Endurance Riding

Jun 12 2013


Published by under Endurance Riding

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I feel like I need to have a good cry. I had a discouraging day. I am feeling defeated. I’m recovering from an injury and my horse (not my Tevis horse, thank goodness) came up lame. And then Asali didn’t accept the crupper again today after I’ve tried a few times with her now. My girlfriend let me know she isn’t doing Tevis after all and I had been looking forward to riding with her. I am flooded with thoughts of failure. What if we don’t ride fast enough? What if we get lost somewhere in the middle of nowhere, all by ourselves? What if my horse is injured? What if I’m injured? What if the heat gets to us? What if I have to ride at night by myself? Seriously, I must be crazy! It’s just a ride. What is it about Tevis that can instill fear like no other ride does? I’ve always claimed to be fearless, but this ride – this ride named the world’s most difficult endurance ride – is teaching me things I never knew about myself and things I never knew about my horse. I am sitting here in front of my computer hoping writing these words down will take away my anxiety. Writing has always been, along with my horses, a kind of therapy for me. I do feel awfully silly, complaining about my fears of Tevis. There are starving children in India. There is war, no running water, homelessness, despair all over this world. And I’m comfortable in my Gap jeans, my warm shirt, wearing diamond earrings, and an expensive wedding band. I have a husband who supports me and keeps me feeling safe. And two beautiful, healthy boys who teach me so much every day. I am foolish to weep for myself and not the world.

I am glancing at the inspiration board next to this computer, hoping for some strength:

“It will hurt. It will take time. It will require dedication. It will require willpower. You will need to make healthy decisions. It requires sacrifice. You will need to push your body to its max. There will be temptation. But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it’s worth it.”

This is sport. I need to wipe away the tears and put my big girl panties on.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “thoughts”

  1. Diana Hiiesaluon 13 Jun 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Better to cry and feel shitty now rather than at the ride. You will kick into gear and find your strength. You can’t do much about the unfortunate situations of others, though donating, you have already contributed but those are the journeys of others and you have your own. And it’s Tevis Bound so keep your focus on how exciting this all is. Does Asali really need a crupper? If you aren’t training with one now, why add it if she’s already done her conditioning without? You will probably have some company on the Cal Loop and even if you are the very last rider there are sweeps riders behind you. I buddied up with someone in the “Backwards Tevis” and we both had a good time, though very, very slow. Last year, I was ok going alone and ended up behind a group that I couldn’t wait to pass, which I did 8 miles down the trail. My time was faster but I was very serious in my ride. One thing I didn’t do is “make friends” with people, as I didn’t want to not pay attention to the trail, or worry is someone was going slower than I wanted. The only time I really started to talk to my riding buddy was 2 miles from the finish. On any other ride I would be chattin’ away, but Tevis is different to me. Remember why you are doing this ride. It’s not because it’s easy and anyone can do it, OR even finish it. It’s tough. Hot, long, scary. You will hurt and worry about your horse, but nothing will come close to how you feel about this ride. My original fear (for 27 years) was the start and getting sick in the canyons at night. If you have ANY tendency to get queasy consider taking something to help that. Dramamine did not work for me, as it made me sleepy which I tried before on a night ride. I had something I take for migraines when I get nauseous and took that. Worked great. The 2011 Tevis came so quick for me as I signed up the night before and didn’t have my drugs, and had a slight feeling of nausea so spent about 1 1/2 hours at the lower part of the Cal Loop feeling pueky. I finally made myself vomit (of which nothing came out) and felt better. But, good to be prepared if you have any tendency towards that and you might not know til you do it. One of the best things that helped me is visualizing walking up to get my buckle at the Awards Ceremony. Must of done that 10,000 times in all my years of waiting to do Tevis. And of course, finishing with a healthy, sound horse. You will be fine. You are not alone. Not only do you have people here cheering you on, you have all your loved ones on the other side who will be there to help you. Just ask them.
    Diana Hiiesalu recently posted..Aaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Your Husbandon 13 Jun 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Oh honey… let go of the things you can’t control. Remember, worrying does not empty tomorrow of it’s troubles, it empties today of it’s strength.

    You are the strongest woman I know…

    When you get into a tough spot (emotionally or physically) and everything goes against you, NEVER give up then, for that is the time the tide will turn.

    You gotta believe baby, you just gotta believe!

    You can do this!

    I will love and support you always…

    Now, you and Asali go kick some Tevis ass!!!

  3. JayaMaeon 13 Jun 2013 at 10:05 pm


    Thank you for your well thought out message. I actually woke up feeling much better this morning. Amazing what a little sleep can do for a person! I wasn’t feeling physically strong yesterday and that, in turn, affected how I felt mentally. I don’t like to be slowed down, especially when I feel like I have so much to do! Yesterday was just one of those days where nothing seemed to go right and I couldn’t fix anything immediately!
    You may be right about the crupper. I have a saddle that isn’t a perfect fit and with those crazy ascents and descents on Tevis, I thought a crupper might not be a bad idea. But we’ve gotten this far without one…
    I don’t think I’ll get queasy, but maybe I’ll throw some Zofran in my saddle bags just in case! Never thought of that one before. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed for no bees or silly snakes or anything else like that when we’re on the edge of those narrow cliffs, with drop-offs below. I’m not afraid of heights and my horse is sure-footed, but if we encounter something stupid on the trail, things could get interesting!
    By the time Tevis is here, I am going to be excited! Truth is, part of me can’t wait to get that buckle! I have heard this ride is like no other and I’ve already experienced some of the magic of the Tevis trail during our training rides. I just need to remember to ride my own ride… Asali and I have done most of our endurance miles just the two of us, without a friend or a mentor, and some of my favorite times have been when it’s just me and my horse.

    And to Gary, my husband, thank you…

    P.S. Happy to hear there are sweep riders. 🙂

  4. Diana Hiiesaluon 14 Jun 2013 at 8:03 pm

    So funny on the sweeps riders!! I am glad you feel better and no matter what happens between now & getting to the awards ceremony you will deal with it the way you feel best. Another note thou….wear the right sized boots & trim your toenails!! Haha!!! Lots of downhill miles. I lost 5 toenails and they are just finally grown back.

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