Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Good Day to Save The Ta-Tas...

Bays for Boobies
The alarm went off ungawdly early on the morning of the Central/South New Jersey Susan G. Komen Ride for the Cure.  Horse show early, if you get my drift.  As in, what-the-heck-am-I-doing-up-it's-still-dark-out early.  No worries! I
leaptbounded slid out of bed and blindly felt my way to the kitchen and the coffee machine. A swift jolt of caffeine enabled me to crack open at least one eyelid and I was able to do a brief check on the equipment for the day's ride: Pink fly bonnet? Check.  Generously donated ECOGOLD Secure saddle pad with the breast cancer ribbon embroidered on it? Check!  A quick text to my teammate assured me that Sug's pink polos, bell boots, and pink glitter were waiting for her in the trailer. I donned my pink polo, pink sweater, breeches (thankfully not pink - one has to draw the line somewhere) and boots and off I headed, second double shot latte in hand, to the barn.

The Sainted Mare was a tad surprised to see me so early, but a carrot or two convinced her it was worth her while to leave her stall to be groomed and wrapped.  My teammate and friend Marissa arrived with her trailer, with her horse Tucker anxiously awaiting a reunion with the object of his affections. Said Object eagerly loaded onto the trailer, impatient to get to...the haybag.  Didn't matter to Tucker, who sighed contentedly and gazed admiringly at his ladylove while she decimated his hay.

When we arrived at the event it was all systems go as we met up with our other teammates, Ethan and Chrisie, as we needed to pimp out our ponies in their pink finery.  Pink wraps and polos, pink glitter in manes and tails.  Marissa's mom had  made big flower and ribbon wreathes for their tails, so tails needed to be braided quickly in order to secure the tail arraignments.  Marissa had found a breast cancer awareness stencil with pink glitter online, so we stenciled a big old pink ribbon on the horse's rumps.  I added the initials M and a C on Sugar's butt in honor of one friend who survived breast cancer and one who is currently fighting it.  Once we were all pinked-up and pretty we joined the other dolled up riders and set out on course.
Pretty in Pink

It was a crisp fall day and the horses were on their toes and happy to be out.  Our teammate Ethan and his Paso Fino Gitano were the hit of the ride - every time we came to a checkpoint everyone wanted to meet the personable little gelding with the adorable way of going.  Gitano took his newfound celebrity in stride,  graciously allowing his public to adore him.  We trotted and galloped over hill and dale, and of course we came to The Sainted Mare's nemesis - water.  Sugar's philosophy is this: She is a jumper.  Jumpers do not ford water, jumpers leap over water.  So when we got to the itty bitty 2' trickle of water ambitiously termed a stream, I knew what was in store.

Sug (in t he rear)is sure this water thing is NOT a good idea.

Sug was the last in line, and as soon as she saw the water she started hemming and hawing, and working herself into a state.  Everybody else crossed the 2' stream with no issue, taking the easy way up a slight incline on the other side.  Not Princess Aquaphobia of Clan Drama Llama.  She rocked back on her haunches and  launched us straight up in the air, which brought us to the other side of the water, but left us facing a 4' bank.  With a burst of adrenaline fueled energy, the mare scrambled up and over the bank with me holding on for dear life and cussing a blue streak.  Thankfully Ethan was able to get all of this with his iphone camera.

Hanging on for dear life...

We finished the ride, put the horses away, and wandered over to the main staging area for a complimentary lunch and to bid on some cool stuff in the silent auction.  Local merchants had donated their time and wares to the cause - on offer were baskets filled with baby clothes, pet treats, and home goods.  One local carpenter donated a gorgeous tack trunk and bit box.  Show Jumping Olympian Nona Garson donated a lesson to the cause.

While team Bays for Boobies certainly had a lovely time on the Ride for the Cure, more importantly, the Ride raised a total of $41,040.80 for breast cancer research and programs. Team Bays for Boobies raised $2,295, and thanks to some wonderful folks , I was able to raise $590 for the cause.
Go team!  Bays for Boobies was the 4th highest team fundraiser.

I have to admit that at first I felt a bit of guilt, as it seemed odd to be doing something I loved in order to fundraise.  I mean, on one hand it felt like I was asking people to give me money for something I would do anyway (ride).  But then I thought on it a bit more: People run to raise money for breast cancer research, hence the Race for the Cure. I don't run (unless somebody armed is chasing me).  There are Swims for the Cure.  I swam in college, so I could probably get back in the pool and do one of these (but it feels a bit too much like work, you know?)  Turns out there are a variety of events, from bowling to cooking to golfing or driving to raise money and awareness to raise funds to fight battle against breast cancer.  So, in light of this, I was able to drop the guilt and just feel good that I was able to do something, however small, that might make a difference down the road.

Or trail, as the case may be.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who either donated to the cause or wished us well in our efforts -- your support is tremendously appreciated!

Photo by Beth Lewis.  Graphic blandishment by Pam Frisoli.


  1. I smiled through this whole post! Such a great day. Gitano really is becoming a little celebrity... he has been featured on both our blogs quite a bit lately!

  2. Sounds like fun! I love the tail ribbons and also the picture of Sug jumping up the bank!

  3. So sad I couldn't make it this year. Sounds like everyone had a blast!

  4. Thanks for riding for the cure! I hope they really do find a cure someday soon.

  5. Love it! The picture of y'all leaping up the bank is priceless.