My Life: Where Horses and Running Meet

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Me in my college riding days…

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…and at a horse show as a child (sorry the pic is kinda blurry)!

Today’s Workout: Sorry to disappoint, other than doing very few squats just to try and get a feel for how my knee was, the only thing that was worked out was my brain!

It was another 13-hour workday for me today, with minimum breaks, other than running out to get Petco to buy dog food right after work, and a couple food breaks. I’m trying to eat healthier, but when we were on our way to Petco, JP saw the Arby’s sign in the near distance and immediately made a U-Turn to go get some. That man makes me laugh, although he’s not always a good influence on my waistline (especially not lately, since I haven’t been working out!).

Some of you who have been reading my blog for a while probably already know that I was an avid equestrian for a long, long time. Horses are still a huge part of my life, but unfortunately I don’t exactly get to ride as much as I used to, due to financial restrictions (riding and competing is a really expensive sport!).

I turned to running for a number of reasons: we moved to Massachusetts, my husband changed his career (he used to be a horse trainer and we basically got free board for our horse), our horse, Whinny, passed away, and then I took on a job in the media that became really demanding really quickly (see the first part of this post).

I enjoy the occasional trail ride in the same way that many runners enjoy trail running. In case you didn’t know, there are many endurance competitions out there for horseback riders that are very similar to ultra-marathons for runners. In fact, there is one ultra that takes place every July in Vermont called the Vermont 100-mile Endurance Race where running and riding literally collide. Both runners and horses compete in this competition!

I had been thinking about writing about this for a while because I found out recently that this race – which is the last of its kind – will be ending the tradition of combining an ultra-marathon with endurance riding in 2014. I was greatly disappointed to hear about this, because ever since I first learned of it’s existence (and then started running), I secretly hoped that I might be able to complete this race someday…possibly one year as a rider, and then another as a runner. Now, unless they decide to bring the race back again in the future, I don’t think that dream will ever happen. I’m hoping that by posting this and educating others about these types of events, that there may be a possibility of re-creating similar events (whether it’s a regular marathon, ultra, etc. combined with endurance riding) at some point in the future.

With that being said, a riding club known as the Bay State Trail Riders in Central Mass. Started their own event, known as the Ride, Roll, Run. This event is somewhat similar to a triathlon, but the swimming component is replaced by horseback riding. Oh yeah, and it’s a relay, too. So even if you don’t own a horse, or if you don’t know anybody who does, you can still participate, providing you can either ride a bike on a trail without falling off, or run through the woods without falling down. OK, both have happened to me, but that doesn’t scare me. I’ve ridden horses, fallen off, and gotten right back on! This year, I plan on participating in this race with some friends who ride horses. I just might do both the running and biking parts to prepare for my first triathlon (a goal I’m setting for 2015!). I thought this would definitely be something different that would allow me to participate in an equine competition even though I no longer own a horse!

If you think these running related events sound crazy, wait until I do a post on the pentathlon!

What’s the most “different” type of race you’ve participated in? So far for me, it’s been the color run, but these types of “bizarre” races can range from a tough muddled to a super heroes run or even a vineyard run (and everything in between)!

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4 thoughts on “My Life: Where Horses and Running Meet

  1. Lily

    Those horse slash running races sound awesome, I had no idea they existed. I’ve never done any different types of races, but if I ever have friends that run (in person), I’d totally try one. There’s an electric run in London later this year that I may try to convince my husband and friend to do with me…

    Reply
  2. northernambitions

    That’s too bad about the endurance race, what a cool event, but the Ride, Roll, Run sounds fun! The toughest race I did was a triathlon and I think it was partly because it was exhausting and partly mentally switching sports. I hope you guys have an amazing time

    Reply

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