Endurance Riding

Jul 08 2011

Tevis Cup Training: Days 2 & 3

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It was 5:15 am. I awoke to a knock on the door and Linda asking, “Are you awake?”

“Yup, wide awake!”

I had been dead asleep, even though Linda and I had decided the night before that we would get going an hour earlier than our first day of Tevis training in order to beat the heat.

By 7:00 am, Linda and I were sitting on the side of the road near Foresthill, waiting for her friend, Dale Peterson. Dale had been Linda’s mentor when she first began endurance riding. Dale has completed Tevis three times, and every year he runs Francisco’s vet check for the ride. This year, he earned his 5,000 mile award with AERC.

The three of us started out in Foresthill, walked down Bath Road and down into Volcano Canyon. From there, we headed to Michigan Bluff. Once in Michigan Bluff, we took a break. We had originally decided we’d turn around in Michigan Bluff, but Dale suggested we head into El Dorado Canyon. Linda had planned on taking me into El Dorado Canyon on our last day of training together, but we were up for changing plans.

Dale looked at me and said, “It’s 3 and 1/2 miles down into the canyon and 3 and 1/2 miles back up. It’s a hard ride. You sure you want to do it?”

I looked at him and said, “O.K.”

Then he proceeded to tell me that it was a bit of a scary trail. “There are a few drop-offs.”

I looked at him and said, “I’m game. Let’s go.”

Linda reminded Dale that his scare tactics weren’t going to work – she had already tried them.

We headed into El Dorado Canyon. I led Asali the steep 3 and 1/2 miles down the trail. Once in the canyon, we went off the Western States Trail to find Dale and Linda’s secret swimming hole. Dale dared me to dive in, knowing I couldn’t refuse a dare (hello!, I’m training for the Tevis Cup on a dare). The water was cold, but refreshing, even though it wasn’t 100 degrees out.

Back in Michigan Bluff, we enjoyed drinks provided by Gary and Judy Hall. I untacked Asali to give her a break and we let all three horses graze on the grass. Heading back into Foresthill, all three horses were feeling good and we let them go, galloping down a wide trail. Climbing back to our starting point, I practiced tailing up with Asali.

It was a great day. I was in good company and Asali felt fine, probably because it wasn’t so hot. I took Linda’s advice and booted all 4 of her feet (Dale let me borrow one hoof boot and I used a hoof boot my son has for his horse). We never threw a single boot, even though the terrain had been rougher than the day before.

Once we returned home, Linda and I spent time in her pool, enjoyed a pizza with her sister, Teresa (also an endurance rider), and then headed over to Linda’s friend’s house. Barb Eggleston was a quite the character. She lives in a mine, owns a Missouri Fox Trotter named Cricket, and has numerous horse stories to share, which she tells with much exaggeration. I was rocking in a chair on her porch, enjoying the night air and half-asleep, when Barb insisted on showing us her MadVac before we left. As I was looking at this interesting piece of machinery, which is a combination of a yard vacuum and street sweeper, I thought I must have gone delirious from lack of exhaustion and I couldn’t help but laugh.


Heading out, with Dale and Stormy in the lead.


Going into Volcano Canyon.


Continuing on down…


Made it to Michigan Bluff!


Dale saying, “Are you sure you want to ride into El Dorado Canyon?”


The Hazardous Trail Warning.


Hiking Asali into the canyon.


I was being careful not to lose my own footing.


Downhill climb.


The trail is just a bit narrow.


Are we having fun yet?


Still leading Asali.


The bridge in El Dorado Canyon.


As Dale would say, “I wonder what the poor people are doing.” We may be poor in money (as horse people are), but we’re rich in spirit.


Asali cooling off in the shade while I swim.


Using a rock to put my socks on so I didn’t get sand in them like the day before.


Taking a break in Michigan Bluff after climbing out of the canyon.


Really liked all these crazy signs in the town of Michigan Bluff.


Asali stops to smell the flowers.


Passing by a horse cemetery, where Tevis Cup horses are remembered.


Dale and I riding ahead of Linda and Sequoia.


I dismounted again to hike down the steep grade, with Asali leading behind.


Tired and sweaty, we say hello to the Foresthill firemen as we finish our ride.

And finally… the Eggleston Mine.

Today, Day 3 and our final day of training, Linda and I decided against riding the other side of El Dorado Canyon. She had originally planned to take me on a 22 mile ride starting in Michigan Bluff. We were going to ride into and out of El Dorado Canyon and across the Suspension Bridge. Since we rode 21 miles yesterday instead of our planned 14, we decided to give the horses a rest. I did not want to push Asali, especially in the heat. So, Linda took us a couple miles from her home and we did an easy 10-mile loop in Dry Creek Parkway and through Gibson Ranch Park. We waded in the creek, waved to the kids playing soccer in the park, and let the horses eat apples right off the tree. We rode past a golf course, a horse ranch, and many cows sunbathing in a field.

endurance-ridingendurance-ridingendurance-ridingendurance-ridingThank you, Linda Straub-Boisa, for hosting me and Asali! We appreciate the Tevis Cup Training… we’re looking forward to more!


6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Tevis Cup Training: Days 2 & 3”

  1. Carol Baileyon 10 Jul 2011 at 3:16 am

    Great adventure! Awesome pics too!

  2. Chrison 10 Jul 2011 at 4:13 am

    Dude, Jaya, this looks frickin blissful!!! I’m so jealous!!! I swear, once I’m done with NCLEX, we need to go riding together!!

  3. JayaMaeon 10 Jul 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks, Carol! And, Chris, YES!!!

  4. Jamieon 14 Jul 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Jaya, looks amazing!!! Love your adventure narrative 🙂

  5. JayaMaeon 15 Jul 2011 at 1:13 am

    Thanks, Jamie! Hope to see you soon… maybe you can make it up to see our place and the horses sometime soon? Bring Chris with you!

  6. Daveon 18 Jul 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Hi JayaMae,

    I am one of your husbands students. He told me about your blog, so I thought I would drop by.

    Great stuff. Keep up the good work!

    Dave Dolan
    Pool Solar Panels

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