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Day 2
Images by John Teeter

Day 1
Images by Merri

Owyhee Four Seasons
Images by Merri

Images by Merri

Images by Merri

Images by Merri

Pre-Fandango: Thursday

Thursday May 22 2008

That's it! I'm not looking at the weather report anymore! Now we're up to 70% chance of rain on Friday - which would actually be nice, for the dusty trails and the thirsty wildflowers - and no wind, which is great. However, now thunderstorms are added to the mix Saturday and Sunday, and you all know how terrified I am of lightning! Steph said, "You better ride fast!" We decided to stop looking at the weather report during the day, because it kept getting worse. But no matter what, it will be cool, in the 60's and 70's, great for the horses.

UPS and Fed-Ex are making trips several times a day 5 miles down the dusty road to the Teeter Rancho to drop off boxes of ride awards and glow sticks. John Favro is fine-tuning the lawns, and the rakes are still flying on some of the riding trails around basecamp.

More arrivals today:

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Pre-Fandango: Wednesday

Wednesday May 21 2008

The sum of today: wind and more wind!

Candace Kahn, who blew in yesterday evening with her horse from Medford, Oregon, said that was some of the strongest winds she'd driven in. It continued today - 20 mph with gusts to 37 - and tomorrow it will be even stronger. Great clouds of dust are whipped up from bare fields, and there's a fire burning 8-10 miles from here (going the other way).

Starting Friday, the winds will die down, but now, there's a solid chance of showers through Monday - some front stalled out in the Pacific. Normally it doesn't rain here in Oreana unless it says 100%, as we're in a rain shadow of the Owyhee mountains. But, you never know. As long as it doesn't say "thunderstorms," I'm good.

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Pre-Fandango: Tuesday

Tuesday May 20 2008

Steph took off toward the north on the 4-wheeler to mark trail, and Carol and I took August and Mac to the south to flag the Hart Creek trail. Rushcreek Mac, a former Rushcreek ranch horse, is not sure he wants to be an endurance horse over a cow-pony yet, but he's for sure still a great gate horse and he's now a great ribbon horse. You just have to point him at a gate and he knows how to open it, how to position himself; and it took hanging two ribbons for him to figure out trail flagging. He'd stop as close to a bush as I wanted, and not move a foot, even when I leaned and hung off of him sideways like a trick rider.

Though it's been a terribly dry spring, there are a few little canyons of bright flowers. At the far end of Pickett Canyon, there are a dozen shades of Indian paintbrush, and just overnight, asters and penstemmons have popped out.

Back at the ranch, John and Susan Favro were giving the yard a last mowing and weed-eating.

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Pre-Fandango: Monday

Monday May 19 2008

The first Fandango-ers have arrived...

Two-time World Endurance Champion Valerie Kanavy pulled into the Teeter Rancho ("the boonies," Valerie chuckled) early Monday morning with two horses and two grooms after a cross country drive from Virginia. Both horses are half-qualified for the World Endurance Championships in Malaysia in November - they've each completed a 100-mile ride under 12 km/h (13 hr, 20 min ride time) - and she plans to try to get the second one under their girths on this trip.

Originally she'd thought Steph was putting on an FEI 100-mile ride each day of the May 24-26 ride, and she was willing to ride a hundred on the first and third day (diehard!), until Steph told her we had only 1 100-miler. So after the Fandango, Valerie and her crew are heading to Fort Howes in Montana for the other hundred mile ride for her other horse two weeks later. She hasn't decided yet who she'll ride where. Valerie and her groom Laura Vilaregut - from Catalonia, Spain; last month she won the Junior Catalonian Championship - took the horses, King Ali Gold - who won the December 31 2007 New Years in New Mexico 100 miler, and Flash Flame - who won the 2005 Arabian Nights 100-mile ride here with Danielle Kanavy, out on a trail ride to get the kinks out after their long haul.

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Saturday May 17 2008 - Countdown to Fandango

The 3-day ride here, the Owyhee Fandango, is one week away.

Trails are getting marked, pens being set up, weeds being pulled, road being dragged, horses are getting ridden, and we are keeping an anxious eye on the weather. Right now, depending on who you talk to it feels: numbingly hot enough for a nap (the horses), Great! (Steph), or stunningly hot enough to crawl in a deep hole lined with ice (me).

If you ride, you want to do it earlier in the morning, finish before 11 AM, or much later in the evening, after 7:30. Jose wasn't too excited about his 9 mile ride with August today. Neither of them were too enthused, so we didn't rush through it, instead doing a little bit of work and a little bit of grazing along the way. May as well take advantage of some of the green grass before it all withers.

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