Question and Answer session with Clydea Hastie, Adventure Horseback Guide: Part II of II

Last week we posted part I of the interview with Clydea Hasties, today we wanted to give you more of her story:

Interviewer: How do you handle cold in the long endurance races?

Clydea: When it’s really cold you start out with long underpants that are similar to biking shorts, then you have long underwear, then your regular riding pants.  If it’s then raining or snowing, you’ll have on rain pants instead. The ironic thing is, no matter how cold it is, you still perspire. That’s why they have nylon and polyester now, because without it, you don’t dry off, which can cause hypothermia. Now for a woman, if you have to go behind a bush, you get a new kind of problem:  as you go to pull up all the different layers, no matter how careful you are, as you get on the horse you still end up with a big roll on your leg – something that didn’t get pulled up all the way. This is a pain, but you just have to keep riding despite it, there is no time to stop and readjust.

Interviewer: Have there ever been any mishaps on a race?

Clydea: Well, I’ve been really lucky in that way. Not too many. Though on my first race, I had total physical collapse. I finished, but I was throwing up, I had diarrhea, and I was dehydrated because there was no water with you. I thought I was gonna die, but I made it! It took me about 3 days after the ride to be able to walk again in a straight line. I would say I was much worse off than the horse – he did fine!

Interviewer:  So how do you prepare for hot weather?

Clydea: First off, you keep yourself covered to avoid sunburn. With the Tevis Cup one year it was 104 going down into the canyon, and 112 when you got to the bottom! When you are coming out of the canyon, you are tailing your horse and the sweat coming off their bodies is as heavy as when they urinate! Tailing your horse is when you are trying to save their energy on a very steep hill so you have them trained that when you get off, you hold the lead rope and grab their tail as you walk behind – they pull you up the trail. This way at least, they are not having to carry you. It’s amazing that people don’t get paid to do these endurance races, in fact you pay to do all this to yourself! In the early days, there were cash prizes but that was soon ended because there were all kinds of problems.

In the following weeks, we will be posting articles about many of the other skilled, knowledgable guides working for us.  So, please check back!