December 30, 2015
As we wrap up 2015- my first year in endurance and in blogging- I can see we’ve been active!
My first post was in January and according to WordPress stats I’ve added 85 entries (so this is 86!) and had almost 3,000 views (WOW!) and my most common post day has been Monday (probably weekend riding recap). Thanks for all of you who read our story- the WordPress folks have convinced me to enroll this year in their blogU to help improve my writing. Since you are watching now I suppose I should try to keep up my game here.
Also I finally picked up a selfie stick. I am a visual person and love photos- which is obvious in the blog as I always post as many photos as I can. I have had fun playing with the selfie stick this week and had to laugh out loud as I put it in front of Khaleesi on a ride yesterday- she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it!
As for our miles- Khaleesi has 85 (limited distance) Aerc miles in our first year. Faygo has 30 from the No Frills ride as she was my trial horse on my first ride. (So I have 115 as a rider). Not a ton of miles, but I’m happy about our first season and how much we’ve learned. I couldn’t tell you how many miles we’ve racked up in conditioning and training rides but I might have that number a year from now because Susan picked us up a training log book and I hope to keep up with it.
#1 – volunteering at the OD and the national championship rides. Any new rider should make volunteering a serious goal. I saw so many horses and riders, scribing for a great vet gave me insight as to what is normal/good/not good. Sitting around while they chat randomly or talk about a horse they have concerns about is great for learning. You get to see what it’s like from the other side so to speak and I hope it makes me a better participant. Never hurts to make friends with the vet staff either.
#2 – took riding lessons. This changed my world more than I thought possible. All the things I didn’t know I didn’t know! It has improved (what was a pretty good) relationship with my horse and according to a vet recently also has helped her develop good muscling and a nice strong body. This led me to search out more riding help (recently balanced riding by Sally Swift ) and training techniques and a desire to dance with my horse every day and never ‘just ride’.
#3 – do it. My first ride I did not know a soul, I did not know where I was going exactly, did not know if my horse would finish with my training, I didn’t even know if she would pass the initial vet exam! (No reason she shouldn’t… just… You don’t know if you’ve never gone) I was a little nervous, but I packed up and alone I went with my horse and found a great group of helpful people, that my horse was ready and willing and I was on my way. We did it. But even if we didn’t finish we would have learned a lot too and prepared better for the next one.