Back when Karen Chaton interviewed us about Zap and our Decade award, a question asked was "In choosing my next horse what would I look for?" I replied that I already had him. Thunder was two yrs old then, I'd owned his mother, Rushcreek Hollie, and his sire, Z Mufaurwa. He was born with that attitude that you knew would make him a good tough horse.
This is the view I've mostly enjoyed for thousands of miles and many many trails. Our journey hasn't always been fun and games. I have spent many a moment cussing him! Yet he is the endurance horse I bred him to be. We completed our first AERC ride in 2007 at Weiser Rail Trail. Then we had a huge train wreck in the Owyhees that fall. The short version is he spent 6 days in the Owyhees and was found by my friends while I spent 3 days in the hospital. But, again with the support of friends, we made it back and Thunder is now on the edge of his 5000 AERC miles.
Thunder and I with Jessica Cobbley riding The Big Brass and Sarah Jackson on Street Cop. Photo by David Honan
After that rough "come back" year, Thunder and I just kept going, we had issues to work through but I never quit! I think my favorite ride on him was Owyhee Canyonlands 5 day where he won the 5 day and got overall Best Condition. I remember just sitting out there with him in the moonlight and enjoying his presence, and being grateful for the team we'd become. Nothing like a good strong horse to put you in awe of their amazing power!
Jessica and I strolled into the finish of Owyhee River Challenge 55 miles. Photo by David Honan
Thunder has spent many a mile trying to make my battered old body into a faster rider. I've spent many a mile trying to slow his red head down so my body could manage to ride the miles. Somewhere in there we reached a compromise! Congratulations Thunder! And here is to maybe another Decade! Although we'll both be pretty long in the tooth by then!