Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Looking ahead

I'm almost certainly through with AERC rides for the year. Lake Sonoma is too far to drive for a 25. With any luck at all I'll get to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with my husband, instead of doing Desert Gold and Death Valley Encounter. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to do both those rides, but not this year. :)

(I might still do the Turkey Trot NEDA ride - I don't think G would mind if I went off for the day and came back that night, and I'm not worried about doing LD distances on Dixie.)

But hopefully 2012 will be our triumphant and injury-free return to 50s. I really enjoyed both Rides of March and the Nevada Derby, so I'm thinking of doing the ROM 30 on March 17 and the Derby 50 on the 31st. They're both super-local: I will ride farther than I will haul. I don't think a moderately challenging (great footing, some medium-size-Nevada hills) 30 two weeks before a 50 is asking too much. I will probably do most of my winter training rides at Red Rocks or in my backyard toward Palomino Valley, so it'll all be totally familiar to Dixie. And last but not least, I want to support both of them. California friends, SASO is a nice ride, but Nevada rides go on rain or snow regardless! No last minute cancellations here.

I feel like I should quantify my goals for next year. I think if we can do a mid/back of pack 50, with a perky horse and a moderately fit to continue rider, I'll look at doing back to back 50s for the ride after that. But it's hard in the West - there are some rides where a 9 hour finish is shameful and some rides where it's pretty respectable. So I think I'm going to have to rely more heavily on how the horse feels at the end of the ride than on numerical criteria.

Thoughts on my plan? What are your plans for early 2012? I know, winter is coming, but spring will be here before we know it.


  1. Great plans! It sounds almost...relaxing. Perfect!

    My plans? Finish this show season and put the pony out to spell for a month. I can't wait until the hustle and bustle of show season is over! (As much as I enjoy it)

  2. Sounds like you have good outline for your rides next year. I have no idea where I'm going next year - I'm progressing more slowly than I had hoped with my new mare... we'll get there eventually, I'm sure.

    I'm totally jealous that you have so many ride options in a close-ish range to your place! We only have 3 or so all year, the rest are really far away.

  3. After a long break for a couple surgeries, I hope to just get back to riding! Will do NATRC again this year, and we have an entry in to Tevis, that we rolled over from this year. So, I'll look towards August and heading "west" again, but if it does not work, then that is fine too. Would love to get to Bryce or Grand Canyon and try all 5 days but that is also a long, long haul.

    If nothing, this year I learned flexibility after getting in only 3 rides before not riding for the rest of the year.

  4. Right now, my sole horsey goal is to get them all through the winter safely. How sad is that?

  5. I've been planning my spring 2012 as well. My idea is April Whiskeytown Chaser in Redding, the 30 with Desire, as its too hard a ride to do my first 50, first race with Desire, etc. So get to know her on the 30 that I've already done. Then I was thinking about moving to a 50 for the Ribley ride that is in May as far as I know but hasn't shown on the calendar yet.. I think its a multi day at Skillman campground? My friend told me its a nice ride. If not that one I might do another 30 at Cache Creek unless I get ballsy and try the 50 there though I've heard its really hilly and hard. Anyhoo definitely going to do my first 50s with Desire by mid summer if all goes well. I'd like to go to some 2 day rides and bring Blaze AND Desire and ride one each day, that would be super cool to do a few times. Of course need to be ponying my filly out and showing her the world too, she'll be a yearling in April ahhh time flies!

  6. What I wouldn't give for a ride where I travel further in the saddle than I do in the driver's seat! Maybe if I could do an eight-week XP ride???

    Next year I want to return to some 50's and maybe do a 75-miler or two mid-season. This season went so close to the "plan" (except for the EHV thing) that I'm a little scared to make more plans.

    My winter plan is to take a LOT of riding lessons--every week, when possible--and also to work on Fee's "group dynamic" issues by working her frequently in a group of known or unknown horses. She is improving, but I don't call her "good" yet.

  7. I've been toying with the ride schedule for next year too. Focus is 1) more multi-days and 2) Dig's first 100. Thankfully these two go hand-in-hand fairly well and one will help lead to the other. I'm waiting to get my travel plans for work so I can start to finalize a bit more.

    I wish the NW region would post their rides on the AERC calendar more timely. I guess they all go up after the PNER convention. Works well for those already in the know up there, since the rides are usually on the same weekends, but harder for those of us out of area to make long range plans until posted.

    I put in my entry for DVE this year, but may do EMS instead (both are PS Region). Will have to see how things work out and the long range weather forecast. Would love to convince hubby to bring the dirt bikes and make a family trip out of one or the other.

  8. I don't want winter to come so I'm fighting making any winter goals!! I want to skip right to spring instead... I'd be lying, though, if I didn't say I was excited about next year's show season. It's baby steps as far as the hooves are concerned, but deep down inside I am really excited about 2012 and the potential for our best year ever.

    I think your goals sound great and I hope you're able to accomplish all your goals with a sound and happy Dixie!

  9. So Funder, I guess I'm a slacker. My goals are to continue enjoying my relaxing horse life of two hour trail rides, beach rides and gathering cattle for the ropers. After a couple of hours I'm ready to be done. So call me a sissy--I don't mind.

  10. I love it when I read other rider's plans for the next year. I am a goal setter, too. This past year was okay... but still about 30 hours from my goal. Planned to do a couple NATRC rides, but EHV1 scared me off the first one and just couldn't get any other CTR to fit in to the schedule. Maybe next year.

    I am looking forward to riding my husband's new horse some next year. She is pleasure trained (although I am not) and I might try an open show with her.

    And I've always wanted to do a LD on my mare, but haven't found any close enough to consider going to. Perhaps this year.

    Love the pics of your Painted Pony!

  11. Love hearing yall's goals, big AND small. :) Bird asked on her blog if it often snows at Rides of March - I don't think so. ~C has been here a lot longer than me so she'll know better than I do. My first year was beautiful, high in the 60s with sunny skies. Then last year it snowed an inch the night before and kept snowing during the morning of the ride. The real challenge is figuring out what it's going to do a week ahead of time and clipping your horse appropriately!

  12. Well I plan on more trails - but as you know dressage is my thing. I think Rosie would just fall down in a fake dramatic western movie death if I even whispered anything more than 5 to 7 miles long LOL!

    You have great goals!

  13. Rides of March (ROM) can be everything from a heat-wave 80 degrees to snow on the ground. I have pics of me doing the ride in 2007 in a tank top, and 2008 with 4" of snow on the ground and about 4 layers on. :) It's just about the long range forecast and what the winter ends up being like. The footing is to die for lovely either way, it really doesn't get much better and being a sandy base there is nothing slick to worry about. It's just the travel up and over the pass that could be worrisome weather wise.

  14. Goals for next year:
    I would like to get to 4 or 5 rides with Cartman.
    I would like him to maintain a "good" attitude and not get racey.
    I would like to try my first 50.
    I would like to take Cartman to a local team sorting event.
    But mostly, I want to have healthy happy horses.

  15. Sounds good to this endurance ignoramus!

    My goal is to have good boots that fit Peanut, and to tear up Fair Hill on some epic rides that may have the added benefit of keeping him from being such a tubbins. The fact that we can now do solo trail rides is going to be a huge breath of freedom!

  16. You sound very reasonable in your goalsplans! Dixie is so fortunate to have you.
    Me...I'm aiming for 800 mi on the trails as a whole. Now the rest will be bareback saddlepad...actually the way it started. Next year, my goals plans are to have a saddle both my mare and I like, that doesn't inflict pain or damage...and a 25 mile endurance ride somewhere.

  17. Okay Funder, you and Aarene are making me want to try some mileage! Maybe I'll start with five....? :)

    I didn't know Lake Sonoma allowed horses, I'm going to check out the details, and badger Bella. She'd haul to Texas without blinking. LS is just (figuratively) a few miles up the road. You know the pics on my blog showing folks the kind of terrain I'd found at that endurance barn (with the donkey)?
    Those were taken at Lake Sonoma. I would have come and applauded you and Dixie.

    Goals this winter: to become as athletic as my horse (more fun for both of us), and bring him back into competition shape. Not competing, but want him in that condition over the winter.

  18. My plans for early 2012? Dig out from under the snow. I aim high.

    Good luck at the rides, sounds like you're going to be having some fun this winter.

    PS- thanks for the heads up about sstacks. I just got my blanket in the mail.

  19. Whee, here' hoping all our goals are met! Funder, I somehow know that you & Dixie are ready! Very!
    As for me, I'm hoping for the first ride of our season, (notice I didn't say "plan") - Home-On-The-Range! It's held in such a beautiful area & on a good day - you can see for miles!


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