What you missed…when I wasn’t blogging
|May 3, 2014||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
I started blogging in January 2009. THREE whole seasons after I started endurance.
Oh the stories my Dear Reader missed. Can I get a Hallelujah? As entertaining as my blog would have been, part of me is really really glad I wasn’t diligently and honestly recording my antics for posterity.
Of course, the reason I started blogging in the first place was because I was really really lonely and frustrated by my lack of progress in the sport of endurance, so perhaps my “hallelujah” was a bit premature.
Here’s some of the stories you missed….because I wasn’t blogging.
- How a pair of ears named Minx was given to me.
- The many many MANY times Minx dumped me. Like the time during one of her many rehabs I decided it was a good idea to jump on her bareback, in a skirt, after she had been hand walking only for weeks. And how she took off across the arena at a full run with me clinging like a monkey with my skirt flipped over my head. Or the time when we were trotting down hill and came to a fork and she couldn’t decided which way to go and I was being indecisive and in our indecision managed to lose her balance and fell down, tossing me over her head. Or the time where she fell on a canal bank trapping my leg underneath her, with my body on the downhill side and her almost rolling over the top of me, but getting up instead and galloping home with me sprinting after her as we crossed country highways that interspersed the canal bank. You missed the weekly and then monthly reports of “how Minx dumped me this time”.
- How Minx’s ears were untouchable and she was violently head shy when I first got her, and I had to take my bridle apart to bridle her (and how we fixed that problem)
- At the beginning of the 2007 season I outlined my plan to complete 300 miles (they have upped the mileage requirement since then) in time to qualify and ride Tevis that year.
- How I rode my first 50 miler in civil war reproduction tall cavalry boots. And then switched to my cowboy style polo boots half way through that apparently had glued instead of stitched soles and near the end, when I was walking through irrigation ditches that came up to my thighs and on the second canal the soles of my boots came off.
- The time when I was trapped at a trail head until 10pm because Minx wouldn’t load into my 2 horse trailer. And I was all by myself. And I got her in by tying her hard, having her pull back violently and then rush forward, at which point I would take the slack out of the rope. She would try to back up, hit the halter, violently pull back and then rush forward again, repeat. It was AWFUL.
- How I traded Minx for my Dad’s horse for a couple of months because Minx was lame. Going home my Dad’s mare reared in my trailer and popped the fiberglass roof half way off. She loaded OK for conditioning rides over the couple of months and I prepped her for our first LD. The night before she refused to get into the trailer. Nothing me or my Dad did made a difference and I didn’t get to go. Yet another ride my first season that I did not finish (or even start). That ride doesn’t show up on my ride record (although they kept my entry money) so it’s easy to forget about the ride I didn’t finish because I didn’t even make it to ride camp.
- That time the ramp broke on my 2 horse and made my trailer unusable…..2 1/2 hours from home.
- I can tell you that I didn’t finish a single ride my first season, but you don’t get to live the many disappointments and bad decisions that plagued that first season. There were rides I absolutely positively did NOT do right by my horse. The ride I started even though environmental conditions were atrocious and the risk to my horse was way out of proportion to my reasons for starting that ride (got to get my miles for Tevis!) . The ride that I listened to someone else instead of my gut. The ride that I started even though she had been lame the day before – but since she trotted out sound that morning I went for it (with the predictable result).
- How my mother, after realizing I was planning to run a 50 mile ultra as a consolation prize to prove my worth after breaking Minx, begged me to get another horse. After 2 weeks, multiple inquiries via email and phone of likely looking horses that proved totally unsuitable, a test ride of a spactaculary unsuitable horse, I found Farley for half the money I had budgeted.
- How my leather reins broke on Minx in the middle of a rainy, muddy 50 miler about 1 foot from the bit. And I rode 20 miles with only my left rein, at a massive Standardbred trot. Anytime I needed to seriously slow down or turn right, I would have to lean down and grab the 1 foot dangly piece.
- And then on the first 50 (actually a 55) Farley and I did, how my stirrup (one of those cushioned easy care style) completely desinigrated and I tied it together with a shoelace which only worked marginally for about 8 miles. Another rider who was pulled leant me her stirrup so I could finish.
Before blogging I didn’t realize these were stories. I thought they were failures and obstacles. I avoided stories. I got stressed about stories.
Now I find when faced with 2 paths, I find myself choosing the option that makes a better story, and enjoying the failures as well as the successes. My life is not dictated by the chance of success of the goal, but rather the chance of really living during the journey.
It’s easy to point to things in my life today that are a direct result of being an endurance rider. But what about blogging? Because I do endurance AND blog, how different is my life today?
Is it a coincidence that I started having success in endurance around the time I started blogging? Would I be in vet school? Would I have friends in endurance? Would I have be given the opportunity to own Merrylegs? Would I have chosen to do the 35k instead of the half marathon in February? Would I have finished the ultra last month?
Maybe my Dear Reader didn’t actually miss any stories in my early endurance seasons because they weren’t stories at the time. And if that is so, then I am enormously grateful that I found blogging after 3 seasons – not 5 or 10!
Ahahaha :wipes tears from eyes: I’ve heard many of these, but they never get old. The dangly broken leather rein! Trailer loading Minx!
WHY were you walking through irrigation ditches? You’ve got a horse, at least theoretically!
Dude, the fact that you spent a whole year trying and didn’t finish a 50 and you’re still riding endurance really says something about the addictiveness of this sport and/or the “quirks” of your personality.
I think endurance was the first thing I tried that I didn’t have some early success, but really LOVED. Mabye becauseI wasn’t good at it but wanted to be good at it SO bad it made me keep trying and trying and trying?
I was walking through irrigation ditches because the drag rider had ordered me off my horse at the end of my first fifty (OT pull) because my horse was tired. Of course by that time my horse looked really good (because I had been walking and almost killed myself) and I had *just* gotten back on but he was one of those arrogant asses who couldn’t actually *see* anything and so he made a vomiting, heat stroked riding walk her mostly recovered horse into camp and I was too out of it to say no. And I had to cross several ditches. I numbly walked through them in tall boots and heavy duty cotton breeches without really noticing. Which considering my hatred of water tells you something about my state of mind at the point…
THIRTEEN MONTHS between my first attempt and when I finished my first ride of any distance.
Oh and I forgot about the time that I loaded farley in my new three horse (the first time ever) and I untied her head in prep for undoing the partition and unloading and before I made it inside from rhe outside where I had untied her she dropped her head to the floor tried to turn around and caught her under the divider and fell to the floor and sommersaulted under the divider and then bolted out the back
Oh and how farley went lame two weeks after I bought her. You know. The sound horse I bought bc I already had a lame horse.
I’m only laughing because.,.oh, hell. I’m laughing because you didn’t die, so in retrospect, it’s funny!
Now I really AM going to have to write up my “first ride ever” story that I threatened just this morning to write. Your. Fault.
You are welcomed :). And yes, stories are much better in retrospect when no one dies!!!!! I will say that so many of my “stories” are trailer related that I am PARANOID about trailer safety because I’ve seen so many wacky things happen. Like, I watch people untie their horses while in a slant load so that their heads are loose and they don’t understand why that TERRIFIES me. But it also terrifys me to leave them tied while I undo the partition – one instance I had a horse go under the divider bc it’s head was loose, but I’ve also had situations where I had a horse pull back when it’s butt was free before the head……YIKES.
Ok, riding a 50 with one rein and slowing Minx by reaching over to pull on a 1′ piece of rein? And living to tell the story? That is one hell of a story!
It’s always a wonderful thing to look back and see how our decisions, even the stupid ones, have shaped our lives and who we are. And regarding blogging…my life is so different because of blogging. I agree: it has changed my perspective on so many things because everything turns into a story! I have met friends and learned so much just thanks to blogging. It still baffles me to think on how much I’d be missing out if I’d never sat down one day at the computer and started writing about Lily. 🙂