ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Getting Started-long

Re: Getting Started-long

Wed, 5 Feb 1997 20:58:34 -0500 (EST)

I have been "in the horse business" all my life. My mom & dad own and
operate a saddle shop in Ohio. I went to horse shows from the time I could
walk. I can remember in my late teens, early twenties reading about the
Tevis ride. More recently, I read the press releases on the ROC and thought,
"Boy wouldn't that be something to do." But I got married, had children and
continued showing and working in the saddle shop. Six years ago, my champion
"couch potato" husband quit smoking, quit drinking beer and lost 60 pounds.
He lost the weight by walking on his lunch break. That led to long day
hikes on the weekend and that led to weekend then weeklong backpacking trips.
I finally decided that if he could do all that then it was time for me to
try long distance riding. I got information on a ride in W.V. from a local
ride vet. He told me it would be a great first ride. (Don't take a vet's
word for it if he has never RIDDEN the ride.) He was referring to the
management and general location of the ride. Well, I called the ride
secretary and told her I wanted to do her ride but where do I start? Bless
her heart, she sent me a large envelope full of conditioning schedules, the
address for ECTRA for rules, and general training tips. This was July of
1990. In September, I went to the 25 mile CTR with a fellow neophyte. As we
pulled off the main highway to get to the park grounds, my husband looked at
the surrounding terrain and said "You're in over your head. You don't stand
a chance against the locals around here." How's that for a confidence
builder? When we checked in, a couple of fellow riders approached us and
asked if this was our first ride. How did they know? My big western saddle?
Cowboy boots? Blue jeans? Well, my friend's horse got hung up in the rope
right after we arrived and pulled a ham string. She was done. I was on my
own. I didn't get much sleep that night because in my excitement to enter
the ride, I was number ONE on the trail. What have I done? Well, not long
after the start, a rider caught up with me whose horse was very compatible
with mine and she took me under her wing for the day. I experienced major
DIMR that day because the views were breathtaking, the trails were glorious,
the company extraordinary. Little did I know that the wonderful women who
mentored me that day ended up the Overall Ride Champion on a terrific 13 year
old Quarter Horse Stallion. As a result of her great tutilage,(sp.) I
received 3rd place in my weight division. I WAS HOOKED. Since then my
ex-show horse/distance horse is retired at the age of 20. I am now riding
another Arabian gelding and have been doing 50's fairly well. Someday, I
will do 100.

Sallie & Matty (how far we going today)

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