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Re: [RC] [Guest] DVE 2002 Day 4 - Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

Dear Merri,
I read every bit of your DVE story and loved it.....and appreciated my good sense in staying home even though I would have given my right leg (the good one) to have gone. Reading your account, with my cold, stress and lack of condition, opting out was my wisest choice, but I'm SO sorry to have missed those two days. One of these days. As it was, Kat gave me an absolutely lovely afternoon in Southern California that I will never forget. All of you in the US need to appreciate the beauty, vastness and availability of the land you live in. I find myself homesick for Egypt if I'm away more than two weeks, but to have the forests, mountains, trails, and the people to organise rides is a blessing that you must never forget that you have and you must never take for granted. On the map Egypt looks pretty big, but most of it is barren (ie, moon-like), if beautiful, desert. Only a tiny fraction of our land has water available or any food for horses, or humans for that matter. When you add the fact that due to over 50 years of political unrest in this part of the world huge swathes of that desert are either controlled by the military or contaminated by landmines that go all the way back to WWII, riding 200 miles in any direction just isn't that easy to do. That doesn't mean that as soon as I can give up my corporate non-life, I'm not going to immediately start trying, but it will never be something that will be done easily. There are a lot of things that I don't miss about North America, but the land itself is truly a gift from God and should be cherished as such....as are the wonderful horses like Zayante.

Maryanne Gabbani
Cairo, Egypt

Down, down, step by step beside this amazing horse Id ridden and walked
beside for 195 miles, sometimes stepping in rhythm with, sometimes moving on
auto pilot with, legs stepping one after the other, on and on, with 2 goals
in mind: getting to the finish line and starting the next day. Just me and
this horse, taking me up mountains and canyons and valleys Id never see,
with a power and speed I could never attain, this amazing 18  23yo steed,
now approaching his 10,685th career mile.
We 3 finished together, just before dark, and passed the vet check. I got my
wish, completing my first multi-day ride on the best endurance horse I have
ever ridden.
if I had only 1 wish, its that everybody , just once in their life, gets to
ride a horse like this.

[RC] [Guest] DVE 2002 Day 4, Ridecamp Guest