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MONTH 3 | Takeaways

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MONTH 3 | Takeaways

      • >> Heat and breaking down
      • >> Chafing
      • >> My new shirt
      • >> Know it all horse people
      • >> Resilience
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        Month 3. Santo Domingo Ingenio, Oaxaca to La Guada, Veracruz. 470km
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        The heat is a killer

        Month 3 was all about stupid hot riding thru low elevation areas of southern Mexico. There is no high elevation in this part of the country called the Isthmus, so it’s just a matter of choosing your route north and plugging away. Not the most fun for Roxy and I after having spent 8 months in Guatemala at 1800 metres elevation in a perfect climate of not too hot and not too cold. The good news is that by about August 15, I should be making my way up to the Highlands of Puebla which feature elevations of 2000 metres and more…Then as I head north through the rest of the Republic, I will stay at higher elevations, not descending lower than 1000m if possible. Mexico is a long and skinny country. The high areas in the middle, feature lots of great horse riding country, just not the beaches most tourists are used to seeing.

        My takeaway is that these 2 Canadians like fall like weather, year round.


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        Chafing on Roxy’s face, feet and back

        I wrote about it in Week 11 but really it was an issue that affected Roxy pretty much all of Month 3.
        The areas affected were feet, face and back. From 3 different sources: 2 from bad tack, one from insects/ noxious weeds. The X factor being the excessive heat. With extra heat and humidity, chafing takes longer to heal and adds to an already high stress level. Life becomes all around unpleasant. When the chafing becomes really bad, you can’t move forward. And then you’re stuck in a hot humid place far from home. FVCK that.
        I have been pretty lucky over the last 475 of long riding to not encounter much chafing. I can fix it, but not always easily or quickly. I have found I much prefer to prevent it in the first place.
        Eliminating the potential friction areas is your number #1 method to prevent chafing.
        That is why I’m so adamant on using a memory foam saddle pad, not having bags flap all over, as well as using gaiterless hoofboots.

        My takeaway is that A HORSE EXPEDITION is deadly serious so prepare accordingly.



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        Sporting the new shirt at a horse travel presentation.

        I got my new custom made trip shirt at the end of Month 2, after having it designed and made in Tuxtla, Chiapas. It was delivered to Arriba with much thanks to Gerardo Chairez for having it delivered as well as sponsoring some of the costs. I like it a lot for the most part except for 3 things: 1. the LRG logo is missing their name. 2. the logos on the back are too low. 3 the material is way thicker than was ordered. That’s why I barely wore it over the last month as it’s just too hot. BUT IT’S STILL AWESOME. Take a look at our featured sponsors and ride benificiary here.

        My New Trip Shirt is Awesome!



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        Horse know it alls are everywhere

        I encounter know it all horse people all of the time. In real life and on line. The typical know it all projects their knowledge and experience of horses onto mine, without reflecting on what makes horse travel unique and intrinsically different.
        Well known horse people, absolute experts in their field, have fallen guilty of this, just like your ignorant horse know it all. When the reputable horse expert gives you advice it’s logical that you would take it. It’s only after when their advice comes to nothing, or even worse, sama, that you realize that they were only speaking from their world and know nothing about mine.

        LET’S BE CLEAR: Horse travel is not simply more of a day ride, or a weekend ride or an endurance ride.

        HORSE TRAVEL is an completely unique form of horse enjoyment with very specific and different requirements, of which few horse people know ANYTHING about.
        Horse travel means you will be away from home for months, in places you’ve never been, with no quick access to things you normally take for granted.

        The place to find information about horse travel is THE LONG RIDERS GUILD. Click the image below for more info.


        You wont find this info at your tack store, nor with your recreational horse riding friends, nor with your average horse owner. These people will inadvertently steer you wrong, again and again and again. Learn from LRG and other riders who have successfully ridden large distances far from home.

        My takeaway is that it’s a harsh truth, but most horse experts know diddly squat about horse travel.



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        Pushing on…

        My shipping fiasco earlier in the trip was replaced with extreme heat and new equipment that just wasn’t working out. In some ways it felt like my trip had started really bad. My goal was simply to make it out of the heat alive. The stress has been high, but because I’ve stuck to my low mileage routine, Roxy in some ways has only gotten stronger. I can only imagine what she will be like when we get up into the cooler areas where we will finally feel normal again.

        Resilience is what is keeping me keeping on. Keep your eyes on the prize.

        Thanks for reading!

        MONTH 3 | Takeaways

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