I went to the horse expo yesterday. I hadn't really been sure all week if I wanted to go or not, I didn't go last year just because I was disappointed in the year before and I knew it would be the same old stuff. But I was bored and I noticed that a certain speaker was going to be there, so I went.
I've always wanted to try out endurance but never really got around to it. Partly because I had no idea how to get involved and also because I don't have any close horse friends who do it. When I had Jazz I wanted to do it with her because when she was fit, she could go all day on the trail, nothing phased her, she had awesome feet, etc.
Now with Jetta, I still want to do it. She's not as bombproof on the trails as Jazz was, but we could manage it. She loves being on the trails almost as much as she loves jumping. I love trail riding and I am a very goal oriented person, plus gorgeous views from horseback, sign me up!
AareneX over at Haiku Farm released a book on Endurance for people just getting into it and I've been eyeing it for a while... and she was speaking at the expo! So I woke up earlyish (for me - hey it's spring break!) and headed over to the fairgrounds.
First of all, geez it's expensive to get in. $12 entrance fee plus a $3 parking fee. I'm sure it's expensive to rent this fairgrounds because it's super nice, but holy cow, I wasn't planning on spending $15 just to get in.
Anyways, I walked around the booths and had fun window shopping but didn't buy anything. My favorite tack store was there with some good sale stuff, but nothing that I particularly needed in my price range. There was also a really neat booth with vintage equestrian fashion, some new clothing and used quality saddles. Drool. Everything was way out of my price range but fun to look at!
After finding the conference room (it's hidden!) I really enjoyed Aarene's talk. She's funny and a good speaker. Plus she showed some amazing pictures from endurance rides, the scenery was awesome. Nice to put a face to a blogger that I've been reading! Her presentation made me want to do endurance so bad! I ended up buying a book from her (autographed to boot) and talked to the local endurance group about how to get started. Everyone was super nice and the lady at the booth didn't live too far from me so she told me which rides were the easiest to drive to.
Can't wait to get started. My summer plans are still up in the air so I have no idea what rides I'll be able to make it to, but hopefully we'll get to do one or two limited distance rides. Already planning what things I'll need to for endurance (oh dear, more things for the tack whore to buy, though I'm not going overboard yet and buying a new saddle or replacing my leather tack with biothane, lol) - but I do need saddle bags that fit my dressage saddle since it's the most comfortable saddle I have, need to make sure the camper shell for my truck is still alive (it's hanging out somewhere in the forest at home...), new saddle pad that won't become an absorbent mop for our ride, some sort of way to keep Jetta from running away from the trailer overnight... and of course we need trails to practice on so I need to get to work finding some local trails that allow horses. I know of one (need to remember how to get there first) but then I also need a trail buddy.
Definitely bitten by the endurance bug so I hope I actually get to do at least one ride this year!