It’s time to start the packing process and head to Idaho for the City of Rocks ride. In fact, the plan is to head out Monday. HOLY COW! It's here!
I have been training since March for this ride and looking so forward to it. I have been diligent and we have trained hard through ice, snow, cold, rain, humidity, and bugs. We have overcome numerous road blocks and crossed many bridges along the way. That is, after all what most of this sport is all about. I have the confidence in Maggie that I can point her down any trail , alone or with a another horse/rider and we will handle anything that comes our way. Maggie now knows to eat what is offered even when she is tired, she has learned to love beet pulp, and she will even drink out of a bucket, if that is all that is available. Maggie is ready.
We have arrived at the other end of what has been an amazing journey. Maggie has tested my abilities as a rider, and my patience as a person. This is my third year riding and training Maggie. More than once, I have had my doubts but she has now become a solid little trail horse and the ability to go the distance in this sport. A few more months of training and I have no doubt that she would be ready for a 50. She is strong both physically and mentally and I am so impressed with her. She has so much potential. I can't wait what the rest of the season brings.
As we all know, in this sport there are so many moving targets. Training for endurance forces a horse/rider team to constantly change and adapt to what comes their way. So, that is what I have recently been faced with having to do.
I am not going to City of Rocks….
I know… your thinking I am cancelling my attendance at a ride once again….
It came down to one thing… prioritization of time and well, lets just be honest.....money (so two things)
I am a pragmatic person. Here were the facts I had to look at :
1)The drive to the ride is over a 10 hour drive one way. That’s over 20 hours of travel time.
2)City of Rocks ride is a 4 day ride. (for some reason I thought it was five days until about 1 month ago) That meant I could only ride two of the 4 days because I won’t ride Maggie back to back even if all I am doing is LD. She’s fit , but I don’t feel comfortable with pushing her that hard yet. She would need a day off in between.
10 hours one way is long way to go just to ride twice. Maybe I am just not dedicated enough but that is a lot of driving for not a lot of riding. The fuel bill round trip was going to be well over $400. Ouch.
3) Recent Trailer repairs- new bearings and tires on trailer all the way around. $$$$$$ but a necessity.
4)House sitter- $45/day x6 days??? You do the math. Can’t get anyone else cheaper this time of year , believe me I have tried.
5) Food, travel papers for horses and rides fees- budgeted for so not undoable, but with all the other travel costs involved, the expenses started to feel like they were getting a bit high, again , to ride for two days.
6) Hay buying time- It’s in the budget but still , takes a chunk of change.
7) This year also marks my 10 year wedding anniversary coming up and we are planning a trip. I realized I was more than happy to forego an endurance ride for the opportunity to spend a week at an exotic beach somewhere.. like I said.. priorities(just bein honest here)
8) Last but not least, I had scheduled the entire week off from work. I realized that I would spend two of those days in a truck (I hate sitting still for long periods of time) , 2 days riding (the good part), the rest of the time basically packing or unpacking. I just didn’t want to spend my vacation time that way. Too hectic….
Still, I wanted to go in spite of all that..
As a last ditch effort to not pull the plug on something I had wanted to do so badly for so long, I posted on endurance.net for a trailer pool offer to split travel costs . No inquiries came. A few friends thought about it but either they couldn’t afford it, it was haying season so they couldn’t get away, they didn’t have a way to camp or want to camp ( I don’t have living quarters), they didn’t think their horse was quite ready enough or they couldn’t be gone for the whole week that I was planning to be gone for. So that didn’t work out either.
In the end, when I penciled it all out, it just didn’t make sense to spend the resources. I really wanted to attend, not only for the ride but also to meet a several people that I often network with but have never actually met. I agonized over the decision for a couple of weeks, nearly drove my husband to insanity over it with my indecisiveness, but after I finally made the decision it was a huge sense of relief.
Right about now, as I post this, I would have begun the rat race of the packing and meal prep process. Instead, I can be riding… and looking forward to Plan B………
Just because City of Rocks is out, that doesn’t mean I am not riding or competing. Next Friday, I am headed to different ride, only 3 hours from home and a friend is coming along with her young horse. The only down side is that it’s a CTR ,which isn’t my favorite thing to do but will be the perfect preparation for the following weekend ( July 21 ) Camas Creek Canter Endurance ride in Potomac , Montana that I am also planning to attend.
I am sorry I won’t be able to see the City of Rocks ride and most sorry that I won’t get to meet all the people I would love to meet but I still get in two rides for the season. That may sound utterly pathetic to those of you that live in Endurance Mecca’s like Nevada or Idaho but it’s enough for me.
Besides……There’s a plan C ….