Endurance Riding

Jun 21 2011

Peace Love Ride: The Hat Creek Hustle

Published by under Endurance Riding

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On our way to Lassen National Forest, Jakob looked at me and said, “So, Mom, what time are we riding tomorrow? Noon?”

I couldn’t help but laugh.

“You’ll be lucky if we get a ride-out time of 9 am.”


“Welcome to endurance, Jake.”

We arrived at camp around 5 pm. The weather was perfect. We tied both horses to the trailer, side by side, but I soon realized that wasn’t going to work out when Beauty kicked Asali. I should have known better. Jake and I got Asali’s electric fence turn-out set up quick after that. We also cleaned out the horse trailer (at first, Jakob was a little concerned about sleeping in the trailer since the horses poop in there, but then he got used to the idea after he saw me rake and sweep it out; I’ve yet to make him a boy scout, but we’re working on it).

endurance-ridingendurance-ridingWe enjoyed the evening with a mug full of hot vegetarian chilly.

endurance-ridingAt the pre-ride meeting, I saw my Italian friend, Roberto. I was thrilled – he had left before awards at the Cache Creek Ridge Ride, so I got the pleasure of telling him we had almost made the Top Ten at that ride! Roberto had brought along his son, Vasco, for the Hat Creek Hustle fun ride. Vasco and Jakob hit it off right away. They ran around together, catching lizards. And then after we got the horses settled for the night, Jake and Vasco played an intense game of checkers, followed by the card game War. Finally, at 10 pm, Roberto and I had to cut their game playing off.

endurance-ridingendurance-ridingThe next morning, Jakob and I awoke at 5 am to the sound of the 50-milers getting ready for their start time of 6 am. It was a chilly 42 degrees, so we stayed snuggled in our sleeping bags for awhile before feeding the horses and then making hot oatmeal for ourselves.

endurance-ridingendurance-ridingAt 7:25, we were in line with Vasco and Roberto and one other rider, awaiting the go-ahead to begin our 10 mile fun ride.

Jakob and I took the lead. I told him if he wanted a taste of endurance, we had to move out the entire way. There was no walking allowed, unless necessary through rocky or steep terrain. Jakob and Beauty did extremely well, trotting out beautifully. We even cantered a long stretch of narrow, single track trail between the trees. We were on the famous Pacific Crest Trail and the views were amazing.

endurance-ridingAbout half way through our ride, Jakob started complaining that his legs were burning – they were getting rubbed from the seams on his jeans (he had brought breeches and half chaps with him, but because it was so cold before we started out, he had decided to wear jeans). At that point, we slowed down and then eventually took a snack break, where we waited for Vasco and his dad to catch up to us. While the last part of the ride was slow-moving, I really enjoyed myself. I took in the sights and sounds around me, and it made me smile to see Jakob with his new friend. At one point, Vasco jumped out of the saddle to catch a large toad that was on the trail. Before he let it go, he showed it to Jake. The boys also marveled at the size of the snow-capped mountains in the distance and the trees around them. They pointed out chipmunks and an odd looking fungus that at first we thought was a flower.

endurance-ridingendurance-ridingAfter the ride, Jakob had the opportunity to get his horse vetted to see what was involved in passing a vet check during a real endurance ride. Beauty had pulsed down to 52 (criteria was 60 bpm or below) and she was deemed “fit to continue.” We tended to the horses and then Jakob, Vasco, Roberto, and I went hiking along the creek. The boys threw rocks, got wet building a dam, built rock towers, attempted fishing, and then returned to camp for more game playing.

endurance-ridingendurance-ridingendurance-ridingendurance-ridingJakob had so much fun in the 28 hours that we spent in Lassen, he was disappointed to leave after dinner and awards. I had so much fun being with my son and sharing my passion with him. I drove away from ride camp thinking this is the life… Peace Love Ride. Jakob and I sport our Hat Creek Hustle shirts proudly.


5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Peace Love Ride: The Hat Creek Hustle”

  1. jo danehyon 22 Jun 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I loved reading all this. What a beautiful bond you have with Jakob, Jaya

  2. Ann Byrnson 27 Jun 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Looks like you had a great time! What did Declan and Daddy do?

  3. JayaMaeon 29 Jun 2011 at 3:08 am

    Thanks, Jo. And Mom, Declan and Daddy held up the fort at home. 🙂

  4. Lisa Chadwickon 04 Dec 2014 at 2:54 pm

    The start of it for me… my first glance at ride camp as we stopped in on our way home that fateful day to see what Doc had been talking to us about haha! And you guys were there!!!! I know it’s very close to Tevis this year but it would be so cool if you could make it this year.

  5. Lisa Chadwickon 04 Dec 2014 at 2:55 pm

    oh AND how funny that as I searched the words Hat Creek Hustle looking for years past to put on my events pages… yours is the first to come up in search just like the Whiskeytown Chaser search two years ago hahaha

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