Thursday, May 19, 2016

New AERC Decade Team

The Owyhee River Challenge endurance ride marked Thunder's and my tenth year of completing AERC rides. Thunder is my second AERC decade horse. Zapped+/ was my first.

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!

1 comment:

Mary Ann Yamamoto said...

What a touching story and accomplishment. Your love for these animals and what you do just shines through. I hope I have the privilege to hear more of your stories and experiences in hopes that I can add it to my journey of becoming a better rider. The last trail ride with the Owyhee River Challenge I was lucky enough to go on did such wonders for me. I am working on gaining my confidence back after a accident that has been over 2 yrs ago. You are a true inspiration Karen. Congratulations on all these achievements you have. They seem countless and I am in awe of what you do. Happy Trails :)