At Dawn We Ride, Virtual Tevis, 82 & 70 Miles, 45 Days


Awareness of the outside world. “We’re averaging 1,544 deaths per day, which is 99% preventable at this point.” Your Local Epidemiologist: State of Affairs: Sept 6, 2021. A horror I do not know how to process.




Turtle power!

Where are we virtually?

Milestones. Milton.

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Milestones. Rodney.

Map. 70 & 82 miles in. Graphic from Tevis Cup: About the Trail, shading mine.

Tevis Cup: Trail Sections & Historic Notes

Data dump

Tuesday, September 0 – 0 (Ida. Light rain all day. We were north & east of heavy rain areas.)
Wednesday, September 1 – Milton 2 miles, 46 minutes/Rodney 1.4 miles, 40 minutes
Thursday, September 2 – 1.33 miles, 39 minutes
Friday, September 3 – 2 miles, 54 minutes
Saturday, September 4 – 2.89 miles, 1:20 minutes
Sunday, September 5 – Milton 2 miles, 50 minutes/Rodney 0 [How Not To Start A Three-Day Weekend]
Monday, September 6 – Milton 1.75 miles, 50 minutes/Rodney 0. Same time, less trot.

Distance this week – Milton 11 miles, Rodney 7 miles
Time this week – Milton 5 1/4 hours, Rodney 3 3/4 hours
Rides this week – Milton 6 days, Rodney 4 days

Total distance – Milton 82 miles, Rodney 70 miles
Total time – Milton 36, Rodney 32 hours.
Total rides – Milton 38 days, Rodney 34 days
Total calendar – 45 days

Pace, time to go one mile – 26+ minutes, per VT results page

Numbers rounded off for ease of reporting. May not add up as given.

My Links
Last week [Wandering Along At A Walk, Virtual Tevis, 71 & 63 Miles, 38 Days]
[VT Archives]

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

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Distracted Day


Awareness of the outside world. U.S. Department of Labor: History of Labor Day.

First Day

Had an interview later that day.

Rode on autopilot.

Rodney does not appreciate autopilot. [A Small Hop Forward]

By the end of the ride, he was staring about and startling at small noises.

Next Day

Me, to me: Okay, my horse does not like being out here alone.

Switch off autopilot.

Make a concerted effort to …

… Show an interest in all work being done.

… Maintain a close dialogue on the style and pace of every step.

Rodney: (fuss, fuss)

Me: Hey, you wanted an involved rider.

Rodney: (mumble, mumble)

Stay safe. Stay sane.

How Not To Start A Three-Day Weekend, Horse Shoe Edition


Awareness of the outside world. I need an app that says, ‘It has been X minutes since you looked at a news site. It will be Y minutes before your programmed time-out has elapsed. Here is a picture of a cat.’

Best laid and all that. Discovered on Saturday morning.

Weekend plans included another Email from the Moon post and more XC walk schooling, maybe even a trot if all went well. Looks like neither one is happening.


Sits around gloomily.

Shakes self.

Temporary setback.

I will do both. Just not this weekend.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Moon Rats Logo, Craters


Awareness of the outside world. Sorted This Way, a video by Not Literally. “There’s nothing wrong with having badger pride.”

Process notes. Learned grouping & ungrouping. Clipping to get rid of tails. Used Inkscape/GIMP.

Scheduling note. Sunday image, which is ready, swapped with Saturday text, which is not. Headache. I’m fine. Screen too bright.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

The Flag Question, XC Schooling


Awareness of the outside world. Texas. With the added unpleasant wrinkle of the snitch factor.

Question: How does Rodney feel about flags? We know he gets anxious with standards. Flags could go either way. Another form of standards or something completely different, and therefore not scary.

Answer: Flags NBD.

Cross-Country Schooling at Full Circle Horse Park

1st trip. Walked in-hand until everyone settled down, both horse and rider. The plan was to walk around the field. Ended up walking over most of the itty-bitty course plus a few others, including our first ditch. This worked out well, as I found out he could step over bigger things than I had thought.

2nd trip. Mounted up. Walked the path of the course, walking past each fence, narrating as we went. Get straight. Weight in the heels. Look up. And so on.

3rd trip. Walked over all nine fences.

Break. Performed excellent statue exercise at X in the dressage arena while watching Milton work. Relaxed so much, I decided to go back out. We compromised on doing half the course.

4th trip. Fences 1-2-7-8-9. Skipped the walk down the hill and back up. The trot was right there. If we had jumped anything at all, even so much as a cross rail in the last two months, would have trotted one or two.

Small potatoes? Physically, yes. Mentally? When I stood in the start box and gave myself a countdown from 10, I almost choked up. So yeah, there’s some baggage here.

No Show

Yes, there was a show on the grounds the day before. No, I did not go. I didn’t say anything because none of us need another ‘Why I didn’t go to a show’ post.

Short version.

After our first cross country school back in June, I had Plans. Might we, maybe, bop around the baby, baby novice course? [Achievement Unlocked]

Many, many things had to go right. A month of rain was not on that list. [Weather Update]

Mini-event was out. Maybe go for a repeat of dressage and crossrails? [Back In The Ring]

Nope. Logistics in August prevented us from schooling.

I considered going anyway and seeing what happened. However, Rodney is not a horse who functions well with surprises. So, we went the next day to address the flag question. Management was kind enough to leave the course dressed.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Hose Reminder, Revisited


Work. One from the vaults.

Awareness of the outside world. “Four billion people — almost two thirds of the world’s population —  experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year.UNICEF: Water Scarcity.

Put an elastic bracelet around your pump handle/hose faucet/whatever. When you turn on the hose, put the bracelet on your wrist. When you turn off the hose, return bracelet to handle/faucet. If the bracelet is still on your wrist, you have forgotten to turn off the water.

[Barn Hack, Hose Reminder]

I posted this February 3, 2020. I continue to do this whenever I turn on the hose. Every. Single. Time.

It’s only a minute. I’ll remember. Nope.

I’ll put it on my belt and see it there. Nope.

I’ll put it in my pocket … Nope.

It goes on my arm until the water is off.

There are those on the farm who give the idea the side-eye/eyeroll. Go ahead. It keeps me from leaving the water running.

Reshout-out to Darlene Flanagan for the life hack.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Watching Louisville 2021

The Horse World

Awareness of the outside world. The cognitive dissonance is strong. In one corner, cheering for my friends. For people who have welcomed me, have been good to me, have given me a barn home, which is no small thing. In the other corner, being appalled at the sea of maskless faces crowding the indoor seating in the same state as CNN: National Guard will be deployed across Kentucky to help overwhelmed hospitals. Holcombe and Sarisohn, 24 Aug 2021.

I caved. I got the Richfield Video livestream of the World’s Championship Horse Show last week. The Stepping Stone Farm entrants were spread out over enough days that buying the entire week made more sense. For an I-need-an-excuse definition of ‘sense’.

I got excited about the show.

I got nervous before classes.

I yelled during the rides and cheered for the results.

I’m exhausted & I’m two states away.

To me, Peter Doubleday is the voice of big jumper classes. It’s always weird to hear him calling for riders to Rack On!

During the Lexington livestream, the Tour de France was on. This week, it was the the Vuelta a España. At one point, I had dueling screens – TV and phone – happening. [Couch Jockey]

One division had the top 7 move on to the championship class. Top 7?!? Top 4, top 8, top 10, sure, but top 7?!? What in the name of all that is satiny and shiny is going on here? Yes, as you may have guessed, one of the SSF folks came in 8th in this deeply annoying division.

Super props to the young lady who wore a helmet in her Show Pleasure Class.

Helmets showed up in the expected places. In the Hunter classes, where a few helmets were mixed in with the hunt caps. In Roadster driving and undersaddle, where juniors are required to wear helmets.

I got all excited to see helmets in Open Road Horse Under Saddle. Then I realized they were probably juniors and had to. I couldn’t tell from their other classes.

One helmet spotted in Amateur Road Horse. AFAIK, amateur means adult. So, yay.

OTOH, this was an easy reach. A colored helmet fits in with racing silks. The young lady pictured above may have been the only person on the grounds wearing a formal saddle seat suit and a helmet.

Saddle seat helmets are coming. I have no doubt. You heard it here first. Meanwhile, I will totally admit that it is hard to be in the vanguard. Doesn’t bother me, but I am old and crotchety. Bucking the trend as an Under 13? Girl Power!

Speaking of little used safety measures. To circle back to the outside world. The only messaging I heard all week on masks was from a horse. Retirement video for Mr.’s Bones. East Coast Equestrian: Rescued Horse, 71 Year Old Owner, Are Repeat World Champions, Lawson, 2009. The pair continued to win big after this article.

Stay safe. Stay sane.