Tevis Forum 2014 - page 7

TEVISFORUM 2014
5
A
skme ifwinning the2013TevisCup
changedmy life, and I would have to
answer no, inmost outwardways. But
in every way that matters in my life
as horseman and human, it would be
a resounding yes. More importantly, I
wouldalsosay justwalkingyourhorse
up to the start lineof thismostmajestic
ride in the world would give anyone
the same result.
I first sawQuake as a young five
year-old meandering around large,
lushpasturesatGarrett Ford’s ranch in
Colorado in2010.Therewassomething
about him that toldme Iwould love to
ride him. Quake is a relaxed horse by
nature, with a ton of heart and bound-
less reserves.He is trustingandwilling
andpresent.
Some time later, I was given the
chancetoco-ownhimwithGarrett. Iwill
be forevergrateful for thatopportunity.
Thespringof2013arrived, and I set the
goal of taking him to compete at the
Western States 100-Mile Trail Ride that
year. Iapplied the lessons Ihad learned
through thewisdomof friendsandour
otherhorses,andmadeadreamofwin-
ning the ride.
The trail to theAuburn fairgrounds
began on that dark and dusty morn-
ing at Robie Park, and it was glorious.
Quake moved along with ease. Hav-
ingmy best friends along the route as
an incredible crew team sharing the
experience gaveme confidence.As the
day progressed and the heat became
unrelenting, the little voice of doubt
reared its head. Thoughts of changing
the goal slithered slowly into view. As
we approached the Lower Quarry vet
checkat 94miles, the leaders came into
Winning the Tevis Cup
byRustyToth
sight. IaskedQuake, “Arewe ready for
this?Havewedoneourhomeworkand
prepared for thismoment in time?”My
heart jumpedandQuake’seyessparkled
inthemoonlight.Hewasrightthereand
hewas ready.
Time seemed to stop: the work to
achieve thedreamwas laidout in front
of us very clearly. As we left the vet
check, I just dropped the reins and let
Quake go. We truly became one, my
breath following his every stride. All
of our preparationwas now to be put
to theultimate test. I believed inhim; I
Above right: RustyToth andTake aBreak
(Quake) leadingup toCougarRock.
(photograph byGore/BaylorPhotography)
Left: RustyToth andTake aBreak
(Quake). (photograph byLynneGlazer)
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