Endurance develops strength of character in us~ Romans 5:4 NLT

Farah

When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have ~
Sir Winston Churchill
June 2016, Nehalem Bay, OR

History~  Farah arrived on the Homestead late in the evening June 4th, 2011 - after we'd completed a one day, round-trip to central Oregon to pick her up.  Five at that time, she's registered with the American Warmblood Society & of mixed pedigree.  (Our first new horse since Khari's arrival in 2005.)  
Farah, first day on the Homestead, June 2011
My niece purchased Farah - as she was turning two.  We'd visited a couple times, always impressed with the mare.  When she was put up for sale - I talked Butch into letting me giver her a try.  (I was tiring of Endurance & planned to sell my endurance mare, Khari.)  The hope was for Farah to fit into our little family on the Homestead & possibly become my Retirement Ride :-) 
June 2012, six-years old~
Along with her easy going temperament & super nice manners, she's considered a Chocolate Palomino - except that her mane has turned even darker than her body!  The tail is still platinum silver & very thick!  This is our first time with a non-Arabian & we're liking it!  Here's a post about her breeding.   After my first ride out on the trails, I came home with a smile.  Farah had a great attitude & loved getting out.  She'd spent most of her life stabled. 

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2011, Farah had been started under saddle & spent some time in arenas - but had only been on a couple short trail rides around the stable where she was boarded.  The first time I saddled her up, Post~  I was thrilled!  It was back to basics - long slow distance, time on the trails.  We receive many compliments from our riding friends on how happy & willing Farah was!  I fell in love with her swinging, fast, ground covering walk!  Very little spooking, lots of forward!  All Good!  
She spent the winter & on into spring - on Dean's farm, recovering from some type of "scratches" on her left hind leg.  This actually worked out OK, since Khari had decided she didn't like Farah & tried to kick her every time we turned them out...  The feelings were mutual. 
Farah at Granite Falls Thoroughbred Farm, June 2012

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2012, Our second year.  I'd sold my other mare Khari & she shipped out to Texas. (First stop on her way to Saudi Arabia.)  It was a stellar riding year, due in large part to my long-time friend Linda, who led us on some of the most fantastic rides!  Logging up to 30+ miles a week, "swishing" through the trees & riding all day long!  We took a few lessons at Fire Run Farm in Snohomish, WA - with Cowboy Dressage as a possible goal.  Over Labor Day weekend, we took a private lesson  from Jack Brainard at the Northwest Natural Horsemanship Center
During our lesson with Jack~
August 4th, we enter the Bare Bones Endurance ride, where we finished 7th &  Farah was Awarded High Vet Score!  This ride also gave me my AERC 250-mile patch in Limited Distance.    
Farah trots out for Best Condition Judging~
The 18th, I audited a Cowboy Dressage Clinic with Eitan-Beth Halachmy  at Rhodes River Ranch.  We completed the WJ1 test.  Challenging for a rider who's spent very little time in arenas.
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January 2013 -  We started lessons with Sandra France Nichols at Ensbrook Farm.  When discussing goals, I decided to have Sandra to concentrate on Farah's training under saddle -  collection, impulsion, cadence & control.
Valentine's Weekend, we drove to Bolender Horse Park to participate in a Mountain & Extreme Trail course.  This was very challenging & a Lot of fun!  Day One~  Day Two~   
April was a busy month for us, we spent the weekend of the 20-21st. - at Butlerhill Equestrian Center & took Bill Richey's - Mounted Police Horse Training!  On the 27th - we attended the ATCHA Competitive Ride at the WA State Horse park!
With our Friends~
May 19th,  Scheduling finally worked out in our favor & Farah was presented for her American Warmblood Inspection - at Chalice Farms, Polsbo, WA - where she received "Red Preferred" status!  This qualified her for the AWS brand!

Farah's Official Registration
June 29th, we make the trip to Naches, WA for the  Renegade Endurance Ride & entered the Limited Distance.  Post~  Finishing in second place, Farah was awarded Best Condition! 
Renegade Endurance Ride - photo by Jessica Anderson
The first weekend of August, we again drove to Capitol Forest & entered the Bare Bones - 30-mile Limited Distance Ride.  We finished a strong third against some tough competition & had a great time. 

Butch trots Farah for BC judging.  (Photo by Jessica Anderson)
Earlier this year I found & signed up to participate in the Great HorseTrailRiders Distance Derby.  This is a group of riders from the mid-west who've started a virtual horse race.  Each rider logs their miles by GPS during the year.  All are tallied at year end for bragging rights :-)
The day we reached 1,000 miles~
We finished the year in fourth place!   

 Farah was awarded High Mileage Horse - in the Derby for 2013!  

Our actual miles - including the month of January, plus a ride I forgot to post -1,478.  Last ride of the year ~  Post~

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 2014,  We were back out on the trails!  Logging miles again, for this years Distance Derby
May 17th - Farah started in her first real (A ride of 50-miles or more.)   Endurance Ride - Mt. Adams.  Finishing 6th place (out of 50 starters), covering the 55-miles in 7-hours.  I enjoyed this ride more than almost any I can remember.  Farah made it easy on me & took good care of herself.

Mt. Adams Endurance Ride

August 2nd, for the third time - Farah & I entered the Bare Bones 30-mile Limited Distance ride.

Bare Bones LD - At the finish - 3rd place

It was cooking hot with lots of bees & bugs out in force!  Even so, Farah had her take charge attitude in full swing!  We kept up with the front runners until the last few miles when I backed off the pace - still finishing over an half-hour ahead of the fourth place horse!  

2014 Distance Derby

By years end - we'd finished second place - in the Derby!  Thrilled with the miles we'd traveled, since all but 85 were on the trail.

Farah's Award

Farah was again awarded High Mileage Horse!  She was super all year & now expects to be ridden often!  I wish we had a job to do out there somewhere :-)  Our final ride was on our own & out from home - Post~  

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2015,  I've decided to back-off the push for mileage & let this year take us where it may.  With the help of a couple friends, we've started the Washington Trail Riders Distance Derby!  This year marks my twentieth in endurance, I can't quite give it up completely & hope to attend at least a ride or two :-)

In March, we were invited on a road-trip to Southern, CA.  The scenery was amazing the riding more so!  I'm very thankful to have had the opportunity.  I posted the stories of each of our rides.  First ride~

Near Joshua Tree National Park~

May 16th - We entered the Mt. Adams Endurance Ride for the second time.  Post~  Farah won the 55-mile ride in 5 hours 24 min.  She was just outstanding all day, proving to me that she has the bottom & the brains to get the job done!

Mt. Adams Endurance Ride~

We did a lot of horse camping this season & my favorite thing - riding in new country! :-)  All this year - still looking for, or waiting for, a saddle.  Even with the warmest Summer on record we again topped 1,000-miles on the trail. Finally, the end of November our saddle arrived!  The Stonewall
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 2016,  It's unreal how fast the time goes when you're having fun!   (I handed the reins of the WTRDD over to a friend for 2016.)  This year - no special goals, just the fun stuff :-)   

In April, we made our second trip to the Quincy Area, enjoying another amazing ride to the Cave B Winery

Tied to the grape arbor!

May 21st - We were prepared for the Mt. Adams Endurance Ride.  Backing off a very fast pace & finishing in second - Farah was awarded Best Condition.  Post~  It's fun for us to have a goal to work toward - even if I'm no longer interested in doing ride after ride.  Mt. Adams; perfect trails - a beautiful ride camp & this year - a visit with good friends.  Farah was ready & she proved it in a big way.  Thank You John, for the terrific trot-out!  

John Stevens trots Farah for Best Condition judging~

June, we enjoyed our yearly trip to Nehalem State Park in OR.  Little did we know then - that it would probably be our last. Several days of surf & sand - nothing like it!

Farah - sunset

Later in the month - we attended a clinic with Russell Beatty at a friends farm in Monroe.  It was fun for us both & nice to learn new & useful techniques.

Farah with Russell~

By early July, our world changed.  The trails I'd ridden on for over 25-years were being destroyed by new development.  Farah & I had our last ride Out from Home~

Last ride from Home~

Soon, the Homestead was sold & we were on the road to Iowa!  Change is the one constant of life & this year we made many.  Farah is now stabled for the first time since we've owned her & we're doing our best to adjust to that.  She is happy to be near other horses & we have a whole new part of the country to explore!
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2017,  Now that we've found ourselves in Iowa, it's been a year of discovering new places to ride.  Challenging too, to get in the saddle time I used to.  The weather takes a huge chunk of the calendar when it comes to ride-able days.  January is one of the coldest months.  It wasn't until my birthday in February that we hit the trails at; Two Rivers State Recreation Area in NE.
At Two Rivers~
Over the course of the year, we explored most available places to ride within 50 +/- miles of home.  We've met some new friends, connected with an old friend & saw some incredibly beautiful country.  February was wet, we were only out once.
March 4th - Indian Caves State Park, NE - the Missouri
March gave us a couple really nice days when the trails were dry enough to ride.  One of my favorite views, is the one above of the Missouri River.  Both Farah & I are loving the wide-open vista's.

Spring brought the wind, rains & mud.  The gorgeous greens came on quickly, along with much warmer temperatures.  March & April were so wet, There were only a few days that the trails were open.  By May though - we finally had riding weather!
Indian Caves, May 27th - The Missouri
With summer came the heat, humidity & bugs.  We both adapted to the high humidity & heat better than I expected.  The bugs though - were horrible.  Sprays, masks & still we were both bitten every ride.  I'm told that our deep freeze this winter will kill a lot of them off.  I hope that's true!
Fall at Waubonsie
Fall brought with it, the best riding weather of the year. We had temperatures in the 50's & it stayed dry. With the steep hills at Waubonsie & the hill in her paddock, Farah stayed in incredible shape all year.
At Lake of Three Fires~
We did get in a couple of camping trips that were really fun! One in September - to Brushy Creek Recreation Area - a place that actually has miles & miles of trails. The other with our new friend Margie, at Lake of Three Fires.
On the Wabash Trace, December 
We also re-discovered the Wabash Trace - the closest place to home that we can go. Also the most miles & beautifully remote in a few places. With Butch working, I don't have the opportunity for week long, out-of-state camping trips that are popular in the summer. My riding has always been during the week & closer to home. I was surprised that we did travel the trails for over 400-miles. To ride those miles, I drove over 4,000 on the road.

No endurance ride for us this season.  My goal of at least a ride-a-year for ten-years with Farah will not be met.  With no rides in IA & having to pull health paperwork to travel out-of-state, I just didn't get it done.  We were busy with projects at home & my ambitions have waned.  It's been fun though - to explore all the different parks.
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May 9, 2015 Mt. Blanchard Overlook
 I'm appreciative of every ride on this incredible mare & love every minute I spend with her.  It seems a waste, she's still so young & talented to retire to what trail riding I've managed to do here.  But, we're still together, adjusting to the changes & looking forward to what the future brings~

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