Tag Archives: travel

Racing the Wild Coast – Movie Coming Soon!

Do you have goosebumps yet?

In October 2016, team riders Sarah and Rose rode in the inaugural Race the Wild Coast from Port Edward to Kei Mouth in South Africa.  Throughout the race, they and ten other riders were filmed on their journey… the product of which will be coming soon to your screens!  Stay tuned here and at the Rockethorse site and we will keep you informed of the release date as it becomes available!

What was it like to be filmed while riding this epic race?

 

Sarah and Asad being filmed during vetting later in the race. Photo courtesy of Rockethorse Racing.

“I am not going to lie, I avoided the film crew at first.  I was worried that taking time to interview with them on my holds would slow down my vet checks – and having efficient vet checks and horse changes was my strategy for the race.  Any time I saw them approaching I would make myself busy… fussing over my horse or my pack.  Once I had my routine down later in the race, I took some time to let them in.”

-Sarah

Sam and Monde catch up to Sarah. Photo courtesy of Rockethorse Racing.

“We would be riding on a goat track the edge of a cliff with a hundred metre drop straight to the ocean.  Then we would hear the whip whip whip sound of the helicopter approaching and just think ‘oh crap, what is coming next?’  ‘don’t spook, don’t spook, don’t spook’ and of course ‘don’t look at it you fool, they told you not to and wave at the cameras.  Slap a smile on your face and pretend that your chafed damp legs aren’t stinging like a thousand wasps got in your pants.  You are having fun remember?’  Later in the race when I was alone fighting to keep Asad moving, the familiar sound of the chopper told me that Sam and Monde were closing in.  It was a telltale sign that something exciting was about to happen.”

-Sarah


Jamie following Rose on her second horse Eclipe into a vet check. Photo courtesy of Rockethorse Racing.

“My headlamp turned out to be water resistant, not ‘swim rivers’ water proof.  The second morning, getting ready in the dark, I was quite happy to have the camera crew following me around with their bright lights.”

-Rose

“At a certain point, I found myself looking for the camera crew when something hilarious or frustrating was happening.  It started to feel like a natural extension of whatever it is that drives me to blog in the first place.  Sometimes when I’m trying to write a blog and reconstruct an event and find the right pictures, I think how much more convenient it would be if I just had a camera crew.  That said, I don’t like seeing myself in photos or on video.  Seeing myself on video, I can’t help wondering if I look that goofy all the time.

-Rose

 


And if you are feeling motivated and inspired by the video, why not apply for a spot in the 2018 race?

Can’t make it for one reason another?  Not to worry, Ashley will do it so you don’t have to.  Help her fundraising efforts by purchasing an ESRR tee or hoodie!

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Horse Day at Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week

Thanks to a recommendation from her sponsor, Mad Barn, Sarah was invited to speak at Horse Day  during the 51st Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week on the topic of travel and horses.

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Our drive up was not at all  bad, despite what the radio station was telling everyone.  The event suffered unusually low turnout for the event but those who attended were very engaged.

Sarah shared stories and her experiences from travelling to Mongolia for the Mongol Derby, herding horses in Iceland and recently competing in South Africa for Race the Wild Coast. Attendees were treated to some never before seen helmet cam footage which we will be sharing here and on our Facebook page in the coming weeks.

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Sarah’s talk received many compliments and there was never a quiet moment at the Eat Sleep Ride Repeat booth as people were excited to hear more about her adventures in Mongolia, Iceland and South Africa and what the next plans were.

The only suggestion we have to improve the event is that we would have loved to have more time to talk with visitors to our booth. The trade show and speaker area were in the same room so while it was great to be able to man the booth and listen to the presentations, many great conversations were cut short because the next speaker was about to begin.

It was great to see familiar faces and make new friends and especially nice to see so many people not only interested in the travel stories but wanting to know more about how to get into endurance and distance riding.

horse day

We would like to thank the organizers, staff, volunteers, and anyone else who made this event possible. The Eat Sleep Ride Repeat team would love to be back next year, hopefully with some more fantastic stories, this time from our adventure from Shore to Shore!

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Through the Fields and Over the Jumps

It’s a little over three hours’ drive all the way to Ottawa, but gosh was it worth it. The Ottawa Valley Hunt Club does drag hunting and, for people that don’t know about hunting, a drag hunt is a set path the hounds follow that the “fox” has been. This is much faster than live hunting since the hounds aren’t spending time looking for a scent. There were so many jumps in Ottawa set up and so many lovely views. Instead of driving up on the day of the hunt we decided to drive up the day before to get the ponies ready without a rush and so we wouldn’t have to wake up at 4am. At the hunt we got to meet so many new people and even people that have ridden in an OCTRA event.

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Whenever I jump Desi I’m always slightly worried she’ll stop since so many times she has done this before. Luckily for me that thought never crossed her mind, or else I seriously would have gotten hurt. Many of the jumps we were galloping over to stay with the rest of the field, but we didn’t really have to encourage them on any either they were ready and raring to go. There were so many jumps I couldn’t even count, logs, tires, brush and even drops. The one benefit Ottawa has compared to us is that it’s very flat so the chases can be a lot faster and longer since they don’t have to deal with hills.

The weather couldn’t have been better for a November day. Just mainly wind since it’s so flat, but because we were moving almost all of the time we warmed up very quickly.

We got home at around 8 and then I had to wake up the next day for my first day of work at a coffee/bake shop in Port Hope. Well… I’m still working at the shop 3 weeks later for knowing nothing about coffee or espresso I think I’m doing pretty good.

 

Hunting with Toronto North York Hunt

October 22nd was my first joint hunt, Beaver meadow hunt club (my hunt club) and Toronto North York. The last couple of hunts I’ve ridden at I’ve unfortunately fallen off at, not gotten hurt, but an unplanned dismount definitely took place. First on what I thought my most trusted mount was, but apparently not Angel decided to run my through the trees instead of going over a jump. The next time I tried another horse, the one that is “safe for everyone,” well apparently not this time. It wasn’t really Liza’s fault there was a dip in the ground and she found it. We were cantering threw this field and I did a summersault over the front of her successfully landing on my feet, with everyone watching me. I looked down at the ground on the right side of me and began to laugh with everyone asking if I was okay, to a response of “oh my gosh that was such a rush.”

Well third times a charm? This hunt was very close to the Dufferin forest, so for where I live it’s about a 3.5hr drive. Instead of driving up on the day we drove up the day before and stayed at a very nice ranch that does horseback trail riding and has a nice little place for sleeping in. When we woke up in the morning it was snowing, not super hard, but still, Snow? Really? The hunt was great, sadly I only got to jump two coops, but I was still very happy how my third horse did. Desi did amazing, only refusing once but getting over it the second time on one and then going straight over the second jump.

I’d also like to put in this post of how happy and proud I am of my teammate Sarah for doing amazing at her South Africa race. No matter where she placed, to travel thousands of kilometers to a new place. Somewhere with a new culture, horses you haven’t seen before let alone ridden before and many other differences compared to Canada. For coming third that is amazing, congratulations.

-Solstice

 

Checking in from Korea

I have a few hours to burn here in Korea so I thought I might update you all on how the travel has went.

Mom and Lee dropped me off at Pearson this morning… err… yesterday morning?  Ok technically yesterday because I crossed the date line, but I haven’t seen night in almost 24 hours.

Mom snapped a photo of me, zoomed in and said “i want to zoom in so you can see eat sleep ride repeat”.  I thought she said “I want to zoom in so you can see sleep deprived”  Yes I was off to a good start.  My attempts to pre-lag myself were showing.

I begged and pleaded and was able to take my saddle as carry on luggage, despite it being grossly oversize.  Everyone from Korean airlines were so kind.

(please take into account I wanted to add photos in here but couldnt figure it out because all the computer commands at this workstation are in korean)

I boarded up and got a window seat, second from the front behind prestige class, just in front of the wing.  We took off headed north, and I could just make out the chartright logo beneath us – the last flicker of my normal life – and my throat got a little tight.

Almost immediately we were served lunch – unfortunately no vegetarian options, so I had some fish in brown sauce.  It tasted ok, but wasn’t much to look at.  Eating the leftover catering from caterer demonstrations has given me unrealistic expectations of air-food.  Uhh, where are my imported premium cheeses and fresh fruit?  I guess its better than whats coming, suck it up!

I had taken my sleeping pill just before lunch and was worried I woudl pass out in hot green tea, or my mushy brown fish.  The baby in front of me peered between the seats and reached back and tried to grab the bun off my plate. No way are you getting my bun baby!

And then I waited.  I tossed and turned.  Nope, the sleeping pills werent making me sleepy – just twitchy, headache and made my mouth taste horrible.  This is going to be a long flight.

I managed to watch some reruns and play some games on my own tv, and time very slowly passed.  Dinner came, and it was pretty similar to lunch.  No thieves at least.

Somewhere around midnight Toronto time, I managed to wedge my head between my seat and the window (there was too big a gap to lean on the window to sleep) and wound myself up and slept for brief periods of time.  Another failure at preventing my jet lag.  Fortunately, there were lots of times I had to roll over and get the kinks out of my neck, so I got nothing more than a nap – there is still hope I can wake up tomorrow on a mongolian schedule.  I also got interrupted by the screaming baby chorus.  I thought I had an ideal seat – so close to the front so I was fed first, and less bumpy in front of the wing, and not close to the lav.  Nope, the front row is Stroller Boulevard.  They even had little bassinets that stuck to the wall for babies.  So I literally had every screaming baby in front of me in the plane, assuring my sleep deprivation will lead to a nice sleep in the hotel.  The other bright side is that perhaps my worry of sleeping out on the steppe is not necessary.  I am usually very princess and the pea, but a 12 hour flight broke me. I am hoping I dont have to use the sleeping pills… they dont make me feel sick, just weird. And I hate the taste they give me.

So then I enter into the Inchon airport in Seoul (where I am writing from now).  I lug my mega bag with saddle and etc through security and into the terminals.  And boy am I hungry.  Time to get Lunch!  Or whatever you want to call it (I arrived at 3pm local time, 2am toronto time).  I walk the airport for literally an hour and have only managed to find a starbucks and a juice bar.  There are LOTS of designer purse stores, cosmetics, electronics… but no food?  Is that why everyone on this side of the world is so short? They just don’t eat?  Surely this cant be true!  Eventually I found one snack stand which offered more than cookies, and got a “beef” curry.  I had to emphasize that because I am pretty sure there was no beef in it, thats ok, I am happy with lentils.  The server giggled profusely when I tried to sign my visa on their touch screen card reader.  Apparently it isn’t done that way.  I really had no idea… the instructions said “Happy Sign”  Uhhh?

I finished it off with a starbucks to keep this insomnia going until I reach Ulan.  I had a couple interesting things to pick from… mango pudding frappucino?  Green tea cream frappucino?  They all sounded wonderful, but I needed one with a big hit of coffee so I went with a good ol’ (international) standby of Java Chip.  Thankfully so too, because they were calling out the orders in Korean of course, and if I got something I didnt know inside and out, I may have walked off with someone elses order (red bean frappucino anyone?).  I am going to have fun with their menu on the way home I think (now that I sort of know what I am doing).  I also bagged a really delicious looking almond and orange muffin for the next flight – im not sure if they are going to feed me as its pretty short and not dinner time (or at least what time we eat dinner in Canada)

Some other bizzarre things about the airport – I found a place that offers free showers from 8-6.  I dont stink yet so I am going to pass, but nice offering!  Also free massage chairs, free charging stations, and loungers and beds everywhere.  I am sticking to the internet cafe as I dont want to risk passing out on the lounger but I have to say it looks soooo tempting!

I also realize now that I left my Eat Sleep Ride Repeat sweater on the plane.  Oh well, I guess its a gift to someone now.  Lets hope all my luggage with my other sweater comes through!