Sunday, December 4, 2016

Plans (with a small p) for 2017

It's that time of year again, when energy levels are so low that you can't actually accomplish anything, so spend your time planning things you could accomplish if perchance that enthusiasm should return.

During my daily mucking sessions (when I do my best thinking), I was musing on the regular thought that none of us are getting any younger. Roo will be 17 during this coming ride season, Uno and Hopi 16, with Fergus being 15. Small Thing brings up the rear at 12. Having extra horses is my insurance for when the current Worker Bee gets broken. This only works, of course, when they do break, and thankfully we haven't been in that position recently, so I have the dubious pleasure of having more horses than time to ride, so have to prioritize. This is the plan for this year:

Roo - Decade Team

Other than getting a single 50 on Roo this coming season to officially cement our Decade Team standing, I don't have any big goals for him.

The plan is to to take both him and Fergus to NV Derby and do both days since it was so much fun last time (not)(fun times juggling screaming horses during vet checks in camp).

To get him fit I suspect much of his conditioning will be at the end of a lead rope, as I prepare Fergus for his first ride of the year at 20MT, but it has worked before and is fun to take both of them out as a gang.

Small Thing - Tahoe Rim Ride 

Thursday afternoon, I got the news that Small Thing and I had a place in the Tahoe Rim Ride at the end of next August. I've done this ride three times (on Roo - it's his best ride), crewed/volunteered twice, and figured it would be an excellent trail for Small Thing - tight and twisty with very few "big trot" sections ("big trot" being something he doesn't really have in his repertoire). This does mean I've got my work cut out for us, getting him ready, and I have no idea if he's capable of 50 miles - the furthest we've ever gone is 21 miles on the CA Loop - but it's this sort of push that I need to actually do something constructive with him, instead of putzing around.

Fergus - 100s

As always, Fergus forms the core of my endurance goals. Having him means I can pick things I want to do, rather than having to limit the goal to the horse's capability. Of course I'll willingly do that if necessary - see above - but the freedom of being able to chose what I want to do is something cherished and never taken for granted. Fergus is such an outstanding horse and with our time clock ticking, I want to do as much with him while I still can.

What has always excited me the most is doing 100s, so that's a big part of next year's plan with four 100s scheduled.

A fun thing to do at the beginning of the year is see what's available and see how it fits together - and it looks like the rides I hope to do with Fergus slot together beautifully, giving him plenty of time between each one:
  • 25 February - 20 Mule Team 100
    (5 weeks)
  • April 1 - NV Derby - Fergus
  • April 2 - NV Derby - Roo
    (5 weeks)
  • 6 May - Duzen Doozie 100
    (5 weeks)
  • 10 June - NASTR 75
    (4 weeks)
  • 7-8 July - Tevis Educational Ride - Fergus as a Mentor?
    (4 weeks)
  • 5 August - Tevis
    (3 weeks - Tahoe Rim with Small Thing)
    (6 weeks)
  • 16 September - Virginia City 100 (and hopefully a Triple Crown Completion)


  1. Lucy, I always enjoy your posts and appreciate seeing your plan for the next ride season. You have got me to thinking about my main squeeze, Info, and now that we have worked out some of the "bugs" in our partnership, I need to set up his upcoming ride year since he is now 12 years old, and I, too, can hear that clock ticking. But seeing your photos reminds me that I have always wondered about Fergus' breeding. Can you share some information about his ancestry? Thanks!

    1. Fergus was bred up in Canada (Manitoba?) from a grade Arab (or possibly Anglo*?) mare, while his sire was the Tennessee Walker Benjamin Moore.

      * we always thought the mare was Arab, but more recently someone suggested she was Anglo - which might account for his height.

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