Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Twenty Eleven Ride, Part 5

Enduranceridestuff - Karen Chaton


By Lori Stewart

I won't bore you with why, but in '76 I rode the entire XP trail with barely the minimums. My husband and I slept under the stars or in the back of a stock trailer when it rained. We survived mostly on Velveeta cheese, Triscuits, Salami, apples and tangerine Lifesavers (no refrigeration needed). The occasional dinner at a local cafe was heaven. We bathed quite irregularly with no ill effects. The horses lived tied to the trailer at night and in a portable electric fence before dark. Supplies included two hay nets, two five-gallon jugs, two buckets, and one brush. First aid amounted to little more than Desitine, cotton and tape. My saddle had a flexible tree, i.e. an old Argentine saddle with a broken tree. No sore backs resulted. Both horses were unfit and overweight in St. Joseph, Mo., but the almost 2000 miles of XP trail transformed them into lean mean endurance machines. I always thought about the XP trail in its entirety and not by the trail or events of any one day. The ups and downs fell into perspective. I never got overconfident but never gave up. I won the award for most miles AND high point. The '76 XP was my first endurance ride.

Take the Duck's words to heart. They speak volumes. I will give you my perspective on his key points. Let two principles guide you as you prepare - Respect and the KISS Theory

Respect that this is not an "E" ride at Disney Land. Fun and safety cannot be guaranteed. Rely on your common sense and good judgement as your safety net and your off-beat sense of humor for fun.

Respect the folks who make the land along this trail their home. They are the salt of the earth and possess wealth beyond the material in their kindness and pride in their heritage.

Respect your fellow XP club members no matter the seemingly stupid things they may do. When the summer is over you will have lived the old sayings "No man is an island" "But for the grace of God go I" and "What goes around comes around".

The KISS Theory - Keep It Simple Stupid:

1) The trail is tougher on rigs than horses.


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