is now staying put for 24 hours, and things are finally starting heal.  Just in time for him to whack his face on something and get some kind of nice puncture wound.  Naturally, this would be right at the spot where his s-hack and halter sits.  More mane tamer bits to the rescue, and my task this afternoon is to see if my latest in Beverly Hillbillies horsewear will work to counter this newest challenge.

Meanwhile, the pony was jealous of all the attention Beamer was getting, and decided that she wanted in on the action...

I have yet to figure out what she stuck her leg into to manage that kind of scrape.  She's somewhat sensitive on it...that's a bony area, and she probably bruised herself in the process of flailing and whatever manuevers it took to manage such end results.  I last trotted her out in hand on Tuesday, and she was slightly off on circles and uphill.

I don't even have to be signed up for Tevis for the gremlins to attack.

And hence, my continued absence from regular blogging.  It's difficult to muster up the kind of cheer and enthusiasm needed to write an entertaining blog when the most exciting thing that happens is finally obtaining a good pair of nippers.  (Hoof trimming just got so much easier.)  And, I'll also admit to having quite a few feelings of teeth-gnashing and envy for those whose circumstances are much more fortunate than mine...that is, anyone that still has the good luck to be attending rides with sound and capable horses.

Yes, I'm whining.  Yes, I'm frustrated.  The fatalistic part of me knows it could be so much worse.  It was so much easier when I was a child, and could stomp my foot and pout about the unfairness of life.  Now, being an adult means learning to take such situations with grace and dignity. 

That said...I want to ride my pony.

I'm playing with some new design elements for the blog.  I used to be pretty good at page design and HTML, but it's been a long time and I've gotten pretty rusty.  Bear with me as fiddle around until I find the colors and styles I like.  It may take a while.  I think I might have settled on one that honors Mimi's and my purple color scheme.  But I do need to do something about that top picture.  Eventually.  :)