In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

Tough (Luck), Sucker

Well, folks. Today’s the day!

The third annual Owyhee Tough Sucker no-frills 25, 50, and 75 mile rides started this morning from the Teeter ranch in Oreana. The sun is shining, the breeze is brisk, the air is crisp…and I am sitting in front of my computer.

Alas, I had planned for the Tough Sucker to be Aaruba’s and my first 50 of the season. Before his serious impaction colic in March, he was nearly fit to take it on at a moderate pace. Now, due to the probable diagnosis of small intestinal adhesions, he’s eating his way through a very early retirement. His frustration is at least as apparent as mine. There’s no question he’d rather be in the canyonlands right now, tearing up the trails.


So would I. My backup plan was to haul Consolation down to Oreana to do the 10-mile trail ride with a friend’s husband, who was also starting an endurance prospect. But, as it turned out, he decided to sell said prospect. Meanwhile, my truck announced that now is the time for a new transmission, and my little car just wasn’t up to towing the gooseneck today. There went the backup plan.

On the bright side, I’m looking forward to a date with another friend, whose second-year endurance horse is laid up with a pulled muscle, to do the trail ride at Eagle Extreme next month. We’ll both be on greenies in the stop-and-stare phase of training, so we’re hoping not to have too much of an adventure.

Today, though, I could go for some adventure. Perhaps I’ll take a little ride on Aaruba. As always, he’ll try to pack 50 miles into 5 — and I will close my eyes and feel the wind on my face, and imagine we’re following that trail of pink markers like breadcrumbs through the desert, one last time.
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9 responses

  1. It sounds like one of those days. A big hug goes out to Aaruba!!!

    April 18, 2009 at 5:02 pm

  2. Oh Tamara…the starting over plan begins, yet again!Well there is much hope and encouragement in doing this and we all are with you as you do!Be well and have a good ride on your lovely Aruba this weekend…off to see my mare now too!

    April 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm

  3. Nice to hear from you again. This has been a tough season for you and Aaruba. You and he had big plans and a glorious future. You are giving the the gift of life yet to do so, I’m guessing much as had to be let go of. Best wishes to both of you. Cherie

    April 18, 2009 at 6:44 pm

  4. I seriously had to choke back tears as I read this, because it hadn’t really sunk in that you meant to retire Aaruba until today. I can only imagine your disappointment as you sit at your computer instead of reaping the reward of all that training, and opening the door to a new season. You did make me giggle, though with the stop and stare training phase comment. Most of mine have skipped that, and gone straight to the jump sideways phase. One thing you know: you will never lack for skillful words.

    April 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm

  5. Hey, I just did the 25 mile ride on Jose (everybody loves Jose : ) at the Tough Sucker, and I thought of you and Aaruba today! Sorry you weren’t here, but we enjoyed the beautiful day and scenery on your behalf : )

    April 18, 2009 at 9:36 pm

  6. It’s hard.Horses have such great heart. And they are stoic to a fault.I think you’re doing the right thing to look out for him a little, balance things for him, for you both.You have a good friend.And so does he.sj

    April 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

  7. Lori — Thanks 🙂 I didn’t mean to sound quite that downhearted.AHS — I am fortunate indeed to have a barnyard full of other endurance prospects. Thanks for YOUR encouragement. Enjoy your mare!Cherie — It has been quite a ride! I’m grateful not to be faced with giving up my dreams, only with re-charting my course. But, there’s no denying that Aaruba is one of a kind. I did so want to sail with him.Kim — Yes, I really do mean to retire him. 😦 It’s hard, but it’s right. Now I just need to discover the right definition of “retirement” for a horse like him!Merri — Congrats to you and Jose. So glad you got to do the LD on him after all his issues last year! Take a deep breath of that desert air for me, k?SJ — Indeed. One could not ask for a better friend. I hope to be worthy of him.

    April 19, 2009 at 2:28 pm

  8. We missed you at the ride! I hate to say it, but the weather could not have been more perfect. There’s always next year, and Fandango is looking like it’s going to be great!!Elly

    April 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm

  9. Elly — So glad you had a good time, and sorry I missed it! I wanted to head down and volunteer, but ended up battling a cold instead. 😦 You coming to Eagle Extreme, by chance?

    April 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm

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