All of this has lead me to think of my long term goals for the horse. First off, I really really want that trailer I've been talking about. The Calico 2 horse slant with a tack room. $4000 is a lot of money when you don't have job. My first goal would be to teach the horse to accept the trailer and know that it wont kill him to relax a little when we are driving to a destination.
If I were to get a trailer in the next few months, my second goal is to trailer him to various lakes and state parks within a 2 hour radius for training rides about once a week. There are a ton of horse trails in Oklahoma and many of them are 10 miles or longer. It would be great experience to trailer to different locations and ride varying distances. This would also be a good opportunity for John to get in his long runs on some nice trails. John likes to to at least one long run per week. Lately he has been doing 17 mile long runs to prepare for his annual Turkey day 20 miler. I can keep up with him for about 3 miles if he slows down, but that isn't much fun for him. I can keep up for about 6-8 miles on a bike. I really think it would be great to do a trail run together because I could pace him for as long as he could go, plus some!
My third goal is to participate in a few endurance rides over the 2009 season. I think that if we are doing weekly practice rides of at least 15- 20 miles, we will be in great shape to try a few 50 milers over the season. AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) has a calander of rides posted for the following year. There aren't very many within a 5 hour drive. But there are about 15-20 rides within an 9 hour drive. This is why I think the training rides at nearby lakes will be do important.
My fourth goal is to compete in the 2010 Tevis Cup. The Tevis Cup is a 100 mile ride completed in 24 hours or less. It goes from Lake Tahoe to the Auburn, CA fairgrounds. In order to qualify, you must have 300 miles under your belt in rides at least 50 miles long. The Tevis is in August, so in the 2009 and early 2010 season I would need to complete six 50 mile races.
My fifth goal is a bit lofty. Once in a blue moon someone plans a Pony Express ride. There was one in the 70's, one in 2001, and one in the works for 2011. It is a 2000 mile ride over the course of 8 weeks. I'm not really sure how to describe the pull I have towards this ride. The link I put up is the personal account of Karen Chaton. I have read every line she has written on the ride and Can only hope that someday I am able to do this monumental ride. Essentially, you wake up before the sun, get the horse ready, and ride off. Your crew drives your rig to the next site and sets up camp. You finish the days ride of around 30-50 miles, take care of the horse, eat, get instructions for the next day, sleep, and repeat! I think that it sounds amazing. It is sponsered by the XP Rides group. They put on a series of long rides through the year. They have three 3 days rides and three 5 day rides. They are all held near southern California. Bakersfield, CA seems to be a sort of central location for them all. I hope to someday ride the XP rides, but it doesn't seem very likely we will be driving to California every 6-8 weeks for a ride!
Anyhow, my goals are something I think about often. It really excites me to think about being able to work together as a team with my horse to cover such distances. I have an incredible sense of pride in knowing we have already gotten far enough that these goal could even be a part of our future.
- Ride local trails
- compete in 2009 season
- ride 2010 Tevis
- ride 2011 Pony Express ride