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2012 Cuyama Oaks XP Ride

I know I’ve been a bit behind on my blog.  I did finally manage to put together some photos from the ride.  I’ll post another album below from a previous year.  The ride was nice this time, but it was certainly lacking color (compared to other years).  The ride went fairly well overall – I rode Chief on days 1 and 3, and Bo on the middle day.  I’m trying to alternate them so that they are both doing a similar amount of rides and mileage.  For this season right now, Bo is ahead by one day with 400 miles completed.  Chief has completed 350 miles.  I have a feeling that Bo will do more rides overall, as I don’t want to ride Chief on rides any longer where we come back to camp for vet checks.  He is best off doing rides that are either point to point, or where we are out all day.

Day 3 mud. Photo by Nannette Young.

Though, I do have to say that the 3rd day of Cuyama was quite nice.  I started really late and rode by myself all day.  We never saw another horse all day and it was fantastic.  It was pretty muddy that day, due to the rain.  It sure brought back memories of riding in Kansas last summer!

Unfortunately on the first day of the ride we had a rider seriously injured.  Fortunately the rider was wearing a helmet or the outcome might have been far worse.  I think all endurance riders should consider using a helmet.  In this particular case, the rider was minding his own business and was run over by another horse.  You may think you are a good enough rider and/or on a safe horse but that’s not how things work out in real life sometimes.  Accidents happen that are beyond our control and they happen so fast.  A helmet is certainly worthwhile safety gear.

From left: Apollo, Crack, Chief, aka Jose, Julio and Honcho! Photo by Nannette Young.

Another important consideration for all endurance riders is that we should all have health insurance and some sort of liability insurance.  For an additional $20 per  year, the AERC offers a $1 million liability policy.  It’s a great benefit and if you don’t already have some sort of equine liability insurance then consider adding this policy to your regular AERC membership.  Click here to learn more about the benefits of AERC membership.

I have a lot of ideas for future blog posts.  I just need to find the time!  One of the things I’d like to blog about are ways to cut costs and save money.  It seems as if a lot of us are needing to cut back expenses either due to having less income, or from having expenses go up.  Now to find more time for blogging!!

In other exciting news — my two horses’s were both awarded the Wendell Robie XP Horse of the Year for 2011.  That was nice, as usually only one horse is given that award.  I knew it would be hard to pick just one horse as there were so many that did such amazing jobs for us last year.  There were 11 Gold Medal XP horses in 2011!  This was Chief’s 3rd time receiving the award, and Bo’s first time.  I am so grateful to be able to ride and share so many miles and trails with these two really special horses.  Last year was a pretty epic year for us.  I learned that Chief is tougher than nails and can do anything I ask of him with enthusiasm.  Chief proved that a horse with over 10,000 miles can go for weeks (months) doing 50+ mile ride days; the most demanding test of endurance I have ever challenged a horse to achieve!  In addition to being thrilled with Chief’s ongoing longevity,  I watched Bo turn into a really solid multiday horse!   It was quite something for us to be able to ride the entire way on the 2040 mile XP.  Everything fell into place.  It was a lot of hard work that was hard earned.  What an adventure we have had.  The third part in the series I wrote about the ride for Trail Blazer will be out in the next issue for those that may want to read more.  If you subscribe now, you’ll be given access online to read the previous issues.

Here are some photos from a previous Cuyama XP.  Let’s hope for more wildflowers next year!  Oh…and no rain or mud would be nice too!





1 comment to 2012 Cuyama Oaks XP Ride

  • Joanne Huttenhoff

    Hi Karen- I just got my 1st issue of the Trail Blazer (March) which has the part 2 of your 2011 Pony Express article. I would love to read part 1 but can’t seem to find any archived issues on their website! Any ideas??

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