Endurance Riding

Jan 05 2011

New Year’s Resolution?

Published by under Endurance Riding

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I have never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. Every year, I have that thought, “If I was going to make a New Year’s Resolution, I would…” But I never commit to anything.

This year, however, I did make a New Year’s Resolution, although it was a little late. Better late than never, though, right? I was sitting in front of my computer on the 3rd or 4th of January, Googling “Tevis Cup.”

I’ve never been interested in endurance riding. I grew up as a hunter jumper rider and always felt most comfortable in the arena. It wasn’t until 2009 when I began trail riding. A friend of a friend said she needed help exercising her two mares. I agreed and started riding Asali, a Missouri Fox Trotter. Asali was Parelli trained and it was a whole new thing for me to be riding bareback and bitless, let alone being out on the trail that way. But, it turned out I loved it. And just a few months after I first began riding Asali, her owner, Jennifer Ferrini, offered her up to me. While Asali had never originally been for sale, Jen recognized that Asali and I had a special bond, and she believes that “every horse deserves to have someone love them.”

So, how did this entire endurance thing start? I am not really sure. I began doing trail trials with Asali in 2010, and one day when I was out pleasure riding with a girlfriend, she said something to the effect of, “Wouldn’t it be cool to ride in the Tevis Cup one day? We should totally do it! We could train together.” Now, Julie doesn’t have her own horse yet, but I agreed that when she got her Arab, I would train for the Tevis with her. At the time, I didn’t really have any great desire to do endurance riding, but I am game for anything, and I thought, well, I’ll do it because I can.

As I began reading about the Tevis Cup and endurance riding, it began to sound exciting, even appealing. My 8 year old son, Jakob, caught me reading about the Tevis, and asked me if I was going to ride in the competition. He asked me who I was going to take, saying, “You can’t take Beauty, because I want her to sleep.” Beauty is his horse, and he was very concerned about the fact that the Tevis Cup is a 24 hour ride. I looked at him and said, “I’ll ride Asali.”

The more I thought about it, the more I thought Asali probably could do it. She’s extremely sure-footed. She has tons of energy and is a very willing horse. She also has speed and enjoys competition, just as I do. Plus, I have the perfect training ground… miles and miles of remote wilderness surrounding the horse ranch where I live. And a lot of it is rugged terrain… not trails for the light hearted. So, why not? I should do it just because I can.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “New Year’s Resolution?”

  1. Donnaon 26 Jan 2011 at 2:24 am

    Just because you can. What better reason for any challenge? 🙂


  2. JayaMaeon 26 Jan 2011 at 5:05 am

    Donna, any chance you’ll be in the Northern CA area and want to ride with me and Mom on one of our long rides??? 😉

  3. JayaMaeon 21 Jul 2012 at 4:24 am

    I was spending some time tonight reflecting on my course of training with Asali over the last year when I decided to go back and read this very first blog post… just to be reminded how I ended up in this crazy cool sport of endurance…
    One thing I forgot to mention when I first wrote this post is that I did not actually realize the Tevis Cup ride was done in 24-hours when I first agreed to do it with Julie. Of course, that makes the challenge all the more appealing and I am looking forward to mounting up at the starting line next year!
    It’s been a year and a half now since this post was written and Julie still doesn’t have that Arab… Julie said to me awhile ago that her dream to do the Tevis Cup is just a “pipe dream.” While I love Julie fondly, I do not believe in pipe dreams. Anything is possible and for Asali and me, every training ride we’ve done in preparation for what is referred to as one of the toughest endurance races worldwide, has both humbled me, forced me to overcome fears, and pushed me beyond limits. I have learned a great deal about myself, my equine partner and friend, and I have gained a respect for nature and other living beings that I may not otherwise have gained. I have learned about teamwork, deepened the bond with my husband and children, and made lifelong friends – all through the sport of endurance.

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