It’s Tuesday again and Tuesday turned into Share Your World day for me. So here it is, my answers to Cee’s fun questions, revealing a little bit of myself again 🙂
Have you ever participated in a distance walking, swimming, running, or biking event? Tell your story.
I love sports but the only events I participated in were long distance or endurance races with my horse. It was a great time in my life. Not only the races as such, which were distances from 30km to 60km were heaps of fun and some good challenges but also the training involved. In a way it’s like building up to a marathon for you and your horse. Although you are kind of a passenger on the back of your horse, the distance will get to you as well. And while you are sitting on your horse most of the time I often also got off and ran alongside of her in order to “give her a break”. It was team work at all time and I have such wonderful memories of most of the races.
Especially the one when we managed to tackle the first qualification for what could have ended up in our participation in the world championships 160km race. The qualification distance was a 60km one for the first qualification leg. The next one would have been over 80km and the last one over a distance of 100km. In order to qualify you had to finish the 60km distance in a maximum time of 6hours but with multiple vet checks to be passed over the distance. While with “normal” races (not trying to qualify) you had two changes to pass the vet checks here you only had one chance. During the vet checks it was about the general appearance of your horse, the heart rate, the recovery rate and also a check in regards to dehydration of the horse.
The heart rate was never an issue for us. Not only because of my horse being an Arabian and therefor prone for long distance races but also because of living in high altitude and having “high altitude” training whenever we went for rides. The biggest issue for me was always to get my horse to drink. She was slightly high strung during a race, just swapped to an entirely different mode. She was in race mode from the moment we started till the very end and unfortunately that meant as well that she didn’t like to stop and drink. Now try to make a horse drink water if it doesn’t want to!
Because I knew of the issue I started “training” her at home while riding out. Whenever we passed a river, creek or a fountain I stopped and gave her a treat if she only just put her mouth in. And it stuck.
It was such a crazy hot mid summer day when we had the 60km race. We started at 5am while it was still dark and it was one of the most beautiful mornings I ever experienced. I had many early mornings in my life and I had a couple of early morning starts with endurance races but that will forever be the most beautiful one. It was the morning as such, the vibe, the excitement, the plan to get that qualification, the horses…
It was also one of the best races we’ve had. Although she was in race mode, she was much calmer, much more controlled that usually. It was as if she knew too, that we needed to tick certain boxes. And she drank! It was the first time ever she actually drank regularly during a race.
We qualified. We managed to come in in way under the max time allowed and her heart rate was a resting heart rate which through the vet completely off. She was not dehydrated, she was calm and seemed happy. Everything was perfect.
We never got further than that. We participated in more races but I couldn’t invest as much time in everything anymore and I felt that it would not be okay to push her into more with less training. So slowly but surely we cut back until we “just only” went on rides. I often missed the participation in the races. Not because I was determined but because of the special vibe there was. It was a mini adventure. An adventure I had with my horse, as a team.
Name one thing not many people know about you.
I think you know everything I’m willing to share 😉
What is your favorite flower?
I don’t have a favorite flower but love all of them. I love roses, tulips, orchids to only name a couple. Oh, and sunflowers. Yes, sunflowers too.
Things I want to have in my home (paintings, hot tubs, book cases, big screen tv etc)
I want to have a good size dining table in my home. One that fits us all and our guests. I like to have candles and a couple of lights providing a warm atmosphere. A TV is sort of part of it too. And then there is the coffee machine. And a decent kitchen in which you can cook home made meals. A bathroom of course with a shower. Necessities in that sense. I don’t need a hot tub. I remember the family I was a nanny for many (MANY) years ago in Aspen had that beautiful hot tub outside in their backyard and we often used it over the late fall and winter months I was there. It was fun sitting in it being all warm an cozy while it was snowing…
Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?
My friends who are there for me when I need them. We are all there for each other when needed. It’s something to be grateful for.