Monday, November 13, 2006


Hey guys,

I just wanted to say a great big thank you to Tammy Robinson, Charley and everyone else on the RM team that put on the new Git-R-Done elevator ride this past weekend. WHAT A HOOT! The weather was great (at least until the wind started whipping something fierce Saturday night, which probably wasn?t much fun for the 75 and 100 milers), and the trail was perfect for this kind of ride---flat, perfect footing, non-technical---I know, a lot of people would find this boring, or a dumbing-down of endurance, or too conducive to overriding a horse. I wasn?t bored, it was the right venue for an elevator ride to encourage moving up, and no one overrode their horse. No metabolic pulls, one minor banamine-deficiency for a colicky horse that Doc Fred thinks was already a bit colicky before the start, and only a few minor lameness pulls. Quite a few people used the elevate option, and most finished the longer distance successfully.

Speaking only for myself, this ride was just what I wanted---starting a young, inexperienced horse in her first ride, being ridden by an owner (me) that also hasn?t actually ridden a ride in over seven years and still not in shape for anything more than getting down the trail for 25 miles. I finished with a lot of horse left and not much rider, which was fine by me, other than being disappointed to learn I have not gotten any younger in the past seven years. Bummer. I remember thinking on the trail that were this a first-time ride ever for me, I would have been very encouraged to continue on and keep coming to rides. There is definitely a niche in the sport for rides that just convince novice riders that this is a DO-ABLE sport, regardless of what your ambitions are for that day.

Jeremy Reynolds won the 100 in (I think) 8 hours and fifty minutes of actual riding time, and Becky Hart won the 100 mile BC. I saw about a half dozen 100 and 75 milers show for BC on Sunday morning and they all looked GREAT---there wasn?t one I wouldn?t have been happy to hand a BC award to. John Parke and his tough little pony Remington elevated from the 75 to the 100 and finished in good style as always. There were lots of really great accomplishments at all levels, forgive me for not remembering exactly who did what. Everyone was a pleasure to be around all weekend, although some unknown riders ran Heather Hackworth off the trail and need to work on their trail manners a bit more. Fred Cluskey continued his ongoing role of Magnificent Pagan God by helping yank my trailer out of the sand on Sunday when what looked like hardpack sand turned out to be siltier than expected.

As I mentioned, this was my first ride in seven years and I did the LD, which was a good day?s work for *me*. I probably expended a lot of energy all day just giggling at having the opportunity to be out riding with friends in beautiful country. After the awards breakfast, a lot of the 100 mile riders told me congratulations for finishing---what a nice way to finish the weekend, and how nice were all those elite riders to even notice my (relatively speaking) measley 25 miles? I guess my point is that there is a lot of sniping and dialogue about what level of mileage constitutes real endurance, but instead of debating it online, for goodness sake, JUST GET OUT AND RIDE---the proof is in the pudding, and the people in camp actually doing it and riding their horses are the salt of the earth.

Thanks again, Tammy!

Susan ?When Did These Knees Stop Working? Garlinghouse, DVM---(still walking around with a big, cheesey grin?)

(posted to Ridecamp 11/13/06)

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