Four Years and a Lifetime Ago
Owyhee Fandango was my first ride. It was 2008. I rode Aaruba. We finished the LD in the top 10. We looked happy.
On this eve of Fangango 2012, I’ve been flicking through photos from that ride. So much has changed.
Back then, I had a battered, old stock trailer and was grateful for it. I was afraid to tow a horse and was grateful that Travis agreed to drive. We slept in a tent. Late the evening before, we had to put Aaruba in a site-provided pen because he couldn’t handle standing tied to the trailer, and we had no portable corral. I rode in cotton stretch pants because I couldn’t afford breeches. My horse wore Easyboot Bares that I needed help putting on. I had a habit of arching my back terribly in the saddle. I didn’t know where to park or check in or find a grease crayon or where to hang out during the hold. Many people ignored us, but some helped, and I was grateful.
Mostly, I was grateful to finally, finally, finally participate in the sport I’d read about and strived toward for years. Endurance is one of those things you can usually make happen, using what you have, if you want it enough to keep trying. And I did.
I still do.
This morning, I will leave for Fandango again. I’ll drive myself, but Aaruba will stay behind. I’ll have two mares in an upgraded trailer, with fence panels and a camper for lodging. I’ll shoot for three 50’s instead of one LD. I will wear breeches. I will not arch my back. I will know where to go and the names of a few friends. I will still keep my fingers crossed because no matter how many miles I accumulate, every ride is another adventure.
For every chance I’ve taken and every chance I have left, I am grateful.