I went for an 11-mile technical trail ride in the Santa Monica Mountains this Sunday. I was so inspired by being able to ride with Nina Bomar, who is headed next month to my dream ride, the Tevis Cup (a 100-mile endurance ride that is only completed by the best-prepared, toughest riders and horses in the world), as well as with Rebecca Florio, DVM, who has completed the Tevis Cup twice on two different horses. And incredibly grateful to Cynthia Binder, DVM, who lent me her incredible horse, Orion, for the ride! He has the biggest equine fan club in SoCal, thanks to Dr. Binder's willingness to let him teach new endurance riders about the sport.
I'm definitely hooked on this particular kind of adventure, and although I think I was probably slowing the rest of the group down quite a bit with my lack of experience (I've been riding for 18 years this month and I'm still the newbie... you NEVER stop learning in this hobby) I think we all had a good time. 11 miles is nothing to people who compete at 50 75, and 100 mile distances, but it was my longest ride since childhood and probably the most technical trail ride I've ever done (lots of hills, rocky ledges, etc). Now to get my own horse in shape to do this sort of thing and get out competing.