TrailDust---I don't see why not...after all, endurance is about doing distance as a team. Plus, if your anything like the rest of us you'll be hooked after your first ride
I am definitely a newbie when it comes to competing endurance myself, but I've been involved in the endurance crowd fairly heavily the past few years and have loved every minute of it.
I did my first 15 mile CTR on my Morgan/QH in 2011. I raised Brimstone's Tazmanian Devil (aka Taz) out of my QH mare and took him to college with me the year I left home. He was my rock. Shortly after our ride I decided to sell him because I was convinced I needed an Arab to do endurance. If I had known what I do now I would have never sold him, but tis life.
Taz Attachment 346650
In the process of selling Taz I found Magnific AF (aka Maglet). I came across a Craigslist ad with a gorgeous 4 year old Arabian gelding who was looking for a home due to his owner's health issues. I later found out that his owner had Lupis and was downsizing her herd. I traded a saddle for him and was tickled that I had just scooped up my dream endurance horse. After a year and a half of consistent groundwork, desensitizing, and training I realized that Mag was not the horse I had hoped for. I was scarred emotionally and physically after many accidents and my confidence was shot. After being thrown into fences, trampled, flipped over on, (the list goes on and on...) I was afraid that he would put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I decided to sell him to someone who could "start fresh" with him and who had better resources to work with him over time. It hurt to have to sell another horse in such a short period of time but I learned a valuable lesson about how to accept defeat and be content about my decision for my own safety.
That same summer I had an awesome opportunity to work for Dian Woodward and Christoph Schork in Moab, Utah at Global Endurance Training Center. I spent close to 2 months out in the desert riding endurance horses and crewing at rides, even getting the opportunity to crew for Christoph and his friends at Tevis Cup in 2012. Dian taught me a lot about breeding, genetics, feeding, etc and even let me cover one of her mares with their stallion before I left (what a rush!). Christoph taught me a lot about trimming and booting, so much in fact that I now trim and boot my own horses with confidence. There are too many memories and friendships that I made out there to describe in a short story, but all I can say is that I would go back in a heartbeat.
Riding along the ridge (Moab, Utah) pinkie.jpg
Road Trip! trailergetc.jpg
Christoph teaching me to glue on Easyboots boots.jpg
Scribing for the vets scribe.jpg
Crewing at Tevis tevis.jpg
Christoph & Dian dianchristoph.jpg
After selling Mag I took my time searching for my next endurance partner. My confidence was boosted by my trip to Moab, riding some pretty hot and unpredictable horses helped me find my fire again
I searched and searched and turned down SO many horses it was depressing. At the near end of my search, just when I was about to give up, I found Selena. Now, if you couldn't tell by my previous horses, I am really not a mare person...but there was just something about Selena that told me she was the one. She was sassy and didn't trust anyone...unless you had food...then she would be sweet enough to come get it from you and then run
I bought this little mare for $800 and prayed that I wasn't making a mistake. The day I went to get her it took us over 2 hours to get her on the trailer...eventually having to blindfold her to get her loaded...dear lord
The first few months were a little rocky for us, she had to learn to trust me and I the same. After our initially bond I have never felt unsafe with her...she is solid, kind, loyal, and oh so forgiving. I took her to our first 15 mile CTR together in April (the same one I did with Taz) and she surprised me by taking 2nd place with a score of 97/100! Our second 15 mile CTR in June she took home 1st place with an almost perfect score of 99/100. I cried and cried and cried out of pure happiness. Yes, I know only 15 miles...but to me it was so much more than that...it was conformation that I had found my partner. We then attempted our first LD in October and Selena once again took my breath away and placed 1st out of 20 riders with a time of 3 hours and 38 minutes. Words can't describe how much I love this mare. The saddest part is that about a month ago I found out about her past from her original owner/breeder. Turns out she was starved almost to death and beaten consistently both over jumps and in her daily environment. Her owner states that she came off the trailer back to her home as a rack of bones with swollen welts all over her body from being whipped. I cried that day too...how could this mare ever be a part of something so awful, yet have the courage to forgive and trust a complete stranger? Horses are amazing...and Selena was truly a diamond in the rough for which I am grateful to have found. Last year we covered 468.09 trail miles and this year I hope to do the same. Hoping to do a couple more LDs and then maybe attempting a slow 50...then I can call myself a true endurance rider
OH! AND I ALMOST FORGOT!
This is my newest edition to my endurance addiction...my 3 month old filly Velencia (aka Vee). She was bred by my uncle and grandmother who live in KY and I'm headed to pick her up in March! Trying not to jinx myself...but I'm hoping she might be my future Tevis horse vee.jpg