Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Competitive Mounted Orienteering!

Saturday Morning~!
We drove up to the Harry Osborn State Forest, Back Country Horseman's camp & Les Hilde Trail-head late on Friday evening after Butch arrived home from work.  Our first time heading up I-5 since the bridge has been out.  Getting into Mt. Vernon was a challenge, but the hold-up wasn't nearly as long as we could have expected & we arrived at camp with enough time to set-up before dark.

A new friend Brandi was already there, David pulled in shortly after we did, so our little team of three was complete for Saturday's event!  We woke to a beautiful sunshine morning!  People stirring, horses eating, a friendly camp atmosphere all-round.  We were ready for the pre-ride meeting.   The rules of the game, the course, etc. were discussed.  I'm not going to try to explain the sport in detail - I'm too new to it - but everything you might want to know can be found here - Competitive Mounted Orienteering.
Pre-ride meeting
My teammates briefed me on the use of a compass, our strategy for the ride & some idea of what I should expect once we were out on the trail.  Ride teams draw a card for their time out, teams leave in 5 min. increments.  You receive your map just as you cross the starting line & your time starts!  No pre-planning your ride route!
Our map for this day~
David & Brandi were the navigators!
Our Start :-)
It's funny to see teams leaving, all looking down at their maps!  The first thing to do is to plan the most efficient/short way to the circles - within which are three clues!  On the back of the map, you find the clues that you'll look for at each way-point.
Our Clues!
The idea is to get to the circles on the map, then search for the clues, take a compass reading off each clue, they point to where the plate is hidden in the brush.  Believe me - there were some very creatively hidden plates - but all can be found from horseback!  My challenge was to get Farah to stand still long enough to take a bearing!  She was horrid!  Dancing in place, prancing, thinking that we should be flying down the trails, which we for Sure did!  But!  It was between those circled way-points!  That's where you make all the time you can!
To Be Continued!


  1. That looks like so much fun!

    Looks like a pretty short course, less than 10 miles?

    1. We ended up w/over 13 due in part to a couple wrong turns.

  2. CMO is great for *stand still dammit while I read the compass* :-) I use it for cross training for sure. I will see you at a CMO later in the season, I hope! Capitol Forest is awesome for CMO!

  3. i'm tripping out - you did cmo - at les hilde. you rode with my former teammate, but you probably know that. and confirmed someone i thought might not still be riding, is still on a horse--the one who got me into the sport. i have goosebumps.

    1. You did live here :-) Fred is still riding & riding fine!

  4. i wasn't referring to fred, strangely, my old friend ross seems to be in a photo but not on the ride list and not acting as RM.

    fred always shared his campfire with me and in the morning, his coffee. he took pity on me cuz i mostly camped alone. samantha seems to be grown up now, i guess that was inevitable.

    why was brandi riding someone else's horse? i think that's ruffles, but i'm not sure.

  5. Realized that you must have meant Brandi! Her horse is on re-hab. Really enjoyed meeting her & we're looking forward to more rides together. WE sang Happy Birthday to Samantha this evening - she was 17!


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