White Cloud: 3 years and approximately 4500 miles
Dave: Nearly forever and like a gazillion miles
Which XP ride did you enjoy the most this year?
I liked Mt. Carmel because of the new days and new trail. The new trail up on top of the mountain was fantastic, great scenery and it really made it worthwhile to go to the ride. The scenery is different than a lot of rides with mostly good footing.
I really like all of the rides and think that the XP rides are the best rides in the sport with the nicest trails and best scenery.
Which ride did you find the most challenging, and why?
I think that Bryce is probably the most challenging because of the climbs, rocks and technical trail. It is also a pretty ride with really beautiful scenery. It is probably the most colorful ride with the oranges from the mountains, green from trees and blue skies.
What do you feel is the most important thing you learned about yourself and your horse this past year?
How to finally get White Cloud to stand still when I get on! Thanks to Kerry for the help. I’m getting older and sometimes get cold at rides so I have to wear gloves. I do a lot on foot so that I can stay warm.
I ordinarily would not ride the same horse as many miles in a year as I did this year with White Cloud. It was just luck that White Cloud ended up doing so many of the rides, partly due to other horses not making it to the rides, etc.
What do you think was the best thing that you did do?
Riding conservatively with White Cloud so that he could come through the rides in good shape. He didn’t do any fast racing on rides this last year at all. Sometimes I’ll do a short little burst of speed, usually for the ride photographer. White Cloud has done all of his rides to date using boots over bare feet. He has really nice hooves.
What are your horses best qualities?
It’s not his mind. He has good conformation and legs, he floats like a cloud. He’s good and sound plus very tough. He keeps on going even when he’s done something stupid like fall down in the trailer or on a trail because he has attention deficit sometimes. White Cloud takes really good care of himself and is an excellent eater and drinker.
White Cloud hasn’t kicked me for awhile and he is better about handling his front feet, at least.
Did anything funny or strange happen on any of the rides this year?
White Cloud dumped me twice during the year and stayed with me both times and didn’t run away. I was hanging on for dear life. Usually it’s other horses that beat me up. Only one horse fell on top of me this year. It was a pretty good year.
I want to thank all of the people who help with these rides because without them we wouldn’t have them. The Duck does an excellent job of finding new trails and putting it all together to make the rides turn out really great. Thanks to Duane, Duck, Annie, Karen, Lavone, Dwight, Joseph, Al, Tom and anybody and everybody else that helps. You are much appreciated.