I’m preparing for my first attempt at Tevis next month and have been a bit overwhelmed at the preparation involved. Between obsessing over whether my horse is ready for it or not and coordinating a crew, I have realized that Tevis is no ordinary endurance race.
One of the things I had never done with my horse was ride him in the dark. I have had days where I had stayed out way too late and walked back to the barn in the dark but never really trotted or cantered through challenging terrain in the dark.
At dusk a few friends and I headed out on a familiar trail that would be following a little river. Perfect practice since the trail was narrow and would have a ledge but no 1,000 foot drop into the American River just yet!
I put on my horse’s Easyboot Gloves and used Powerstraps and Mueller’s Athletic Tape. I realized as I was putting them on that I wouldn’t be able to look down and check to make sure they were still there once it got dark.
Riding in the dark was so amazing. You really have to trust your horse. I can’t explain how many times I tried to turn my horse where I thought the trail was and yet my horse insisted on going the other way. He was right every time and I learned to just shut up and let him do the driving. Feeling him lift his feet over obstacles that I didn’t even know where there made me let go and just trust him.
I have to admit that the traction on his protective horse boots really helped put my mind at ease since I couldn’t see what we were stepping on. I knew that the added grip really helped prevent any slipping and that he could trot over just about anything with confidence.
As we walked back to the trailer, I couldn’t help but wonder if the Easyboot Gloves would still be in place after our 15 mile blind ride through all kinds of terrain including a small creek with quite a bit of mud! But just like my trusty horse the boots performed flawlessly and stayed put.
Sometimes you just have to let go and trust that everything will work itself out no matter how daunting the task may be.