Fit The First, Virtual Tevis, 25 Miles, 17 Days


Awareness of the outside world. When a social media influencer burbles on about living your best life, does anyone else hear Voltaire?

We’ve had our first meltdown for this year’s trail ride. Everyone stayed on. It was over in a matter of moments. Still, maybe we make it one & done, guys? K? Thanx.

Rodney was in a mood. I could tell he was in a mood. Back to work after a day off? I lengthened my stirrups to make the ride easier on my knees thereby making the saddle squeak too much? Or, to paraphrase a noted British philosopher, Rodney got fundamentally fed up with being where he was? Who knows.

At one point, Milton was tapped with a stick. Rodney spooked at the sound. Milton took it under advisement.

The problem with being a weenie is that you second guess yourself. You don’t always take the path of wisdom because it feels like wimping out. I should have listened to myself. I may be a weenie, that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

Walking was going well. Calm. Quiet. On the buckle. Easily knocking out hour-long rides.

Time to trot.

Mind you, our trot exercise is a short distance along a level section of the pasture both horses have lived in for years. Ten years in Rodney’s case, 7 in Milton’s. This is not a new and spooky endeavor. Or it shouldn’t be.

On this particular day, we chose to trot the outward stretch, turn around, and trot back. Rodney did fine for the first half. Turned around. Trotted toward home. Rodney got stronger. Natural response to the gravitational attraction of the barn. Whoa up. Settled back to nice trot. We crossed through the ring and hit a patch of tall grass.

No! No! No! I say unto you, No!

Rodney’s signature move is weird, hoppy, plunge forward while slinging his head from side to side. The action itself is minor. No notable height. No spin. However, because it is being done by a horse having a temper tantrum, one is never sure of the end game. This leads to much verbal remonstrating on the part of rider. Naturally, Rodney hopping about caused Milton to hop about.

Really guys? Really? A quiet trot in your own pasture? Is that too much to ask? Apparently yes.

I am trying – with limited success – to be grateful for the progress we have made. We are so far from where I had hoped to be. Every step of progress has been a struggle. And then when we do have victories, they occur at the absolute minimum level to satisfy the criteria.

For example, saying I want to show my horse and then doing a Beginner Novice dressage test in a class of one at a small, local schooling show. It’s hard to be more in the basement than that.

I really need to write up The Sloth’s Pawprint as a short story. [The Sloth’s Pawprint, Fiction]

The other the 24.99 miles were less remarkable.

Where are we virtually?


Map. 25 miles in. Graphic from Tevis Cup: About the Trail, shading mine.

Last year, I promised myself that this year we would do more of the virtual race activities. Painting competition numbers on their hindquarters. Scaling an ersatz Cougar Rock. The creative imagination of other competitors is amazing. Turns out IRL life is challenging enough at the moment. Sigh.

Tevis Cup: Trail Sections & Historic Notes

Data dump

Tuesday, August 3 – 0.

Wednesday, August 4 – 2.24 miles 53 minutes.

Thursday, August 5 – 1.24 miles. 30 minutes.

Friday, August 6 – 2.55 miles. 55 minutes.

Saturday, August 7 – 2.52 miles. 1 hour, 12 minutes.

Sunday, August 8 – 0.

Monday, August 9 – 2.55 miles, 59 minutes.

Miles this week – 11.

Time this week – 4 1/2 hours.

Rides this week – 5.

Total miles – 25.

Total time – 10 1/2 hours.

Total rides – 12

Total days – 17.

Pace, time to go one mile – 25.09 minutes.

Average miles per day – 1.4.

Extra miles, Milton – 1.4

Numbers rounded off for ease of reporting. May not add up as given. I’m keeping track of the fractions behind the scenes. Would you expect any less?

My Links
Last week [Milton Goes The Extra Mile, Virtual Tevis, 14 miles, 10 Days]
[VT Archives]

Official Links
Tevis Cup: Virtual Tevis 2021
RunSignUp: 2021 Tevis Cup – Virtual Western States Trail – 100 Miles in 100 Days

Stay safe. Stay sane.

3 thoughts on “Fit The First, Virtual Tevis, 25 Miles, 17 Days

  1. There’s nothing wrong with being a weenie. A trainer once told me that if I was comfortable staying at baby novice forever, there was nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with not being as far as you hoped. There are some of us who would be thrilled to ride our own horse around the pasture even at a walk. Given what you’ve said of your horses, I think you’re doing great.

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