001. The Beginning

Months ago I began to seriously toss around the idea of taking my now 25 year old appaloosa gelding to his first endurance ride. I’ve owned Nakai since January 2008, and since then our disciplines have included jumpers, some cow work, some reining training, and everything in between. He’s an amazingly intelligent horse whose sense of humor grows with each year. He’s extremely athletic and has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. This is occasionally an issue, as he is convinced he can (and will) go until he’s dead.

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In fall 2014, I pulled him from an unsatisfying boarding barn and shacked up at Shadow Hill. Having my horse five minutes from home was a dream, and Nakai flourished. There, I was re-introduced to endurance riding. (I have to take a side trip here to 2008 – I rode with endurance riders previously, but had no idea the East coast had such a large following!)

The following year was a blur of conditioning rides and talks of potential rides in 2016. It was late January when I realized the season’s first LD was in March!  The entry for Rabbit Run was mailed, but a week before the ride, trailer issues arise and I cancel my entry. Outside of my equestrian life, I was in the middle of planning a bridal shower and moving! To say I was an anxious, emotional train-wreck would have been putting it mildly.

But, the entry for Foxcatcher was coming up… and I could not resist. Socially hungover from the (successful!) bridal shower and in some serious need of grounding, I sent in my entry for the 25 LD at Fairhill.

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