Our next ride:

Coso Junction

December 3 & 4, 2016

The Mojave Desert is unique in its ability to produce so many strange phenomena and this area is no exception. The ride takes place in the exact area where a spark plug was found inside a geode that was thousands of years old. We have a theory that this spark plug dropped out of a Sgt. Zeno’s space machine as he was going through a time warp above this part of the lower Owens Valley. It is further believed that this spark plug actually may have powered an early flying saucer. You should always keep an eye out behind you and above you as you ride through this strange land.

The base camp is behind the Coso Junction Store, where John, the manager has welcomed us for many years, not only for the ride but for weary horsemen who often camp behind the store as they travel up and down Hwy 395.  There is enough flat space to park large rigs behind the store. You should respect his generosity by cleaning up when you are ready to leave. The best way to leave a clean camp is to not make a big mess in the first place. Horses really don’t need bedding when tied to trailers or placed in small corrals, but if you choose to use bedding you can always throw it in the trailer and haul it back down to some place where the employees have irritated you in the past. If you are out back on the dirt you can just spread your manure and fill the holes your horse has dug. Throwing your remaining water over the disturbed dirt will help keep it from blowing. There will be some horse water, but it may not be where you want it. Cellular phone service works for most providers. Leashed dogs are tolerated; loose dogs are not. Of course this doesn’t apply to Annie’s dog. There is an RV park and a motel up the road to the north. The Ranch House restaurant in Olancha, which serves excellent meals, is reported to be open. The forecast typically calls for sunny and temperatures from the mid to high fifties to the mid sixties. The route winds through the flats and rolling hills of the high Mojave Desert. Much of the footing is all weather decomposed granite and desert two track. The trail is easy to moderately difficult but can be easily completed on new horses ridden with care by good horsemen.

Registration will start at 3:00 on Friday. The vet check will start at 4:45 on Friday if the vet shows up on time. There will be a ride meeting around 7:00 each evening. Contrary to what is on some internet information, the LD will start after the start of the fifty. The fifty mile ride starts at 7:00 and the LD probably starts at 8:30 on day one. LD’s will probably start at the same time as the 50’s on day two but that will be announced at the evening meeting on Saturday.

A general description of this ride is a no frills, low budget, relaxed training ride that will offer riders an opportunity to camp out with friends and ride around the eastern Sierras. There is a difference between riding and racing. Some ride managers prefer races and are knowledgeable about how to safely conduct such events. We have chosen to conduct this event as a ride. The thing you will gain from coming to this ride is a chance to ride your horse in the high desert and hopefully have a good time. The faster you ride, the more experience is required and the bigger chance you take on hurting or killing your horse. There will not be a dedicated treatment veterinarian on site. There is an AERC control judge present who is here for AERC judging, not for diagnosing or treating animals. You can gain some insight to his thinking and methods by reading the veterinary information handout. You should ride your horse with the same restraint that you would if you were here by yourself on a training ride. You should definitely not ride your horse with the mistaken opinion that there is a veterinary safety net in place to make up for your lack of poor judgment. If you are inexperienced you should ride in a careful and restrained manner taking extreme care not to get caught up with horses and riders who are prepared and conditioned to ride at a much faster pace. If you are a new member of the XP Riders please familiarize yourself with the veterinary procedures and make sure that you understand you are the only person ultimately responsible for your horse’s welfare, as well as your own. Even the most novice rider has an insight on their horse’s condition that can exceed that of the finest veterinarian. Riders should learn to develop the skills necessary to keep in tune with the true condition of their mount. The friendly management and control judges will do all they can to help you improve those skills.  There are many mentors available and those new to the sport should make use of their valuable experience.

Directions: Ridecamp will be at Coso Junction, approximately 35 miles north of Ridgecrest on Hwy 395, behind the Chevron gas station. Click here to get directions via google. This may very well be the easiest ride camp to find in the world.

Health Certificates are required for out of state horses coming into California.  The destination address is   Coso Junction Store,  Hwy 395 & Gill Station Rd,  Coso Junction, CA 93549

Ride Photographer: Lynne Glazer will be shooting this ride!

Ride Photos



XP Rides for 2017 Ride Season

Coso Junction ~ December 3 & 4

Death Valley Encounter ~ December 28-31

Laurel Mountain ~ January 28 & 29

Eastern Mojave ~ February 9-12

Bar H ~ Conflict with AERC convention

Cuyama Oaks ~ March 24-26

Lost Padres ~ April 8 & 9

Mt Carmel ~ April 26-30

Strawberry Fields ~ June 16-18

Grand Canyon ~ August 30-September 3

Virgin Outlaw ~ September 27-October 1

Sesenta Años ~ November 10-12

You can learn more about each of our rides by going to XP Rides and Dates on the menu bar and scrolling down to the one you are interested in. 




EasyCare, Inc. is proud to provide year-end awards to XP riders. EasyCare, Inc. has a full line of hoof boots and natural hoof care products that protect the hoof, allow horses to cover rough terrain, act as a spare tire in case of a lost shoe, and aid in the treatment of laminitis and other hoof problems. EasyCare’s hoof boot brands include the Easyboot, Boa Horse Boot, Old Mac’s and EasySoaker.  While the main focus at EasyCare is horse boot design, we proudly make other top quality products for trail riders and recreational horse owners such as Stowaway Saddle Packs, EZ Ride Stirrups, Comfort Pads, hoof boot accessories and natural hoof care products.



Please don’t be offended if the Duck doesn’t add you as a friend or associate on Facebook,  LinkedIn,  or  any other type of social media.  He just simply does not participate in those things!



Over the years our family has made a lot of great friends along the trail. We always look forward to the new ride year to renew those friendships and to make new ones. We hope you will be able to join us on the endurance trails this year. Come ride with us, you will be glad you did.