this last weekend, me and Raj went on our very first CMO ride. OK, in all fairness, it was MY first CMO ride. Raj has a long history in the sport and I had tons of folks coming up to me and telling me stories about him. he's kinda a rock star, apparently!
CMO is competitive mounted orienteering. you find targets using a map with clues, and a compass. the course is timed, so there's lots of opportunities for long runs as well as some strategy.
we ahd a fantabulous time! Saturday was about finding our feet and testing things out. we found four out of five targets, and it took us 6 hrs. Now, the fastedst teams? finished in an hour or two. Six hours is NOT fast, but we finished for gosh sakes, and got to ride our ponies through pretty pretty woods. score!! plus its kinda cool when you think that we rode for six hours. even the "long course" teams (looking for 10 targets) took less time than that. We are STUDS! I think the seasoned veterens were a little puzzled at our glee :)
. Sunday though, I rode with Rajs owner and another gal and we played the game and actually placed 5th in a field of 17. woot! we finished the short course finding all five targets in 1 hr, 50 min, 40 seconds. Fabulous! lovely long canters trhough woods and open fields punctuated with the occasional stopping and "where the heck are we???"
The CMO crowd is a totally new village to me. but interestinly, there are the same archetypes there that there are in any other group I've ever played with :). I am hoping this is something we can do more of, if transportation and schedules allow!
( here's some photos.... )
High Points: riding my horse for three days in a row and not having my ass fall off. having a day where I could ride and really feel comfortable on my horse and in my tack and just really being in my element. I had major flashbacks to when I was a kid in the redwoods and it was a happy thing :). getting to hang with girlfriends in the pretty woods, sleeping in a tent and listening to my horse munching his hay right outside my tent window. Having a horse that is good at his job, doesnt have a lot of baggage that I can TRUST (the ride was in the same place that Ali dumped me and I broke my finger last year. I kept passing places remembering "oh yeah, this is where she freaked. oh yeah, this is where I came off. oh yeah, this part sucked"
what a lovely lovely weekend. I have to admit that this type of horse activity holds ALOT more interest for me than SCA horse activity....