by Laura Crum
Today we have something new for you. Though we mostly concentrate on fiction here, today’s post features a wonderfully entertaining non-fiction guide to the sport of endurance riding, written by one of my favorite writers, Aarene Storms. Many of you know Aarene, from reading her blog, Haiku Farm, listed on the sidebar. For those who don’t, Aarene has spent almost fifteen years devoting herself to the sport of endurance riding, completing many fifty mile rides on her sensible Standardbred mare, Fiddle (and previous to Fiddle, on a rather hot-headed Arab named Toad and an “opinionated”—to quote Aarene—Standardbred named Story).
As I can attest from my years of trying to “break into” the cutting horse world without an experienced friend/mentor, trying to get started in an unfamiliar horse sport can be intimidating and can seem overwhelming. How I wish I had had a book like this one. Endurance 101 provides the perfect mixture of experienced advice and information, geared to the person who has always wanted to try endurance, but just doesn’t know how to go about it, as well as plenty of helpful tips for those who are already embarked on the sport.
So for those of you who have wondered what it would be like to try endurance, and those who have a burning desire to pursue this sport, and even those who are just curious, here is the book for you. Aarene is a lovely writer, and besides, she is very funny. (I just love the Bad Idea Fairy and her horse “Hold My Beer and Watch This”). Even more than all this, she is an awesome horsewoman, who knows whereof she speaks.
May I introduce Aarene Storms and her good mare Fiddle, pulsing down (almost instantly) after completing the 50 mile Renegade Rendezvous Ride in 2011.
Aarene and Fiddle doing dressage (they are multi-talented, as you see).
And now Arene will introduce you to the Bad Idea Fairy (keep your distance) and her new book. Congratulations, Aarene!
Before I tell you about my book, I want to tell you about the Bad Idea Fairy.
Maybe you’ve never heard of the Bad Idea Fairy, but I’m sure you recognize when she’s been around, clonking people with her magic Bad Idea Fairy wand. Why else would perfectly sensible people do perfectly dumb things like try to take a close-up picture of a bear cub?
Have you ever gone riding with the Bad Idea Fairy? She’s the one who always knows a “shortcut” to the trailhead that ends up as a dead end on a mountainside. She’s the one that insists that the horse’s shoe isn’t that loose, or that the thunderstorm isn’t that close to the trail you were intending to ride, or that the growling dog chasing you doesn’t look that dangerous.
See? I knew you’d recognize her.
The Bad Idea Fairy and her friends provided much of the inspiration for my book Endurance 101: a gentle guide to the sport of long-distance riding. In more than a decade of riding endurance, I’ve seen the Bad Idea Fairy many, many times. Sometimes, she flutters right above the heads of experienced riders who usually make good choices but occasionally goof up and make a bad one. Usually, however, I see the Bad Idea Fairy hovering over the heads of riders who are new to the sport, and who don’t have a lot of experience and practice at keeping her away.
Even riders who are very skilled at other equestrian disciplines like dressage or team penning or stadium jumping or riding in the wilderness can sometimes get sucked into a Bad Idea Fairy plan. Endurance 101 was written partly as Bad Idea Fairy Repellent. The book won’t make you immune to dumb ideas, but it’s designed to give you enough information so that you will recognize a Bad Idea when you see it flying towards you on the endurance trail.
The book is also written to inspire you to try something really challenging and really rewarding: spending a long day on a long trail with your horse.
Some folks ride with friends, others prefer going solo. The trails traverse rolling hills, mountains, deserts, and some of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the world. There are veterinary checkpoints along the way, where horses are evaluated and given a chance to eat, drink, and rest before heading back out, refreshed and ready, onto the trail.
You can do this sport. This book can help you. The book makes some suggestions about choosing a suitable mount and suitable gear, but the most important part of the equation is you, the rider. If you like a challenge that will leave you tired, dirty, hungry, and SMILING, then endurance might be the sport for you.
And if you want to ride endurance, read Endurance 101 first.
And, guess what? The e-book edition is on sale right now!
Send an email to: release AT Endurance-101 DOT com, and we’ll send you a discount code for 20% off the (already low) purchase price.
Because saving your money so you can buy more carrots for your horse is a really Good Idea.