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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
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
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……
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