Endurance Riding

Mar 05 2012

This is What 30 Feels Like

Published by under Endurance Riding

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Well, my birthday couldn’t happen without a bang. The day before, while I was celebrating the last day of being 29 on the 29th, we had a pretty decent storm, which left enough snow on top of the barn roof to cause the panels to sag a little. In a panic, after only 3 hours of sleep, I crawled up on the roof and began shoveling snow off. My friend and contractor, Mike, joined me. Together, we shoveled snow off in the dark, while it was hailing, until I was confident both my horses and their shelter were going to withstand the weather.

On March 1st, I missed out on my annual birthday ride with my beloved Appaloosa, Forest (we share the same birthday), because of the weather. However, I did spend a nice day in Roseville with my husband and enjoyed lunch at Macaroni Grill. That evening, we had dinner at home with the boys and I received a handmade card from my youngest son, which read, “Happy Birthday, Mome.”

On Friday, the sun finally came out. It was beautiful… dry, in the 60s, with a light breeze. Jakob played hookey from school in order to join me and 7 of my best horse-crazy friends at Lake Oroville for a birthday trail ride. Before we even arrived at the trail head, though, we had a few mishaps. First, we had to get the horse trailer out of the snow (it hadn’t quite melted yet). Then Gary had to take an ax to my trailer door while I attempted to throw hot water on the latch, aiming through the trailer window. After 15 minutes, the latch finally un-froze and we were able to load the horses. I thought we were fine after that until Beauty fell in the horse trailer during the haul to Lake Oroville. She wasn’t hurt, but the entire situation scared me and I felt guilty that I hadn’t pulled over immediately when I suspected something was wrong. I think Beauty simply slipped – either from some snow that may have been packed in her hooves or from some ice that I didn’t realize was covering the trailer floor.

By 11:30 am on Friday, our group of trail riders was finally ready to hit the trail (I was not the only one who had had trouble that morning – one of my friends had to jump her truck twice and then got a flat on her horse trailer before arriving at the Saddle Dam parking lot; another friend had quite the time catching her horse from the paddock, which put her behind schedule as well). Our group ended up splitting up on the first loop – a few riders hung back to deal with equipment problems and bucking issues (no surprise, seeing as how the morning had gone for most of us already).

Linda, my endurance friend who had been my host during my Tevis Cup training last summer, took the lead, with Jakob, me, Jennifer, and Barb behind. In typical Linda fashion, we moved out on the first loop (and anyone who couldn’t keep up got left behind), slowing down only to offer the horses water. At one point, we passed the rest of our group on the trail, agreeing to meet at the horse campground for lunch. Our party of 5 continued on, taking a detour to get some photos in front of Lake Oroville. Before we returned to the trail, Jakob dared me to race him across the open space – I agreed, and so we left our other 3 group members in the dust!

At lunch, our entire group came together and the 9 of us enjoyed exchanging horse stories. I was the common thread for everyone and it was fun sharing how I knew each friend who was there. We let the horses graze on the grass for awhile – unfortunately, Asali also took this as an invitation to roll and before I could get her up, she squished my stirrup, destroying it. At that point, all I could do was laugh. I rode without stirrups back to the trailer, where I ditched my saddle for a bareback pad. Linda and Barb had taken off to explore the Visitor’s Center, but since many of my friends had to call it a day, I broke out the marble cupcakes my husband had made us the night before and we enjoyed dessert before Jakob, Jennifer, and I went out riding for another 45 minutes.

Overall, it was a great day. The friends who showed up to ride with me made me feel really special, and we all had a good laugh at the mishaps that occurred. I wasn’t one bit surprised. Afterall, last year, when I turned 29, we spent my birthday weekend snowed in, during a power outage… turning 30 was just another typical birthday.


Carol and Jo share a couple drinks at our lunch stop, toasting to my birthday.


Russ, President of the Paradise Horsemen's Association, and his wife, Stacy, let their horses graze in horse camp.


Linda, on her Tevis mare, Sequoia, showing her dimples for the camera.


Me, Jakob, and Jennifer offering our horses water at a trough we found on the trail.


Barb and Jen riding their horses across the wide open space we discovered in front of Lake Oroville. A gorgeous view and beautiful weather - a perfect day for riding!


3 responses so far

3 Responses to “This is What 30 Feels Like”

  1. Momon 06 Mar 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Looks like a fun in the sun day!

  2. Sharon Auntieon 07 Mar 2012 at 7:12 am

    You have experienced some wonderful rides with friends and with Jakob. He must be quite the little horseman!

  3. Jo Danehyon 07 Mar 2012 at 3:29 pm

    A great day, great stories, fine friends and happy

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