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[RC] Malibu story, part one - Nancy

With thanks to all the kind people and equines who have helped me get this far, I will be forever grateful.

Malibu 2008

A Tough Beauty


Back in 2000 when I first learned about distance riding I never thought I could actually attempt one.  Then in 2002, I found Ride Camp at www.endurance.net    From the stories and information I began to think I could, maybe, one day ride a 25 mile limited distance ride. When I heard about the Malibu ride, I told myself someday, you might get to the Malibu ride.


Malibu has the well deserved reputation of being the toughest ride in our Pacific South region.  I have been told if you can finish Malibu with a horse that still has some gas left in the tank you could then do Tevis.  I learned that the footing is hard and rocky and the hills are mean.   But that is what they say about my ‘hood!  And so I began to think I could actually do Malibu.


And to that end I started a long journey that has been both joyous and heart breaking.  At first I knew I was not fit to attempt Malibu as I was a green pea of a rider.  I needed to learn everything from how to camp with my equine partner, how to drive a rig, what to bring, what to wear.  I lost my first horse to a torn suspensory and then my husband in a motorcycle accident.  I broke my tail bone.  My right foot has been broken twice.  I have a teenage daughter.


But with each set back I had the memories of my previous rides with vistas and tree covered paths most riders never get to tread.  The beauty of the trail calmed my soul.  The good people I met and the fun of the ride camp lifted my spirits.  My knowledge increased as did my mileage.  My daughter and I have ridden hundreds of miles together giving us a truly unique and wonderful bond.  I now have a wonderful, honest horse that loves the trail.  It looked like finally, after over 5 years of dreaming I was finally going to Malibu.


Then on April 16th, Lyric my daughter’s horse had a major rhabdomyolysis episode (tying-up) after a training ride.  They were out.  Danielle did not want to ride my horse, Jazzi.  She wanted to stay home and sleep in.  Then the week before the ride my rig needed hundreds of dollars of repair.  And of course the price of gas just toped $4.00 a gallon.  But Jazzi was ready and I was injury free.  I had figured out her electrolyte issue with home made cookies.  Was I really ready for Malibu?  Was I ready to do it with out Danielle? 




As I drove through LA on a Friday afternoon my heart pounded with fear and excitement.  The drive was relativity easy and the ride camp was only a mile or two off the 101 freeway at the old Paramount Ranch were many movies were filmed.  The ranch is now a part of the National Park system, both good and bad news.  The park has saved the land from development and thus saved the trails.  However the parks’ rules (No vending, no grazing just to name 2.) makes hosting a ride very difficult.   Barbra and Lisa did a magnificent job as ride manager and secretary working within the stiff framework of the park.


Suzie, a Malibu resident and friend from NATRC rides greeted me when I arrived  and hooked me up with Suzanne who boarded  her horse, Dancer close to me in San Diego and wanted some one to ride with.