On this fine, blustery Thursday morning I had plans to meet C and her gelding at the lake. After riding nearly 40 brisk training miles in the last few days I wasn’t feeling particularly ambitious mileage wise and luckily C had to be home at a certain time so it worked for both of us to do a shorter ride. We took the short horse camp loop and had lots of fun chatting and trotting. Before we even left the trailers to ride though another endurance rider and her daughter pulled in to say hello and we had a nice long chat with them. After our ride an endurance friend I met last year was just getting back to her trailer and we all chatted for a while too.
As I was driving home I was thinking damn, I have met all these cool friends/acquaintances in the last year all through endurance riding! I spent a fairly lonely first 3 years after moving here, riding quite a bit but almost always alone (though I had great times with my first riding friend here, J, who introduced me to the Oroville trails–but not long after she moved to Wheatland). After my fun tour of northern CA LDs with my little Blazey boy last year I suddenly know all these people–and not just know them, LIKE them! Maybe that sounds funny but I’m honestly not a super social person and tend to have a small, close knit circle of friends and to hell with everyone else. And let’s face it, after high school and college and the social situations you are automatically put in there, making new friends just doesn’t seem to be that easy, especially if you are relatively introverted like I am. I just love going to endurance rides so darn much, something about it makes me friendly, social, and open in a way nothing else does. Thanks to that, I found myself asking questions, talking to people, and here I am a year later knowing a handful of people I really truly like and can’t wait to ride with and/or see at the next ride! It does take a certain type of person to ride endurance, and I must say for the most part I love that type of person.
The gal we saw after the ride today, K, accompanied Blaze and I throughout the long torturous walk that was last year’s April Whiskeytown Chaser (less torturous since we had a great time chatting) and I saw her again at Mendo Magic later in the year. The lady and her daughter that said hi to us before the ride today I actually only just met in person in the last couple of weeks, but are longtime endurance riders I’ve heard of, and I’ve been chatting with her daughter on Facebook in the last few months as well. We’ve already got a ride with them planned for this weekend! I actually met C when she was crewing for her friend that I finished the Cache Creek ride with last May. My regular riding buddy, N, I met at the start of Patriot’s Day at Lake Almanor last July. And of course good ole Funder, who I “met” through reading her blog, then met in person at Lake Almanor also, where I completely forgot what her real name was but was feeling endurance-emboldened and said, “Hey, are you Dixie’s owner?” Well the rest is history and basically these are all just really awesome women with cool horses and I am really happy and grateful to know them all!
P.S. Getting out to Utah in November 2010 and meeting Dian and Christoph at Global also ROCKED, they are really cool and have been incredibly supportive and helpful–and of course that’s where my rockin’ lady horses came from! I’ll say it again, endurance people rock!!
4 thoughts on “Endurance People Rock”
Kind of funny…I'm the exact same way. Not a happy camper in typical social settings…a bit introverted and I don't do awkward small talk very well. But get me to an endurance ride and I'm a social butterfly. Something about 1) friendly endurance people and 2) automatic subject matter that makes striking up a conversation so much easier.
Hi Ashley! Good to hear from you, I'm checking out your blog now too 🙂 Definitely the common ground at rides helps, and I think the fact that we've all been *there* whether there is a good or bad place, so there is an open, helpful mindset prevailing in camp..whether you are happy and looking to chat or in desperate need of a helping hand or piece of equipment, there is someone to fill the role. We're all paying good money to beat our bodies up riding endless miles on our beloved horses, so we must all be slightly crazy in the same way! That's how friendships are born, haha!
I KNOW RIGHT! Endurance people rock, I think it's because it's lower pressure in general – I can be happy and extroverted at rides because if my horse doesn't pace great with anybody else's horse, I get like 6 hours of peace and alone time. Horse women are > normal women, and endurance people are the best.
I have decided that I'll decide about ROM based on how she does at the NEDA next weekend. Either way, we'll hang on Friday and Saturday nights, right? 🙂
That's a good point, Funder! Worse case scenario (well not really, but you know what I mean) you get time alone with your horse. Best case you have a blast riding with friends/new people. Sometimes I just love how your Funder brain works! It's like you take my sometimes incoherent mental sputterings and transform them into complete sentences.
Hope NEDA goes well. I am wrestling the “LD waste of time” demon because I so want to move up to 50s with Desire, but I am sticking to my cautious side and The Plan. A few LDs (coz I ain't enduring my first 50 at Whiskeytown, I've heard it's killer) and then a May 50.
And yes, we be hanging! And this time my eyeballs won't be rolling back in my head with heat stroke!