Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Monday, 23 January 2017
Well it's been a record-setting snowy cold Idaho, and lacking inspiration for writing something new, I decided to look back at some of the warmer places I've been. And Malaysia pretty much beats all for warmth! Right?
A little history - in 2005 Malaysia began building an endurance program in earnest. The newly appointed king, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, was a horseman, and had taken an interest in endurance riding. And so it began - I was fairly high profile at the time with Endurance.Net and my previous international riding adventures, so was invited to come to ride and get involved in the program. What fun, what luck!
Here's the story of my first Malaysia adventure, in 2005. (such a long time ago!)
"There's something very soft and gentle about Malaysia. The air is soft and sweet and humid, the billowy clouds are soft and diffuse, the heat can be intense, but the sun's rays are filtered through the humidity, everything seems bathed in a gentle haze. The people are gentle too - gentle with their horses, gentle with each other. Thinking back on the other places around the world that I've been, with Endurance, with the horses, Malaysia still amazes me... "
Link to 2005 Edaran Classic on Endurance.Net
Thursday, 5 January 2017
We haven't seen dirt since early December, and just had two more snow days - close to 2 feet on the ground now. Yikes it's really pretty, but I think it's gonna get old. Merri is doing most of the outdoor horse stuff now, as I have a winter-wimp reputation to uphold. John is out clearing the road this morning with the tractor, getting Regina un-stuck, and maybe I'll make it to town this weekend. (still have half 'n half though, so it's not an emergency). Horses are eating a LOT, and really furry, so I think they're ok. John and I are playing music, I'm trying to re-learn the fiddle and he's swapping between guitar, banjo and mandolin. My fiddlin' is getting better and I'm remembering lots of songs we used to play. But still, it is not an easy instrument! We hooked up a midi keyboard to my iMac, and I'm laying down piano tracks to play by - that's been fun. I wasn't really planning on riding this winter, but now I have an authentic excuse! Winter on... Steph Follow on Endurance.Net
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
Sunday, 27 November 2016
For the past few years the Owyhee Endurance rides have seen a growing invasion of kids on mules. They aren't just regular old mules, they are race bred mules... and the kids aren't just regular kids, they are special needs children who have found a passion and outlet in riding thanks to Trinity Jackson and Heart 2 Heart Ranch. They show up in droves, and they really ride! Trinity usually sponsors the group, but others have stepped in as well. We've always given discounts to Juniors at the Owyhee rides, but this year we're letting Juniors ride free! And others are contributing to the 'Juniors Ride Free' fund, including our favorite ride veterinarian who donated part of his fee to the 'mule kids'. The kids and mules always liven up ride camp and the vetting area! At the recent Halloween ride they came dressed as Dalmations (not quite 101, but still a good showing!)
In 2008 Trinity received a grant from Zion Bank - the Smart Women Grant Award for 'Small Business Startup and Expansion'. That was the beginning of Heart 2 Heart Ranch.From the H2H Ranch website: Trinity Jackson is a former special education teacher with heart. Owner of the newly created Heart-2-Heart Ranch in Parma, Idaho, Jackson teaches disabled children to ride mules. Unlike many programs that teach kids how to ride an animal around an arena, Jackson hopes her program will give disabled children confidence by letting them compete at mule rodeos and shows. "We want to teach them from the very beginning to the end, so that at some point they can be a little more independent and maybe own their own animal someday," Jackson says. "This will teach them responsibility and bring them self-confidence and self-esteem." A mother of three, Jackson used grant funds to purchase additional acreage for the ranch near her home and to buy an arena so the kids can receive training year-round. "We are trying to make it very affordable, like signing your child up to play T-ball," Jackson says. "We want whole families to be able to participate." The program will serve children across the spectrum of disabilities and in the future will include curriculum for nondisabled siblings as well. I love it that we can share our sport and our rides with so many different people, and kids. (and mules!) Steph
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
The story and all the photos are on Endurance.Net at http://www.endurance.net/international/Chile/2010EasterIsland/index.html
This photo is of the wrangler (native Rapa Nui riding in flip-flops ) that helped us select our horses for the race.
Horses are everywhere on Easter Island - very few cars, so people ride horses, and they basically have open range on the Island. Everybody knows whose horses belong to whom and they just graze them wherever it is possible. (for example beside this moai)
It was fun going back and reading the travel notes. While I was down there I had just seen the film documentary "180 Degrees South" - a road/boat trip down the pacific coast to Patagonia. The sound track by Ugly Casanova always reminds me of this time.