In which Farley tells me we aren’t finished with endurance yet
|March 27, 2015||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
Lest you think that I am sitting around lamenting the tragedy of my life (I am not, and it isn’t), I need to interrupt my fascinating morning chore of finishing up records and take on the horrendous task of sharing pretty pictures from my ride last weekend.
All pictures in this post are courtesy of Funder. I was too busy managing Farley, the wretched poison oak on my arms from my adventure the *previous* weekend, and…well…talking. (I know, shocking).
With Cache creek a mere 6 (5?) weeks away, I was getting indecisive. To do it or not to do it? Risk waiting until the easier Wild West ride mid June and potentially not getting a fifty in at all this year if it didn’t go well? Or go to Cache Creek – a much harder ride that although local was going to be tricky logistically because of still being in clinics.
Any endurance rider who has done this sport for any length of time will recognize the following conversation….
“Maybe the old mare is done? She looked a little creaky the other day. And the last 2 rides I did on familiar trails were not exactly spectacular. Unless spectacular is defined by the number of time I had to beat my horse with a *stick for her GO FORWARD? Maybe she wants to be retired? I’m secretly sick of riding this horse anyways. Ugh. How bad would it really be to just wait another 3 years or so and ride ML? Farley has certainly earned her retirement anytime she wants it. We haven’t done a 50 in a year. And that nine hour ride and tie in July surely doesn’t count. We haven’t done ANYTHING IN FOREVER. WE WILL NEVER COMPLETE ANOTHER ENDURANCE RIDE. WHAT WAS I THINKING??????”
*I jest. Farley was not beaten with a stick. She was encouraged to respect my leg using a naturally grown dressage whip.
When I wasn’t listening to the panicking voices in my head that said I was completely delusional that any horse I owned would ever do endurance EVER (imposter syndrome anyone?) my rational brain was telling me that Farley was probably bored sick of the Oroville and Yuba City trails which have been our sole conditioning grounds for the last 2 years or so. And a change of scenery would *probably* do her good.
Because if she can trot/canter/buck up the Cache Creek hills for 3.5 hours with minimal conditioning (we’ve done between 50-60 miles this year on the trails TOTAL. 5 trail rides and 4 dressage rides), a nicely paced and managed 50 is not out of the realm of possibilities. Especially because we have time for one more long ride between now and Cache Creek.
The most difficult thing about Farley is that she rewards poor decision making.
What do I mean? I can make all sorts of poor decisions and Farley will mostly give a big sigh, and then go on to give me success that I have not earned and do not deserve.
It’s extremely humbling, and the longer I do this sport – extremely frightening.
Two years ago I finished the Cache Creek ride after 2 years off (the exception being an LD eight months prior). My longest recent long ride prior to that finish was 12 miles.
Thus this year’s debate isn’t whether if I start Cache Creek whether I will finish…but whether it’s the right decision to even ask.
My biggest fear right now is that I do a ride that is not quite right, driven by the fear I won’t get to do a fifty at all this year. And we both know which is the worst of those two choices.
After last weekend’s ride, I’m more confident that asking her to do Cache Creek would not be unreasonable.