Tortoise Power, Looking Back at the Virtual Tevis 2021


Awareness of the outside world. Western States Trail Preservation.

I love this … ride? Virtual ride? Exercise?


I love the Virtual Tevis. It has been so good for our horses both years. I want to go about telling people and convincing them to give it a try. Only walk? That’ll work, take my word for it. Only do ring work? Strap on a GPS and record your ring mileage. Take lessons? The only requirement is access to the same horse for three months.

Enough with the sales pitch.

How was our 2021 Virtual Tevis? We didn’t have long rides. We didn’t have fast rides. We had a lot of rides.

Last year, we got rode on the weekends and once during the week. This year, we rode daily, with several 12-14 day stretches. Our routine was not a huge technical or physical challenge. Get up. Tack up. Ride for 45 minutes, más o menos. A little bit every day. Amazing how quickly that adds up. Insert obvious life lesson here.

Yes, we could have done all of this riding on our own. The Tevis name & counting to 100 gave us that little extra push to get out of bed at O-dark hundred.

We mostly walked. Both horses are better about trotting when they are in rings at other barns than when they in their own pasture at home. Go figure.

We mostly walked. Riding in the morning allowed us to beat the heat but meant dew on the grass, which mean slippery grass.

Over the 100 miles, both horses got better about slowing down and handling muddy footing.

I am becoming a firm believer in the benefits of starting each ride with 1 mile/20 minutes of long, slow walking. I know it can’t always be done. It should be done more often.

What does the future hold?

I hope to do this every year, as long as they offer it and we have horses.

Next year, I would like to do more trotting, more trail riding (really, any at all), and longer rides. Also, more Cougar Rock and other faux pix.

All of these were plans for this year. Partly, we didn’t get to them, partly the horses were doing so well with their relaxed walking that we went with it.

One option is to aim for a 24-hour ride. Not in one day as they do in the IRL Tevis. The management strongly discourages attempting a 100-mile, one-day ride unless one is under the care of a certified ride. This would be 24 hours total, as in one hour each day for 24 days, or 1/2 hour each day for 48 days. Four miles an hour would be way more trotting than we do now. An interesting sub-plot with the right horse.

BTW, Speed of Animals (isn’t the Internet amazing?) says the trot is 8 to 12 mph and the canter is 12 to 15 mph. The page also say that a horse walks at 4 mph. They have faster walking horses than we do.

Those are bells and whistles. Mission success is getting up, getting out there, and getting it done.

Last week [Around The Pasture in 80 Days, Rodney Finishes The Virtual Tevis, 100 Miles, 80 Days]
All posts [VT Archives]
Official page, Tevis Cup: Virtual Tevis 2021

Stay safe. Stay sane.

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