Beware the underwear!
Welcome to the DRM web site! My name is Darice Whyte. I am an endurance rider and I will be one of your bloggers for the club. My intent is to keep this light and fun with maybe the odd bit of information thrown in here and there.
In around 2009 I was introduced to endurance by one of the people who boarded at the stable where I had my horse. She invited me to join her and I thought it would be fun and yes it sure was! The ride was at Birds Hill Park, a place I had never been to. As I wasn’t a camper nor was I a Folkie I really didn’t have any reason to go there. Or so I thought. Imagine my surprise when I got there and saw all the lovely trails to ride through without traffic coming at you! I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I then knew where I wanted to live.
We began building a house just down the road from Birds Hill Park with life getting in the way so I wasn’t able to get back to the rides until 2011. I was riding Tia, the horse that tried to kill me but that’s a totally different story, and she seemed to have the right stuff for this endurance riding business. We did a few of the limited distance rides (25 miles) and she did well at those. At a ride at Birds Hill Park Myna Cryderman, a long time endurance rider from Manitoba, talked me into riding a 50 with her. My first 50! I was so excited and wondered if I could do it or would I embarrass myself by expiring well before my best before date like milk in the fridge. As we rode the first loop I picked up valuable information from Myna. One of the tidbits was regarding my stirrups. At that time I had just your everyday stirrups that were the normal width. She cautioned me about using the stirrups as they wouldn’t support my feet for the long haul and I could end up with permanent damage to the nerves in my feet. Good to know!
So after either the first or second loop Myna pulled her horse as she felt he was becoming lame. WHAT?? Now I was riding by myself which I hadn’t planned on. When I’m riding the longer distances I prefer to have someone to ride with as it’s just more fun IMHO. You have to expect you’ll end up on your own but I wasn’t expecting it for my very first ride. But off we went. Tia didn’t seem the slightest bit put off that she was out on her own and was actually better at catching the turns than I was!
I was riding in my cheap Wintec and sure enough as I headed across the East Gate entrance one of my stirrups snapped and there was no fixing it. I was about 3 miles from the staging area and of course no cell phone back then. Lucky for me Annette Flemming, a local vet, had just pulled into the park. I rushed over and I’m sure she thought “who is this crazy lady” as I was babbling by then. Lucky for me she had an extra stirrup in her trailer which she lent to me. And off I went.
As a side note on that saddle I think I broke absolutely everything there was to break on it. I expected one day to be galloping along and have nothing left but the Made in Taiwan sticker! Definitely not built for endurance!
We completed the ride and Myna was right. My feet hurt like you wouldn’t believe. And my hands. And my back and well everything from my head to my toes. From that ride I learned the importance of good underwear! I had serious rubs in the nether regions and one word of advice NEVER do a 50 mile ride in an underwire bra! I had never owned a sports bra but I sure went out and promptly bought one after that fiasco.