Friday, July 18, 2014

To E, or Not To E

That would be the question.

I have a bunch of reasons why I want to ride endurance. The bottom line, though, is that I love the idea of being on a trail for hours at a time, with no one wanting to stop (except maybe me). However, I also have huge reservations.

So, here are the Pros and Cons of doing an endurance event (either a 25 or a Intro ride)


It's at Vedauwoo. Vedauwoo. My heart place. I place I want to ride at more than anything.
Ashke is ready. And hale.
They are offering an Intro Ride, so we could try it and get our feet wet without much difficulty
It's what I wanted to do before I got Ashke. Before I realized how much stronger I really needed to be.


Ashke has never really done the whole "hang out at the trailer" thing. Or been highlined. And I don't have a pen, or electric fencing pen options.
Ashke is still pretty afraid of ropes, so any incident involving a rope would be much more disastrous than for other horses.
I've only done one sleep over with my horse and that was in a stall. In a barn.
My back has been very sore since I got my new saddle because of the amount of canter work I have been doing. The strain of a 25 mile ride might be too much.
It will cost a couple hundred dollars to haul up, enter, ride and haul back. We will have to provide a companion for T for the weekend, plus dog sitting of sorts.
It's at least a two hour haul, maybe two and a half.
I will also need to take a day off work on Friday to haul up there.

There is a WE practice day the weekend before that I want to go to. I have limited resources, so I need to put my money where I really want to be, which means I can really only afford the gas for one of those events. I want to ride in the rated WE show in September, which means practicing our obstacles and our canter and riding with one hand as much as I can between now and then.



  1. For me, getting to ride in my heart place would be the ultimate selling point. I'd find a way around all of the other obstacles to gain an opportunity to do that.

    At the same time, I completely understand the money woes. :-\

    It is a difficult situation for certain. What does Daniel think?

    1. He wants me to ride there, but doesn't really care if it's part of the endurance ride or not. We need to do a trip up, ride and come home on the same day, but that's five hours of prep and drive time for two hours of riding. I may look to see if there is somewhere we could stable the horses overnight that's close by.

  2. This might be your clincher: At what time does the Intro ride start? At Fort Valley last year it started later in the day at noon, which meant a lot of people could just trailer in the same day and thus there was no need to camp with your horse if you weren't set up for it yet. This is what Gail did last year:
    Otherwise, is there anyone from whom you could borrow an electric corral? Liz ordered her set-up from for less than $200. It can be very stressful to go without a set-up for the horse. A lot of people just tie their horses to the trailers, but after reading about Tucker's escape last time Hannah did that at an LD, I'd be reluctant to try that, especially with a horse that is afraid of ropes as it is, like Ashke.

    If camping with Ashke is the only way to ride at Vedauwoo right now, I'd say go to the WE practice and...volunteer at Vedauwoo! You could bring the whole family for that (there are perks for volunteers including free meals) and it's another great way to get your feet wet in the sport without the additional stress of worrying about Ashke. I was reluctant to bring Lily to the first ride I ever went to (even if I'd been able to), simply because I had no idea what any of it was like and it was overwhelming for me to not know what to expect as a rider and then not know what to expect in terms of my horse's behavior. I liked the idea of going and figuring it out myself first before bringing Lily along. It was a HUGE help to have crewed for Liz at Fort Valley last year prior to participating at an endurance ride as a rider. You get to see other riders' set-ups, see what equipment works and what doesn't, how horses behave at the start and how riders handle it (it can be quite chaotic when horses get "race brain"), and it's a great way to meet people in the sport. Just volunteering as in timer or at the vet check will teach you SO much about the sport. Of course it's not the same as riding, but it's another way to get prepared for doing the LD next year. And then I'd work on practicing having Ashke hang out at the trailer, and returning to the trailer, untacking, feeding him, then heading back out again for a second loop (I highly doubt he'd object to this, but some horses do the first few times they realize they are not done yet), and getting yourself stronger. If I couldn't trailer in and out on the same day for the Intro ride, I'd go to the WE practice and volunteer at Vedauwoo this year. It will give you more time to get ready for both sports and it will allow you to see how an endurance ride works. :)

  3. That's hard. I think I'd concentrate on the WE since you know you are ready to compete in that sooner. But the volunteering idea is great, and even some practice where you go for a day a bit closer and work on tying all day. In my area there are a lot of camps that don't allow corrals of any type (lack of space) and I've seen enough corral disasters to want to be able to contain my horse at least a couple different ways.

    I do totally think you're ready for an intro ride. I love that they offer that, especially if you can practice having all those horses around.

    Ok, that's not much help. Oh, I know! Win the lotto and do it all! That's always been my backup if I'd only ever buy a ticket...

    1. We have that same problem with winning the lottery.

  4. I would have the same concerns with not having camped overnight and having no set up. It's sounds like you are better prepared for the WE. I do like the volunteering idea though!!!! If after all of the comments you are still undecided remember we have to set ourselves up for success just as much as we have to set our horses up for success... That means being prepared. Good luck!!

  5. Had to Google Vedauwoo. Wow, how fabulous.

    1. We are going camping there next weekend, so I will have lots of photos. It's my favorite place, ever.

  6. I would practice the overnite containment (whether you plan on corral or tie) before going to the ride. So, I guess I'd do the WE unless you can haul in day of and do the intro ride. My horse ties well but I still fret all night the first night
    of a ride as I hear him moving around the tie- not too fun or good for getting a good nights rest.

  7. I would focus on the WE, because right now you seem very into that, and it seems like an achievable goal. And work on the trailer tying (they actually get used to that quite well-you tie the rope so the clip just touches the ground so they can lie down--but they don't tend to get caught up in it standing up) Have him do it for longer periods of time and work up to overnight. And I would figure out a way to get to Vendauwoo on your own time. My thought is that you won't have as much connection with it with the stress of a competition (in addition to the family stressors) as you would being there on your own time--either with tying to the trailer or finding stable accommodations.