Well what would an endurance ride be without plenty of drama? The extreme dry conditions threatened to cancel our ride. Then small fires seemed to be breaking out everywhere which didn’t help matters. An overnight camping ban added to the mix and things were looking quite dismal. But wait! Carrie Schellenberg Wilson wasn’t ready to lay down and say Uncle just yet.
Carrie and Trish Leiman Forde were the ride managers for Ride on Mars and if ever there were a more capable pair I have yet to meet them. Somehow, some way they managed to get this show on the road and even scored over night parking! Beside a golf course no less! No we did not get to canter across the greens. That’s my story and no those hoof prints on the back 9 are not Tia’s lol.
We managed to get all the rigs parked in the designated spaces, volunteers were found, trails marked and the Vet on site for the ride. And ride we did. All 46 of us!! To say we were thrilled with the turnout would be a massive understatement. The Board has worked hard this year to create awareness and interest in our sport and it appears we are headed in the right direction.
The riding weather was perfect! Not too hot and not too cold. The trails were well marked and only one rider got seriously off course as apparently purple is the new pink! The trails did take a toll on some of the riders! If you didn’t pay attention the trees were not kind. Carrie won the award for the most scratches however many of us sported scratches from the low hanging branches. Note to self: next time take your pruning shears with you.
There were a few sudden dismounts and, thankfully, I was not one of them. Sudden stops with the ground are never my idea of fun however it happens.
There were 4 of us in the 50 on Saturday. We all made it through and only one rider swooned at the end. Again it wasn’t me.
I’m not sure how many were in the other distances but let’s just say we kept the vets (yes we had 2 for a portion of the day on Saturday) busy with horses coming and going throughout the day. And there was a wide variety of horses for sure! Big ones, small ones and the ones in between. Morgan, Thoroughbred, Icelandic, Paint, Quarter Horse, Gypsy, heavy horse crosses and Arabians to name a few.
On Sunday we had another great turnout with additional riders coming out for the Mentored Ride. We didn’t have any 50 mile riders but we did have lots riding the 10, 15 and 25 mile loops.
I rode Cierra on day 2 and I was happy to just get through the 25 mile loop. Cierra, although reasonably willing, is no Tia. Cierra’s idea of endurance is walking back and forth to the water trough stopping once or twice on the way there to toss her head. I think she was rather horrified that she had to leave her hay bag and actually go somewhere. Perhaps she thought she had gone on vacation? Glenn did say she had the best gut sounds he had heard all day. Given the amount of food she scarfed down I would hope so!
I sponsored 2 of our junior rides on Sunday and we had fun! We didn’t win but who cares? There was only one sudden dismount (thank goodness it wasn’t me) and no crying (I did consider it tho). They were both great riding partners to share the trail with for the 25 miles. And all 3 of us got a completion which is what we wanted!
I will leave the results to someone who actually knows what they were. I think we had very few horses pulled during the 2 days which is always a plus.
As always, a big thank you to our main vet for the occasion Glenn Sinclair. We are very fortunate to have a vet with so much knowledge of our sport! Also thank you to Brittany Dirksen for coming out to help with vetting our horses on Saturday. We hope we’ve got you hooked.
I don’t have a complete list of all the volunteers so I don’t want to name people and miss someone. Carrie will have a better list than I do with who all the volunteers were but if you had anything to do with this ride then thank you!
These things don’t just magically happen. A lot of planning goes into these events to make them a success. Carrie and Trish did an amazing job on this ride and the fact that they actually were able to sort things out is nothing sort of a miracle!

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