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    Re: [RC] [RC] A story of heart ... and guts - Laurie Durgin

    Loved this story!A line about shoes? Is there an advantage to alum shoes, besides weight. She said the steel shoes of the other horses were slippery compared to her ponys alum. shoes???? Laurie and Rascal

    From: "Flora Hillman" <capella@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
    To: <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
    Subject: [RC]   A story of heart ... and guts
    Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2002 16:41:27 -0500

    Truman is right -- heart, and guts, is what comes from deep inside and there doesn't seem to be any visible sign except when you see it happen. My son runs cross country, and I've been there to see kids give it everything they had, falling across the finish line, on their knees exhausted, sobbing, retching... but still -- they never gave up.

    In the recent December 2002 issue of Endurance News there was a story of the Ft. Valley Endurance ride (in Virginia). When Troy Smith of EN received the story, she absolutely loved it, but it was far too long, and she very reluctantly had to edit it down to fit the space available in the magazine.

    As a result some of the sections that were cut was one very moving human interest piece of two riders meeting up with a handicapped father out hunting with his two little boys .... and a no-holds-barred, ears-pinned-to-the-head, flat-out-galloping 2 mile horse race --at the very end of a very grueling 50 mile ride-- between a gutsy little 14.1h half-Welsh pony, and a big, strapping 16.1h Arab.

    If you want to know what heart is... read the ending of the complete and unabridged Ft. Valley story. Even after years of eventing over tough cross country fences, and decade of riding all types and breeds of horses in all sorts of horse sports -- I truly know now what real heart is because .... I was the one riding that little pony.


    PS. Did I know beforehand that this pony had a competitive heart and guts? Yes, but I honestly had no idea it went as deep as to the extent he showed in that race. It took me totally by surprise, because I was the one who was about to quit, knowing we had virtually no chance in hell of beating that big horse. But ...he believed in himself, and coupled with a competitive drive to want be out in front, his innate athletic agility, and months of training and work and focusing on our end goals... and made it possible.

    Flora Hillman
    AERC #30079

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