I don't want to give you the wrong impression about endurance riders. Just like in any sport, there are a few pain in the patooties in that field as well. I was nearly run down by an FEI rider at the 20 Mule Team 100 miler a few years ago. I was walking down the trail, when from out of nowhere, an FEI rider came blasting up and blew by me without uttering a single word. Montoya spooked pretty hard and I ... wait for it ... GLARED at the rider as she disappeared from view. Did she see me glare at her? I doubt it. Would she have wondered what the hell my problem was? Probably. Who was in error? No one.
You may not know this, but walking is allowed during an endurance race. In fact, I walked nearly 200 miles of the Death Valley Encounter beside THE Grand Dame of endurance riders, Trilby Pederson. Trilby holds the record for the most miles ridden by anyone, ever. She has completed over 60,000 race miles. To ride with her was truly an honor.
You might wonder how that happened. To be honest, it was because I was stuck in my trailer barfing from anxiety, and I missed the ride start. I just couldn't get on my horse. I knew that Trilby always started last, and finished last as well, so I formulated a plan to at least begin the ride tagging along behind her. She agreed, and no doubt assumed I'd trot off as soon as the anxiety passed and I felt better. As it happened, we were deep into a discussion about saddle fit when I realized that I felt fine, but it was too late to run off and leave her alone. We agreed to hang out together until the first vet check. As it turned out, we didn't part company until near the end of the fourth day.
Riding those 175 or so miles with Trilby was a true learning experience. She taught me a lot about endurance riding and how to achieve longevity with your horse. The only reason I left her on the final day was because she wanted me to get back to camp in order to clean up so that I could go to the big New Year's Eve bash being held back in camp with Hubby. I argued, but she insisted that I hurry back for the party. What a gal! Did I mention that Trilby was in her late 60s at the time?
So what does all of this have to do with the warm-up ring? I guess I wanted to illustrate that I have encountered thoughtless riders in the endurance world, and I lived to tell about it. And maybe I've even been the thoughtless rider. No one ever thinks that they're in the wrong. I have also gratefully accepted the mentorship of those most in the know. I am a lifelong learner who doesn't hold a grudge. I take things as they come, learn from them, and move on.
If you read yesterday's post, you no doubt saw the many comments, some pretty critical, and others more supportive. I don't feel the need to further explain my point of view. I think I made my point, but I wonder if an explanation of the blogging process is in order. A Blog is a web log, a diary or journal of someone's experiences shared with those who care to read it. Each person uses their blog in their own way. Me? I use it as a way to analyze and record my equine experiences. For me, the topics that most interest me are equine health, endurance experiences, and my foray into dressage.
All of that means that this blog is simply my interpretation of my equine world. Am I always right? Certainly not. Am I always wrong? Definitely not! Can we each see things differently? Absolutely. I will continue to get pissed about whatever pisses me off, and I will also delight in the things that amuse me. And I will write about all of it honestly, from my perspective.
I don't need the last word ... ever. With that, I close with this: The warm up ring is a confusing place with a lot of riders of varying levels of experience which tends to muck up the works. Throw in a bunch of Type A personalities, and let the dance begin! Please offer the last word, and I promise not to reply!