If you’re riding a horse, you’ve already won.
Awareness of the outside world. I am trying to be alive to other issues, but am having trouble looking away from the large, slow-moving train wreck that is Covid in this country.
Virtual Tevis, 100 Miles in 100 Days
Well, that was a struggle.
Before I start wingeing, I want to say that I am proud of both horses. Proud of them and of us.
Let Me Throw A Few Stats At You
Most of the miles were done in 1/3 or 1/2-mile laps around our pasture. We had a handful of miles at two other farms. No actual trails were ventured onto in the course of our ride.
Most laps were out of the ring. A few miles were estimates of ring work. Rodney had half-a-mile of hand-walking credited to his ride total. The rest of his warm-up laps were mentally marked down for time spent wandering around holds & stops.
Originally, Milton’s rider was planning to join us only the weekends. We ended up doing enough mid-week rides for them to finish under the extension. We did 38 rides together. Then Rodney finished with 7 solo rides, and we did 5 more rides for Milton to finish.
Start – August 1
Finish – Rodney Nov 8, Milton Nov 26
Total rides – Rodney 45 rides, Milton 43
Longest ride – 5:14 miles, 1 hour 51 minutes
I’ll save you the math, Rodney averaged 2.22 miles per ride, Milton 2.32 mpr.
Pace – On one of our trot days, we got down to 19 minutes per mile. The rest were solidly in the 20+ range. On at least two occasions, the program was convinced I had entered the wrong numbers. No, we really were moseying along at that rate.
We set out to ride 100 miles and we did it.
Now The Eye Rolling
They did not make it easy.
We took breaks for shoeing.
We took breaks for vet care.
We took breaks for lameness.
We trotted and cantered. And then had massive come-aparts and dropped back to walking our miles.
We had saddle adjustments mid-course. I did 5 miles bareback while waiting for the piece for Rodney’s saddle
Any more than 20 minutes of walking resulted foot dragging and repeated calls of “Are we there yet?” They did not embrace their inner endurance Arabs.
Big moments included going the entire the way round a small-to-moderate field all by one’s brave self.
Fortitude is not their middle name.
On The Upside
Long, slow mileage is good for both horse & rider.
It was nice to have a plan. What should we do today? More! Miles!
If my calculations are correct, Virtual Tevis raised in the high five figures for WSTF, which is good for me as it gives them incentive to repeat.
I hope Tevis is able to ride next year. I also hope they hold a virtual version for us stay-at-homes.
Have fun with more virtual start/finish, checkpoint photos.
Front-load the miles early on. Even more than we think we need.
Cross fingers that they remember the lessons from this year and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Perhaps venture on real trail ride.
Milton [The Finish]
Stay safe. Stay sane.