Susan G Komen Ride for the Cure. Our team, the "North Texas Nags" is growing, and raising money to help in the fight against breast cancer. Most of the money raised is used locally too! Now, most people know about SGK their work to help find a cure, or at least to help women get early diagnoses for breast cancer, but for me, this is a bit personal.
My aunt passed way from Breast Cancer. My cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. It runs in my family, and one day, the chances that I will have breast cancer is pretty high. So, I'm going to toss in a few shameless plugs here, for myself and my team. We need to raise $250 dollars to attend this ride. I'm not there yet. Many of my team mates aren't there yet. We just need a few dollars from a few people, and we can make a very nice, and very large difference. So, click here to donate to me on this ride, ANY amount is so greatly appreciated!
But Katy has always been sensible. She's doing very well under saddle, and she's a brilliant horse. She's a solid 15.3 hands, which is perfect for me, and wide enough to feel like I'm sitting a sofa. Did I mention her gaits are as smooth as glass? Yeah, basically she's EXACTLY the kind of horse you want on a long ride. There's only one problem you see....
She's never gone on trail rides before.
Now, those who know me, know that I am NOT a trail rider. I love my arena. I don't dislike the trails, but I've had a few bad experiences that always made me dread heading out. No, not what you're thinking... it's not the bolts or the spooks that got me. Rather, it's the crowd I hung out with.
Since I've got more saddle time then many of my friends, I always end up the "helper". A novice rider's horse acts up, and I trade out with them, and then fight the horse the whole trip. A piece of tack fails, and I get off, fix it, or sub from something I have with me on my horse, and make do the whole trip. A horse is known to have issues with a specific hazard (water crossings?) and I get off and walk through it.... and I HATE wet feet!
Yeah, I'm complaining, but I'm also not complaining. You see, I can do some of these things, and make it back alive, while other riders (like my dad, or a first time rider) can't always do that. I'd MUCH rather see every one have a great time. Me... well I get to ride all week long, so I can blow a single ride, and it's a small segment of my riding time that week. But if it's your only chance to ride all week... all month, or god forbid, in the last decade, the that rider DESERVES to have a good ride!
But now, I have friends who are solid on their horses, and competent enough to handle their own problems. Leah has morphed into quite the accomplished horse woman in the short time she's had horses, and Rachel is one of those lucky enough to have horses most of her life. Both will be riding with us on this ride, and both will be MY moral support this time.
The rest of our team is also made up of good horsewomen, and most likely one very amazing up and coming horseman. The horses are all solid, or their riders have put a support structure in place to prepare for the "what ifs".
I have a back up though. If Katy isn't ready, I will be riding Poko, Leah's old "bad boy". Poko is a trail champ, and knows more then I do. So why am I taking Katy? Because my gut says it's the right thing to do. Katy's going to be my show an exhibition horse, so... why not get her started?
But it's for a good cause!
Did I mention that I'm raising money for the ride? (Told you there'd be a few small pleas for cash!)
We only NEED to raise $150 more so we can actually attend this ride, but I hope to be able to raise more then that! The donation form doesn't list an amount smaller then $25, but you CAN choose "enter an amount" and donate as little as $1. If most of my readers do that, then we'll make the mark easily, AND we'll be doing our part to help women fight breast cancer!
The way I see this, is that breast cancer is like horses... it's one of the few things in this world that is filled almost completely with women. Oh sure, there are horsemen, but lets not forget that men CAN get breast cancer. So what better way to raise money for such a female biased thing, then with another female biased thing!
We are also going to have to make up her costume, try it on, and make sure she accepts everything that goes with it. You'll have to wait and see what plans I have for her (and I might need some suggestions on what the hell I need to wear to go with it).
But for today, I'm asking for help from all my trail friends out there. What do I need to be sure and introduce Katy to, before taking her out on the trails? What have you come across on the trails that you wished you had exposed your horse to? I'm a novice trail rider, so I just don't think of all the many things that experienced trail riders have to face. I know it takes skills, and I know I don't have them, nor the experience. So I'm begging for advice and suggestions.
And a bit of money too (I think 3 pleas is enough, don't you? Sick of it yet?)
Thanks for the support y'all. And I hope you take the links for donations with the humor and fun it's intended to have. BUT, if you help me meet my goal... I promise to post picture of me in lots and lots of pink. On the internet..... for ever. If THAT isn't worth $5 bucks, I don't know what is!
A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses
I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.