Saturday, August 22, 2009

Beginner's Luck

Life is strange, sometimes. Three years ago, I never would have guessed that my wild-eyed, emotional, live-wire Aaruba would be retired from endurance and giving riding lessons.

Who'd have thought that such a sensitive and high-strung animal would carry a beginner more quietly than he carries me? So quietly, in fact, that we had to wake him up a bit to achieve a decent clip down the trail.

But then, it isn't so surprising. Horses read hearts better than most humans do. They understand innocence and goodwill, respond to honest intention, abhor egoism.

Maybe that's why I like them so much.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shot in the Dark: Trust

The road to trust is paved with time and shared adventure.
Even if there were shortcuts, we would be unwise to take them.


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Shot in the Dark: Partnership
Shot in the Dark: Trust
Shot in the Dark: Friendship
A Moment of Silence: Communicating with Horses

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oy, Presents!

Oooooh, look what just arrived in my mailbox!

It's from Stonewall. I have a sneaking suspicion about what's inside... Yes! New toys -- I mean saddlebags!

Stonewall Saddles has teamed up with Snugpax to offer pommel bags designed specifically for the Stonewall. As you can see, these packs provide considerably more space than my current pommel packs (which I'll move from my sponsorship saddle to my older Stonewall because I really like them, too) and include a new strap that attaches to the Stonewall's rigging and should prevent the bouncing problems I had with my old Snugpax pommel bags.

Consolation is enjoying one more recovery day after a 30-mile weekend, but we'll test drive these packs tomorrow evening.

Oh! Didn't I mention that we did a 20-mile conditioning ride on Sunday? We averaged only 5 miles per hour, but finished in fine form. Milady Consolation is coming along, ladies and gentlemen. She's coming along. I'm feeling good about her first LD at Old Selam come September...

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shot in the Dark: Wildness

unbridled exploration of one's own nature,
is a tendency to treasure
in horses, rivers, dreams, and men.


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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Introducing Inara

Sandstorm's filly has a name.

This is Inara (in-ARRA).

Of Arabic origin, her name translates along the lines of "ray of light" or "heaven sent."

The "In...", of course, is in tribute to her sire, Insider.

I couldn't be happier with this filly.

Welcome, little Inara, to In the Night Farm. You do us proud.

Related Posts
Insider Edition

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Primal Riding, Anyone?

Happy Monday!

Those of you who have been following my Fit to Ride series may be interested in the Primal Blueprint Health Challenge starting today over at Mark's Daily Apple.

Over the past two months, I've done a tremendous amount of reading about the paleo/primal lifestyle. Though I don't agree with every aspect of the primal blueprint and its premise, my experiments with it thus far have been particulary beneficial in terms of fuel intake (I'm already there on the activity side). I'm leaner, stronger, and more energetic than ever before -- and loving every minute.

I'm signed up for the challenge as BarbeyGirl. Anybody want to come along for the ride? (If you do, feel free to share your user name in the comments here so we can follow each other over at MDA.)

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Not Quite Tough Enough

...for Pink Flamingo.

Today is Day 2 of the 2009 Pink Flamingo Classic endurance ride. Held in the forested mountains of Cascade, Idaho, it's a beautiful, challenging, and irrepressibly silly event. Last year, Aaruba and I earned the Bad Day Award -- a set of magenta polo wraps -- by getting lost on Day 1, then rallied on Day 2 to score 3rd Place Best Condition.

I'd hoped to make Pink Flamingo 2009 Consolation's first Limited Distance race, but it turns out that life circumstances conspired with my hamstring injury to ensure that she wouldn't be quite fit. So, I find myself following the event vicarious via Facebook updates from friends.

And riding, of course.

Consolation and I trotted a hilly 15 miles yesterday under a blazing sun tempered by intermittent breezes. Having run part of the same route earlier in the day, myself, I was pleased by how well she handled the rolling slopes -- particularly as she, unlike me, had to haul along a load of rider and tack.

Speaking of tack, I was again impressed by how well my Stonewall endurance saddle fits Consolation -- so well that I can ride with the cinch loose enough to slip my whole hand beneath it. The tree doesn't shift on mounting or dismounting, or on hills, though I do take the safety precaution of using a breastcollar, just in case.

Anyway, Pink Flamingo is a fantastic ride and it pains me to miss it. The good news is that I fully anticipate being ready to go for Old Selam at the beginning of September. Then, there's the Owyhee Canyonlands multi-day, followed by the new Owyhee Hallowed Weenies race on October 31.

Maybe I'll be a flamingo for Halloween.

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