Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

May this year be better - and calmer - than last year. This time last year I was living in Mississippi with three horses - my good horse Champ, my retiree Silky, and my crazy Dixie. I was perfectly happy to become a Mississippi good old girl and never leave that beautiful messed up state, but life happened. The economy sucked, and my husband's job (at the time) transferred him to Ohio. Silky's congestive heart failure got to the point where I decided to put her down in February or March, then we had to pack up everything and move.

Ohio was the most perfectly normal place I've ever lived. I don't thrive in normal :( I had the horses at a very nice barn, but it was very arena and show oriented, and I never felt like I fit in. In April, Champ died, very unexpectedly. He had undetected liver cancer and it hemorrhaged - my husband and I hauled him to OSU for possible colic, and in about two horrible hours it became clear that he was dying. It was a huge blow. I still miss him, and I feel so lucky that he was so patient with me and taught me so much.

Dixie went from being my project mare that I would one day be good enough to train to being my only horse that I had to do something with. It was really tough, and we spent a lot of time (we are still spending a lot of time) going one step forward and two steps back. In retrospect, she was not trained to do anything other than rack fast and not buck. And I am not a horse trainer - I have just figured out, through lots of introspection, asking stupid questions, and trial and error, how to train MY horse.

2009 was a really mixed bag. I made a lot of progress with my horse, and I moved halfway across the country, then all the way across the country. I love Reno, and I feel like I've landed in endurance heaven. If I hate endurance, it's still trail heaven! But this is the Year of Endurance. Dixie and I shall make our 20 mile debut tomorrow, at the NEDA ride in Silver Springs. Well - we're going to sign up for 20 miles. Crysta and I are sure we can do the first loop, and we'll see how the horses feel after that. If I pull, no big deal - this is more about keeping Dixie calm and focused than testing her physical conditioning.

She's had about two weeks of light work, so I want to give her two more weeks of LSD conditioning, then I think it's time to start adding in some speed work, weather permitting. What have you done to take your horse from "pretty fit" to "badass equine"?

7 comments:

  1. Big year, big changes - good luck on your ride today, and most importantly, have fun!

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  2. Good luck on your 20 miler! I did two CTRs last year and had a blast. If I can find a close enough LD, I am going to try that this spring.

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  3. Sounds exciting. Good luck in the race.

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  4. I know nothing about endurance, but I wish you both lots of luck! No matter what happens, it's good experience, and I think that's worth a lot.

    Enjoy!!

    (Isn't it going to be cold? BRR!) :)

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  5. Is it legal to give horses LSD?

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  6. Wow! You've had some rough losses and a hella lot of change in the past year! I, like you, am working on training a green horse and do not consider myself a trainer! We have started dressage lessons (help A LOT) and we also ride miles and miles on trails quite often. I plan to start jumping him and entering a couple of competitive trail rides this year, endurance is definitely on my mind too, he can go for days...AngloArab.
    Happy New Year!

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  7. Thanks for the good wishes, yall!

    Tammy - Dixie and I are NOT READY for a CTR. I totally admire CTR people - I don't tie correctly, don't know how to jump small obstacles, can't get my horse to sidepass, etc etc. We have a lot more holes to fill in in our education before we can CTR!

    DP - Shhhh, don't tell anyone. They don't drug screen for it yet! ;)

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