November 4 2020
by Merri Melde-Endurance.net
Well, all in all, the 2020 endurance ride season can pretty much be summed up as a Nut Job.
But the last ride of the season in the Pacific Northwest, the Owyhee Halloween ride in southwest Idaho, served up perfect weather, just the right amount of challenge in the trails, and enough fairies and princesses and giraffes to make any desert trick or treater, and basically any horse-riding-loving human, happy.
New basecamp was just down the highway near Regina Rose's old place, so we were able to re-visit some of our old trails along the Snake River around Wildhorse Butte. The golden late fall sun makes the water a deep blue you mostly only see in high alpine lakes. Because the summer has been so dry (it last rained somewhere around 1776 or thereabouts) the gophers have taken over some of the two-tracks and cow trails, burrowing under the fine moon dust so that footing would sometimes collapse under a thousand pound animal trotting along. But it's just like any other ride that has challenges… you just had to slow down and watch the footing in places.
14 riders started the 50 - nobody wanted the lead going out and nobody was in a hurry all day - and 11 finished (3 were rider option pulls). Marlene Moss aboard Topper came in first in 6:33, with second place Stace Moss - victoriously Un-bucked off his horse Hank - getting Best Condition. Marlene hit her goal this year of riding all their horses in a ride, and making it to all the rides in the NW region. Nance Worman who finished 3rd aboard Smokey got her Sandybar award - 10 ride completions aboard one horse in a season without a pull.
14 riders started the 25 with all finishing. Kristy Butler and Titan won in 3:27 and 8th place Linda Fickett and Tsultan got Best Condition. Junior Kinley Thunehorst finished third aboard Lady, that's 11 finishes this year for her (including several multi-day rides) in just her second year of riding. Go Juniors!
The Witch of the Wizard of Oz clan had the best Junior costume and the Princess Bride (Jill Hanould) had the best adult costume. Several grandma-grandchild combinations hit the trail together this year!
So ended the strange 2020 endurance ride season out Northwest. Maybe the full blue moon on Halloween was a good sign. 2021 can't possibly be as discombobulated, right?
More from the ride at: