I was super pumped for the first ride of the season!  As endurance riders in Manitoba we wait a looong time for the new season so the first ride is always greatly anticipated by all. 

Well the week prior to the ride disaster struck x2!  On Monday I was out riding with a friend and we tried to find a new trail to link us back to another trail. We wandered around in the bush trying to find something that looked promising but to no avail. As we were turning back Tia stepped over some dead fall, sunk and managed to impale herself on a stick that went through her leg deeply into her chest.  She was bleeding profusely and instantly lame. A vet visit for meds but there went Tia’s trip to Pembina Valley but not to worry I have others that can put their hoof forward. 

On the Thursday I was out riding with another friend and I was showing her another trail. My mare got too close to a tree so I put out my left arm to move her away from the tree to save my knee.  I’ve done this hundreds of times but this time I’m not sure what happened but snap went my wrist!  Dislocated AND broken. By the time my husband took me home I was so depressed I had a melt down in the car. I trained all winter to ride NOT sit on the sidelines but sidelined I was. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to hold my camera for pictures. Insert many, many bad words here. 

We took 3 horses, 2 for the ride and 1 for experience, to Pembina Valley.  It’s always good experience for a young horse to learn to just chill at camp. The first night she dumped her food and her water but by the end of the weekend she wasn’t dumping either food or water PLUS wasn’t escaping from her pen. Success! 

It was lovely to see the turnout of horses and riders. New riders, young riders, old riders and returning riders!  Lots of people taking on the trails of Pembina Valley. 

For most of us Pembina Valley is tough as it isn’t all flat land. There are lots of hills which are always challenging when your horse is used to flat land. It is great fun to ride as it isn’t flat! 

We trained for Tevis at Pembina Valley as there are lots of long climbs to go up and down something we lack at Birds Hill Park unless you count Pope’s Hill. Trust me it doesn’t compare!  

On Saturday the weather was decent but a chilly wind that didn’t want to quit!  As I was sitting in a lawn chair waiting for riders to come by to photograph I was soon frozen! I quickly realized that I could barely control my camera which is maybe 5 lbs so the grand idea of trying to ride the next day was idiotic! Not that I haven’t done lots of idiotic stuff 😛. Who could I sucker in, I mean ask, to ride my young horse??  But a rider I did find!  

For Saturday, there were 2 riders in the 50 mile division and 7 in the 25 mile division. Despite a rather hard fall experienced by one rider all the riders made it through their divisions and all received their completions. 

Saturday night was a wonderful potluck supper and then a bonfire. We can party with the best as long as we are in bed by 9!   

Sunday was a stunning riding day with perfect conditions for the ride. There were 7 riders in the 25 mile division and 6 in the 15 mile pleasure ride. 

I set up in different spots to spook, I mean photograph, the horse and rider combos. I was jealous to not be riding but I refrained from pushing anybody off their steed and taking off into the sunset. From what I saw from my various locations the trails looked awesome. 

I’m not sure who won what but that will be posted in the ride results. Ask any endurance rider and they will tell you if they received a completion for the ride and were deemed fit to continue then they were happy .  

Another great ride at Pembina Valley. Next stop Birds Hill Park where I seriously hope to be a participator and not a spectator!

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