March 9, 2016

Change In...Plans??? Thought Process??? Goals???

The Florida ride in April is out.

There are a ton of reasons for making this decision, but the main reason is that I just feel too rushed. With only 3 weekends left to condition and put shoes on and get another pad and get her feed switched and get her used to alfalfa and start her back on electrolytes and clip her for the warmer weather down there and check over all my human camping gear and repack the trailer and check over her portable fencing and about a dozen more things I can't even remember that I need to do, I just don't feel ready

There is another reason. I was sitting at a red light after work Thursday evening, watching the wintry slush hit my windshield, when something dawned on me. I was prepared to ask Gem to go 100 miles in 2 days.

The immensity of this task hit me hard and I began to wonder if I was approaching this with the right perspective. If I was going to ask Gem to go 100 miles, is the best way to do this following a 6.5 hour trailer ride down to unfamiliar trails in unfamiliar terrain in unconditioned for heat? If I were to do a one day 100, would I be attacking it in the same fashion or would I be stacking the deck in our favor in the best way possible?

The light bulb came on.

This was stupid. This was asking for trouble. This was stacking the deck against us in almost every possible manner and this was not fair to Gem.

It took only a millisecond to jump from that conclusion to the next one: I should enter the one day 100 at Biltmore in May.

It makes sense: a 1 hour trailer ride, trails we have ridden a bunch before, familiar camping area, weather the same as at home, and the possibility to maybe have time to find some crew. Plus an extra month to condition and the farrier I am now using is the ride farrier at Biltmore.

I don't know how better to enter a one day 100.

So there it is. A whole new plan of attack. It is odd because instead of feeling nervous about entering my first one day 100, I am feeling very relieved to not be rushing into the FL ride and feeling under prepared.

There is just one big thing I need to do: find crew. I feel totally fine doing a 50 alone. I have done it before and can manage just fine. A one day 100 is different and Biltmore is even more challenging due to the fact that camp is a good hike from vetting. It wastes too much time to go back and forth, but if I have no crew I wont be able to do anything but hold on to Gems lead rope. is my plea.

Anyone want to come crew for me at Biltmore in May???

Fellow blogger Liz will be there crewing for another friend and has offered her services as able. I have a couple people that I plan to ask locally, but they generally ride the ride themselves in some form or another which would mean no crew for a big chunk of time or at all of something went wrong for them. I would love the safety blanket of knowing someone was waiting for me at every hold.

Anyway. I don't need a whole gaggle of people hanging out watching me ride. I'd just like one lead person who is in charge of us at all times and then someone to help them and keep them company.

Crewing would basically entail showing up the day before to get to know Gem and what is what regarding tack, feed and electrolytes. I haven't decided when I will arrive in camp yet. At least Friday morning (it is a Saturday ride) but I may go up Thirsday to snag a better camping spot. We will go over a basic game plan. Ride day you will need to keep me from throwing up all over everything that morning, remind me that I do this for fun and that I do in fact love my mare. Basically just keep reminding me of that for 24 hours. Dusty and Wyatt will probably be camping with me but will be useless when it comes to holds and such.

If you would like to come crew for me, let me know and we can talk particulars. I'll make it as enjoyable as possible and Biltmore is a great place. It is FEI as well and there will be vendors set up to shop at. Running Bear is always around at our SE rides and I believe I saw that Taylored Tack and Distance Depot will be there too. Lots to do!!


  1. If it wasn't 2,600 miles away I'd be there in an instant! Damn. Very exciting to try your first 100, and I think definitely a good plan. The back-to-back 50 was so soon, and early in the season, this is more training and organizing time. Good luck finding help, I definitely think having crew for a 100 is important…but I am spoiled and have crew (SO) for 50s too.

    1. You are lucky!!! Dusty would crew for me, but he will be on toddler detail which is far more important anyway. I will do it alone if I must, but I really hope I can wrangle a couple of people up.

  2. You know... if it wasn't so far away and so soon after birth, I'd offer to toddler wrangle as I've got a similarly aged kid and I'm pretty sure it gets easier when they entertain one another.

    I would love to see Biltmore at some point. But good luck finding someone!

    1. Toddler wrangling is so much easier when there are two to keep each other busy. Of course then they get into more things too. Biltmore is worth the trip. I've actually never been inside the home even though I've been on the grounds a bunch. I have driven past it though and it is really beautiful.

  3. Wooohooo......I'm so excited that you and Gem are going to go for a 100!

    It's funny: I was reading through your list of everything you'd have to do to get ready for FL and felt myself starting to get mentally overwhelmed on your behalf. (Been there...where you think "Why the heck am I even doing this?!? For fun?!?") And then the rationally laid out reasons for why Biltmore was a way better option and I totally agree! And I WISH I wasn't so far away, or I'd come crew in a heartbeat! (I'm a crazy person that actually loves crewing.)

    So I'll be cheering for you guys from afar, keeping my fingers crossed, and sending you best wishes and happy 100-miler thoughts! (100s have always been my ultimate endurance goal, so I get totally gung-ho and excited when any of my friends go for one.)

    1. I will need all the good thoughts I can get! I keep shifting from "we totally got this" to "wow we are never going to complete this is stupid" on a daily basis.

      You are lucky you live far away or I'd be constantly bugging you with boot questions ;) As it is her front right (injured) hoof is growing in nearly clubbed due to scar tissue contracture. Not confident anything not glued or nailed will stay on it now :(

    2. And that's something I would love to get my hands on in-person and mess around with different options and adjustments...but anything clubby or with the steeper angle is going to be more of a challenge, and trial-and-error to figure out what will work -- not what you want to be messing with or worrying about at this point and at the ride.