Back in college I got into Endurance Racing. We rode Arabians, and I broke my tail bone more times than not. Those were some of my happiest times. Since the days of my frivolous youth, I have transitioned into riding Quarter Horses. The wonderful thing about Quarter Horses is that they are so gentle, sweet, and CALM. Anna is the quintessential sweet QH, and then I have Iney. Iney is an Appendix. Which means she is 1/2 QH and 1/2 Thoroughbred. Therefore, she's not AS calm as Anna. Ha! I joke that she has the body (and feet) of a Thoroughbred, but the mind of a QH. I love this horse. Her sire is a world champion show jumper, and that is one direction I hope to delve into in the future. Two years ago, after talking with my friend Kay, she said she's interested in getting into endurance. Kay is a wonderful horsewoman as well as a veterinarian. I hadn't really thought about doing endurance again, as I no longer had an Arabian. But, she said she had QH's and was planning on going really slow. I signed up--thinking Iney would be perfect. Iney had never been outside of a show barn, ridden outside of an arena, and NEVER on an endurance race. Our conditioning was limited to riding in the pastures at our farm and neighboring pastures. Looking back, I shake my head, because it was INSANE to take her on a 30 mile ride without ever being on a trail! I just had/have such confidence on how well she was trained for 2 years under professional horsemen and women.
Here is Iney and I, 2 years ago at the Virginia Highland's Endurance Race. It was literally 15 miles up Iron Mountain and 15 miles down Iron Mountain. I still feel bad for being overly cautious with pushing Iney, because we came in on time, but Iney didn't cool down fast enough for us to have actually qualified as finishing on time. So, Kay, here is my public apology!!! I was just so scared of injuring my loved mare.
We DID finish, and without injury, so I still consider it a success. This year I know better. I have 2 months of conditioning to do to get ready! YIKES!
Iney chilling out at the trailer.
About 10 miles in or so. Iney had really hit her stride, and was doing great. I was so proud of her!
This was taken at the vet check. She had all A's on her report card, and was calm. The only disturbance on this ride was Iney's lack of enthusiasm to cross water. She did ok at first and then decided it was much better to JUMP all water crossings. Ultimately, she ended up kicking Kay's horse, Hank The Wonder Horse, and injuring his back hock. Sorry Hank. SO, this year, we are doing lots of trail riding, we are going to work on water crossing, and I WILL finish under time. What's better? I've encouraged my horsey friend, Grace, to join me! She has a beautiful gray QH that she'll ride. Fun times ahead!!!