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Tales from 'The Insecure Newbie'

I wrote last March

<I am a bit overwhelmed about getting into Endurance. …I'm 50 years old, 20 
lbs. over weight, a procrastinator, live in Southern Wisconsin and do not 
like cold weather (moved from Portland 2 years ago). I am amazed I have 
never killed a horse out of my own stupidity, and do not own any good 
saddles. >

I can not believe that it was only 6 months ago that I wrote this email on 
ridecamp!!!  I did make it to my a ride the first week of April with support 
from many of you on ridedcamp but especially  from Roberta Harms (who has 
mentored me through the season).  Roberta emailed me and said she and her 
husband Carl would meet me at the ride and help me.  Well I showed up all 
nerves and grins Friday night and Roberta, Carl and Louise Riedel where 
there to greet me and help through registration.  I knew I wanted to ride 25 
miles but when asked would I rather ride LD in the morning or Competitive in 
the afternoon I picked LD since it was going to rain in the afternoon.  Well 
Saturday morning came and I am now ALL nerves.  My horse Misty or the Grey 
Witch was doing spectacular spends at the start line which would have given 
her a Blue in a reining class.  A very nice man (Mike from Ohio) looked at 
me and said he was riding a new horse so why didn’t we just start 5 minutes 
after everyone else.   We started off at a very slow trot and after several 
miles Misty had settled (or so I thought).  About 7 miles into the first 
loop we were galloping along and Misty saw one of those horse eating Mail 
Boxes and did a 5 foot to the left jump.  Next thing I knew I was on the 
ground with stars circling my head and a death grip on the reins.  Mike 
stopped, helped me up, dusted me off, asked how may fingers he was holding 
up(12 I think).  After a few minutes the stars left so off we went.  I was a 
bit sore but not bad (adrenaline is a great thing).  We finished the loop 
into the Vet hold.  Carl, Roberta’s husband was there with a blanket and 
water.  He kindly suggested that I my want to take my horse to the Vet for a 
PR.  (I thought I had a half hour…newbies)  Well Misty Vetted right through 
since we were going slow.   It seemed like minutes later and it was time to 
leave.  I knew something was not right when I tried to mount and my ribs 
were very painful (found out later I cracked two ribs).  Lucky my 
17-year-old son was there so he gave me a rump boost and I was in the saddle 
again.  As we started to trot I know I was going to have to go VERY slow.  
Mike stayed with me for half the loop.  I knew he wanted to go faster but he 
also wanted to encouraging me on, very nice for someone I had never meet 
before.  I finally convinced him that I would finish so he took off.  Misty 
did not like the idea of being last so instead of a nice flat walk she did 
her best parade jog, what a treat with cracked rids!!.  We finally made it 
back to the last Vet check and Carl was there to help me down.  Carl trotted 
my horse out for me since I could barely walk let alone trot!!!   I was the 
last rider in but I completed!!

Since then I have been to a ride 2 to 3 weekends a month, have meet great 
people and have rode in some very nice rides.  I got to go to the Pan Am 
games and Crew for Roberta Harms who was on the Central Zone team.  What an 
experience.  If any of you read Roberta’s stories on the Pan Am games I am 
the crew person that got 6 stitches from the vet after being trampled at the 
opening ceremonies, I think that is when Roberta decided I just may be able 
to make it as an endurance rider.

I have learned about lameness since Misty went lame in July.  Lucky I only 
live 30 miles from Jan Worthington and she was kind enough to lend me horses 
to ride until Misty got better.  I now have two horses to ride and another 
in training.

I have learned everyone in very willing to give advice, good conversation 
and a beer when needed.  I have done many horse related actives in my now 51 
years and must say I am having the most fun in Endurance.

My husband is very supportive of my riding but after 20 years of taking me 
to ER with horse related injuries he tired of getting ‘the look’ when I say 
‘really, I got a dislocated shoulder from a horse accident...<g>’

Thanks again to everyone who encouraged me to my first ride……

Peggy Brush
Southern Wisconsin

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