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[RC] Doing the 100's - Francis Golden

Hope I'm not too late to jump in on this!
I honestly hope the 100's don't die off.  My goal, down the road is to do 100's with one of the horses I have (I have 2 prospective 100-mile mounts).  But, as we all know, it's not something that can happen overnight -- well, not if you don't want to kill your horse.  Both my prospects are young 'uns.  My gelding just turned 4 in August and is being started under saddle.  The other -- the one I am in the midst of saddle fitting -- is turning 7 in April.    Again, just being started under saddle because she was wild when we got her 3 years ago and she had plenty of emotional issues to boot.
This year, the mare will be doing some 25 mile CTR's to see how she likes it.  Next year --- we'll bump up to some slow 50's.  The year after?  Well, we'll see how it goes.
My plan -- and this goes along with what someone said the other day -- is that when I do these longer rides, I am not afraid of pulling out if my horse isn't up to the complete distance.  I definitely won't feel ashamed of doing so. And if we are dead last --- so what?  If we do a 50 miler and she has had enough at mile 40...well, we walk in the rest of the way and show up 4 hours later than everyone else.  If I feel at mile 75 it's enough...well, then it's enough.  Maybe she did 25 miles more at a safe pace thean she did a few rides back.  Sure, I'd love to complete...but what should essentially come first?  A horse's health or a completion?  I'm going for health.  Then I have something to strive for in the future -- the completion. 
Placing and BC's will come later -- and, if I just happen to have two horses who would rather just do 50's and place in the top 10 --- well, then I will have two horses who place in the 50's and are dead last in the 100's. 
It was a lovely high of -4 here yesterday!  Oh joy! ;-)
Mary Golden
Northern New York