In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

It Doesn’t Look That Much Like Christmas

Southwestern Idaho is enjoying the most amazing winter.  It’s cold, but the days are mostly sunny and dry.  My round corral isn’t slick.  The trails aren’t icy.  My biggest problem is tightening a western-style cinch without pulling on the horses’ thick coats.

The horses are full of holiday cheer.  They tear about their paddocks at feeding time, bucking and snorting clouds of steam, skidding to halt just before they crash into the fences.  I’ve taken to free lunging Acey and Consolation a bit before riding, lest they bounce me to the moon out of sheer enthusiasm.

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For the first time in memory, I’ve actually been able to maintain semi-regular training sessions with the younger horses.  Normally, inclement weather shuts me down sometime in November, but this year I find myself still sacking out and ground driving in mid-December.

It’s enough to make me want to start setting goals for 2012.  I’m big on goals.  Sometimes TOO big.  I used to have a habit of establishing such lofty ambitions that I could scarcely help but be disappointed by my failure to meet them.  In recent years, I’ve (mostly) learned to edit myself.

Still, it’s in my nature to strive, and striving is useless without a sense of direction.  Maybe I’ll consider some general goals.  Ambitious but realistic ones.  (And then I’ll cross my fingers against a massive snowstorm.)

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9 responses

  1. I admire your nature of striving.

    This is a couple of sentences from a note I sent my team yesterday about not reaching my goal:

    “I’ve been asked if most likely not making NMD by Phoenix is disappointing.

    Yes it is, but I know that I’m one that sets GI-NORMOUS goals and aim for them.

    And I’m also a realist and understand that setbacks, failures, and obstacles are a natural part of stretching to reach a goal. It doesn’t do any good to agonize over the need to reset a deadline — it does pay to be resilient, stay on track and continue to pursue the goal.”

    I know you’ll reach your goals — even if the time line has to be reset — as will I.

    December 16, 2011 at 9:03 am

  2. Debby

    Love reading your stories! Came across another article the other day that said the Barb horse is descended from the mustangs! Not sure I believe that, but what do I know. Is it true? I know the Barb is a beautiful animal!

    December 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    • LOL Sounds like they got it backwards (again). Many mustangs do have a lot of Barb blood, which they got from horses brought to the Americans from the Old World. Glad you like them — opinions are pretty mixed in the endurance world, where Arabians are so common. Some people are intrigued and love the look; others hardly give them a second look. To each his own, eh?

      December 17, 2011 at 7:10 am

  3. We’ve been having a very mild winter here in Alberta (Canada) too. We do have snow but only 4-5 inches and it hasn’t been very cold yet at all. I’m loving it!!

    December 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    • Nice! I keep thinking this can’t last forever…and yet, another sunny weekend is forecast for us! Hooray!

      December 17, 2011 at 7:11 am

  4. Debby

    It was the same article too, that said the movie “Hildago” had a lot of errors in it, and one of them was they did not uses Arabs but Barbs. Funny, but I thought they sure look a lot like arabians! And that the main character Hopkins is not what he seems, that a paint mustang did not run a race against other arabians! The movie claims to be based on a true story, and that it isn’t. I was disappointed because I likd that movie. Lol! What do you think?

    December 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    • I liked the movie, too, from a pure storytelling standpoint. However, I think they used the “based on a true story” line VERY loosely. Near as I can tell, Hopkins did exist. He may actually have competed in some long-distance races in North America; however, Hopkins was a real story spinner and there isn’t evidence that many of those races existed. (The same is true of the so-called Ocean of Fire.)

      The HOA registry sponsors a website of full of interesting reading, based in the standpoint that Hopkins’ exploits were real.

      The Long Riders Guild, on the other hand, has a page dedicated to debunking the Hopkins tale.

      December 18, 2011 at 7:04 am

  5. Debby

    The Long Riders page is where I found the info. Got that info from The Hoofprints that sells misc horsey and farrier stuff. Anyway, happy trail riding and keep up the good work! I can only wish I was younger and able to do the same as you; I only take short rides, that are few and far because of me and my husband’s conflicting work schedule! Lol!

    December 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    • Ha! That’s interesting. I’ll have to investigate!

      December 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm

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