Thursday, December 6, 2012

Team 55 - Parys*

I’m Shari Parys from Gretna, Nebraska, and I’m excited to rejoin the Distance Derby for another go in 2013!  

While my main partner, Mika, and I did not reach our final mileage milestone in the 2012 Derby, we did achieve many successes.  The miles spent competing in CTR or camping with friends, or on our own enjoying beautiful trails or working on skills in the arena, all added up to a great year and awesome memories and achievements.  

While Mika (14yo Foxtrotter) will again be my main mount, I will also share miles with Wiley (15yo Paint) and Lucy (8yo 1/2 Arab).  Though my initial goal last year was to just make it to the top half of the leader board, we were blessed with more riding than usual and ended in the Top 20.  I stopped short when December hit and instead threw my time into an extra job to save up for a stellar 2013, which will involve much more riding, hauling, competing, camping, and time spent on the trail with my good horses and great friends!

2012 / 684.20 Miles / 18th Place


  1. Shari Parys
    I am in the Derby!

  2. Good to see you back Shari! :-)

  3. 1.40 miles on Mika
    Finally on the board!
    Riding around the yard and a bit on the road since everything is either muddy or icy.

    max speed 6.2mph
    moving avg 3.8mph

  4. Awesome Shari! Glad you got on the board. I am looking forward to riding with you this year :-)

    1. Thanks, Diane! And thanks for taking over the Derby work. We will certainly share more trails together this year. It's so fun to have you in Nebraska. :)

  5. Finally out on a trail! Loaded up Mika to get some miles in at Two Rivers. Took it easy between our time off from riding and a few slick spots, but it was a beautiful day to be out on a trail.

    7.64 miles (9.04 YTD)
    3.9 mph moving avg
    10.5 mph max

  6. 5.24 miles (14.28 YTD)
    4.4 mph moving avg
    8.0 mph max

    Decided to ride around home since I have to work this afternoon. The fields were in much better shape than I anticipated! Frozen enough for solid footing and just a dusting of snow left. Mika was a rock star. Time to get legged back up for our first CTR at the end of April! I was hoping to ride more over the winter, but instead I worked and he ate while it's been nasty out.

  7. 4.07 miles (18.35 YTD)
    4.4 mph moving avg
    7.7 mph max

    Wanted to fit in another ride before work at 12:00, since it seemed nice and sunny. But by the time we got started, the clouds came in and the wind picked up. Glad I was bundled up! A chilly ride but footing was still good, so I'm glad we went out to pick up some more miles and conditioning.

  8. 2.56 miles (20.91 YTD)
    4.4 mph moving avg
    7.4 mph max

    Short ride after work through the bean fields. Can't wait for another hour of daylight after work!

  9. 4.21 miles (25.12 YTD)
    4.2 mph moving avg
    7.0 mph max

    Fields were deeper than past few rides due to warm weather and the thaw. Not quite as warm as I was wishing after work, with clouds and wind, and Mika was more frisky. Glad we got a few more miles before the wonderful rain came!

  10. 2.62 miles (27.74 YTD)
    4.6 mph moving avg
    12.3 mph max

    Back from the CTR convention in time to take a quick ride. Moved out a little more despite soft fields.

  11. 2.4 miles (30.14 YTD)
    4.9 mph moving avg
    11.1 mph max

    Sunny and dry so rode out in the wind since snow is predicted later in week. Mika was a bit goosier than usual but fields are dry enough for more loping. Good ride then fetched a black trash bag blowing on the road for some possible desensitizing, but it was no big deal for Whitey. :)

  12. 7.31 miles (37.45 YTD)
    4.5 mph moving avg
    12.2 mph max

    Headed over to Two Rivers to get more miles. Overcast and breezy, but nice in the trees. Mika and I had a good ride as the only horse in the park. Snowflakes were starting to fly as we headed back to the trailer. Still a bit behind where I want to be for the first CTR, but he is doing well and Mother Nature is not making it easy!

  13. 3.30 miles (40.75 YTD)
    4.3 mph moving avg
    11.2 mph max

    Beautiful night for a ride in the fields. Snow is mostly gone and fields weren't too soft, though for our pasture's sake, I wish we had more moisture!

  14. 8.09 miles (48.84 YTD)
    4.3 mph moving avg
    14.3 mph max

    Two Rivers was in great shape after last night's rain. Only horse in the park again but could see someone else was out before me today. What a beautiful day for ride! We did move out quite a bit but also spent more time than usual checking out the new green grass. :)

  15. 6.54 miles (55.38 YTD)
    3.6 mph moving avg
    5.5 mph max

    Opening night of PRR. Took a short solo ride first then enjoyed a good night with the group. Mika got a bit excited when we came back to join the group but then settled fairly well. He's been ridden solo for many miles and months.

  16. 3.26 miles (58.64 YTD)
    4.7 mph moving avg
    11.2 mph max

    Caught a quick ride through the bean field and then worked in the arena. Enjoyed a beautiful night on a smooth horse.

  17. 11.76 miles (70.4 YTD)
    3.7 mph moving avg
    7.3 mph max

    Nice ride with Robin at Wilderness Park. We even saw an owl up close, calmly watching us ride by. I love those moments that Nature catches you by surprise with such a treat!

  18. 6.87 miles (77.27 YTD)
    4.5 mph moving avg
    12.9 mph max

    Truck is in the shop so Mika and I rode the fields again. It wasn't nearly as muddy and deep as I thought it would be after the rain/sleet/snow. The grass has really come up in the past week and Mika is shedding like crazy, so surely Spring is coming!

  19. 3.15 miles (80.42 YTD)
    4.7 mph moving avg
    11.8 mph max

    Decent night to ride through the fields, especially since the rest of the week does not look promising with low temps and more possible $%!# snow. I'm not sure we will have a Spring this year. :( Mika was super good and relaxed.

  20. 4.10 miles (84.52 YTD)
    4.7 mph moving avg
    12.7 mph max

    Quick ride at Two Rivers. Almost didn't go since it was so cold, windy and cloudy at home, but we had a good ride. It was nice enough to ride longer but I had to leave and get ready for work.

  21. 9.01 miles (93.53 YTD)
    4.6 mph moving avg
    12.6 mph max

    Back to Two Rivers since short on time and not sure how muddy other places are. Good ride and only felt the wind when along the river. Even came across a fox out sunning himself.

  22. 5.27 miles (98.8 YTD)
    4.7 mph moving avg
    12.0 mph max

    Last ride before our first CTR of the year. Headed back to Two Rivers to have the best footing. Mika was good and relaxed, except for the blow up turkey decoys in the middle of the trail. They obviously didn't look like our rubber ones at home! Mushroom hunters are getting thicker.

  23. 4/27/13 20.57 miles
    4/28/13 17.75 miles
    (137.12 YTD)

    Nickers 'N Neighs CTR at Perry Lake, KS. Great ride despite the rain on Friday night, cool temps on Saturday, and hot sun on Sunday. Mika was pretty good except for a few buddy and patience issues. 5th in Horse and 1st in Horsemanship

  24. Congrats on over 100 miles, and congrats on your 5th & 1st at the CTR! See you Friday at Kanopolis :-)

    1. Thanks! Looking forward to seeing you and Jordan. :)

  25. 5/2/13
    1.07 miles (138.19 YTD)
    5.2 mph moving avg
    9.8 mph max

    Quick ride in mud and snow to check soundness and attitude before Kanopolis CTR.

  26. 5/4/13 22.10 miles
    5/5/13 18.38 miles
    Miles include warm up before timing out for the ride
    (178.67 YTD)

    Ahhhhh. A weekend at my favorite CTR - Kanopolis. Cold and incredibly windy on Saturday, but much nicer today. I love the beauty of that park, the red rock formations and canyons, the deep water crossings, and excellent footing. Mika was a very good boy overall. 3rd in Horse and 1st in Horsemanship.

  27. Congrats on Mika's 3rd and your 1st :-)

  28. 5/10/13 0.69 miles
    5/11/13 5.83 miles
    (185.19 YTD)

    Short ride on Friday to practice a few things and check Mika's temperament and soundness after the CTR and before the clinic.

    Saturday was a great CTR clinic where we experienced a few light bulb moments! I am excited to continue the lessons at home and hopefully see a difference at rides. It was great to watch friends break through some issues and make incredible progress in a short time.

  29. I had a great time at the clinic. Cheri is a great teacher :-) Thanks for organizing it and telling me about it!

  30. 5/15/13 2.03 miles
    (187.22 YTD)

    Short ride in the arena to practice some of our lessons from Saturday's clinic.

  31. 5/16/13 2.20 miles
    Rode Mika with 4-H girls on Sid, Wiley, and Lucy. Nice to get so many of the herd out!

    5/18/13 20.20 miles
    5/19/13 13.08 miles
    Hill & Dale CTR. Hot and muddy on Saturday, then rain that night and Sunday morning for a cooler start and more mud. Despite the weather, it was a great ride and the miles went by quickly. Mika and Dan are settling in after these several weeks of competing and were very good and consistent. We've made noticeable progress in areas after our clinic! Lost a few P&R points with the heat and humidity. 6th in Horse, 2nd in Horsemanship.

    (222.7 miles YTD)

  32. Yay! You got over 200 miles! Glad you had fun at the CTR :-)

  33. 2.04 miles
    (224.74 YTD)

    Tried out a different bit and then an s-hack on Mika. Short ride in the arena and down the road to check communication since the hackamore is new to both of us.

  34. 5/24/02
    2.04 miles (224.74 YTD)

    Trying new tack on Mika. Short ride in the arena to test our communication. I posted this on Friday but don't see it now, so posting again.

    1. Hmmm, now that I retyped it, the first one is showing up. Is Yahoo somehow connected to this site? LOL

  35. 7.29 miles (232.03 YTD)
    4.1 mph moving avg
    13.9 mph max

    Took Mika to Two Rivers to try the s-hack in a bigger busier environment. I think we both love it. Saw three fox there and had a great ride. Unfortunately we brought home 117 ticks! Ick! I'm sure there's more but that was all we could take for that session of tick removal.

  36. 6/30/13
    1.78 miles
    Short ride at our lay over at Hillsdale Lake. Just long enough to stretch their legs as the trails were muddy and we were short on daylight.

    18.73 miles
    First day of the Flying R Ranch CTR. Major flooding in the area caused many reroutes of the trail and we ended up mainly on roads for the day. Maybe it was from lack of sleep from two nights of thunderstorms, but both Mika and I were off our game and making mistakes we never do. Glad we both picked the same weekend to screw up!

    19.28 miles
    Second day of the CTR. Flood waters started to recede and we were able to ride a limited amount of trails. No creek crossings were safe, so missed most of the best riding but still beautiful. Much better ride for us but still not enough to outweigh our biffs from Saturday. 4th place Horse & Horsemanship

    271.82 miles YTD

  37. So glad everything worked out OK. I watched the weather down there and was praying for everyone!

  38. 6/15/13
    2.44 miles in morning
    20.45 miles in afternoon

    9.63 miles

    304.34 miles YTD

    Headed to Turkey Creek to look at trails for our September CTR. Caught in a rain storm Saturday morning, so worked on our rain route that afternoon while it was still slick on the hills. Sunday was beautiful and hills were dry so headed to High Country and explored Brennan's. Glad I took the chance going with rain in the forecast, as it was a very productive weekend!

  39. Did you go by yourself Shari? Sounds like a great weekend AND you got over the 300 miles mark :-) Congrats!

    1. Mary met me there. With a good chance of rain in the forecast I didn't invite others in case it was a total wash out. It's a long drive and for a while I thought I might only get 2.44 miles in!

  40. 2.36 miles (306.7 miles YTD)

    Just a short ride during 4-H practice but good to be back in the saddle after rain, vacation and long work days have kept me grounded.

  41. 2.55 miles (309.25 miles YTD)

    Another short ride at sunset in the arena and checking the fenceline in the freshly cut pasture.

  42. 7/17/13
    2.20 miles (311.45 miles YTD)

    Finally back in the saddle after prepping for and competing at the State 4-H Horse Show. Still hot and muggy at 9pm.

  43. 7/20/13
    16.95 miles in morning
    7.64 miles in afternoon

    9.09 miles

    (345.13 miles YTD)

    Work weekend at Turkey Creek. I wasn't sure if I would be able to go earlier in the week with all the heartache at home, so it was a much appreciated trip. It was another very productive weekend putting together the CTR route and having fun exploring new options. Mika impressed me with how well he did with time off and the heat. He is becoming quite the solid trail horse.

  44. 7/24/13
    1.76 miles
    (346.89 YTD)

    Short late night ride with one of the 4-H girls getting ready for the Sarpy Co. Fair horse show this weekend.

  45. 8/7/13
    2.72 miles (349.61 YTD)

    Finally back in the saddle after County Fair.

  46. 8/9/13 3.79 miles
    8/10/13 10.35 miles
    8/11/13 5.4 miles
    (369.15 miles YTD)

    First 2013 miles on a different horse - Wiley. Originally had my go-to horse Mika loaded for the CTR clinic at Turkey Creek, but on way out a car hit my horse trailer on the interstate. :( Mika had a big enough abrasion on his leg that I took him home to rest and be watched for lameness, and loaded up Wiley. Thankfully a 4-H girl showed him all Spring and Summer, so he was legged up enough to handle the hills just fine and was a super good boy as I mentored riders new to CTR. Mika looks much better though still a bit stiff. Thankful the accident wasn't worse and my horse and trailer are still in one piece!

  47. So thankful you, Mika and trailer are all going to be OK! Saw your pics on HorseTales. Glad the clinic was good too :-)

  48. 8/17/13
    12.75 miles on Mika
    7.6 miles on Wiley

    12.81 miles on Mika
    (402.31 miles YTD)

    Took both horses to Turkey Creek since I wasn't sure how well Mika had recovered from the accident. He moved out great and had no issues, thank goodness! We are now ribboned for next week's timing rides for the CTR, and mentored another new competitor.

  49. Congrats on getting over 400 miles :-) See you on the weekend :-)

    1. Thanks, Diane! I look forward to riding with you again and appreciate your help this weekend.

  50. 7.28 miles (409.59 miles YTD)

    Took Mika to meet friends and work on the Trail Challenge at Branched Oak. It's going to be a fun ride!

  51. 8/24/13 20.49 miles
    8/25/13 13.52 miles
    (443.6 miles YTD)

    It was a hot and humid weekend to do timing rides for our
    September CTR, but a good breeze made it bearable. Mary has come up with a great route this year and it was a fun ride despite the heat.

  52. 11.57 miles (455.17 YTD)

    Nice morning ride in the shade of Wilderness Park with Robin.

  53. 2.69 miles (457.86 YTD)
    Short ride in the arena to work on some basics. Tried out a Trail Challenge obstacle to see if adjustments were needed. :)

  54. 1.85 (459.71 YTD)

    Short ride to mess with another Trail Challenge thing. Looking forward to this weekend's fun!

  55. 9/6/13
    8.23 miles (467.94 YTD)

    Marking the trail for tomorrow's challenge.

  56. 7.19 miles (475.13 YTD)

    Watching over Trail Challenge and flow of riders.

  57. 7.99 miles (483.12 YTD)

    Nice ride with a great group of friends to clean up from the Trail Challenge and I Spy at Branched Oak. Another hot and humid day but shady trails and light breeze helped!

  58. 1.14 miles (484.26 YTD)

    Very brief ride in between jobs and rain clouds. Mika is getting much better at canter departures and picking up the correct lead on the straightaway.

  59. 9/14/13 19.64 miles
    9/15/13 16.79 miles
    520.69 YTD

    My Brushy Creek curse is broken! It was a beautiful ride and our horses were the best to date. Robin and I found the perfect pocket to ride in both days and really enjoyed foxtrotting along, making the time easy and coming into obstacles with no one ahead or behind. I still whined about the all weather rock trail, but with the dry conditions we were able to enjoy many more of the real trails. Mika's metabolics were perfect, thanks to the cool weather, and he won the ride and earned High Point Missouri Foxtrotter. I placed second and together we won CP High Point Combo. It was a very good start to our Fall competition season. :)

  60. Congrats on getting over 500 miles!!

  61. 9/19/13 6.46 miles
    9/20/13 13.02 miles
    9/21/13 9.45 miles on trail + 1.57 miles playing in camp
    9/22/13 6.36 miles

    557.55 miles YTD

    Oh what a fabulous Cowgirl Weekend! It was my first time at Big Canyon Inn and I will be back to those beautiful trails. Perfect weather, great friends, abundant laughter, amazing horse, wonderful country to ride through, and fun fun times. Life just doesn't get much better.

  62. 9/25/13 8.37 miles
    9/26/13 5.97 miles
    9/27/13 6.34 miles
    9/28/13 5.03 miles
    9/30/13 24.14 miles
    10/1/13 9.70 miles

    617.10 miles YTD

    Just back from putting on the Ne-Kota Turkey Trot CTR. Lots of challenges this year with weather reroutes, vet judge flight schedule issues, rider concerns to address, many volunteer duties shuffled, and more. Thankfully the ride was a success overall and I've enjoyed reading the positive thoughts afterwards. Thanks to all that came as competitors and volunteers!

    Many miles getting the course finished, switching ribbons to the rain route, and final clean up of all markings. I was lucky to spend the bulk of my birthday in the saddle on a beautiful day. :)

  63. Shari, you are a great RM and everything went so smooth, even with all the changes. You just rolled with the punches and took it all in stride :-) I had an awesome time doing P&R's and riding safety. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to this new ride. Thank everyone who volunteered (especially Mary & Gary and all the miles they had to ride) for all their hard work. It was a great success!

  64. 2.11 miles (619.21 YTD)

    Short ride between jobs plus arena is still muddy. Worked on several obstacles for this weekend's CTR. We've been working in hand for several days and it does seem to make a difference when I ride!

  65. 9/10/13 1.78 miles practice at home
    9/11/13 2.21 miles short ride at Indian Cave night before CTR
    9/12/13 19.61 miles Saturday CTR
    9/13/13 1.02 miles + 14.3 miles Sunday warm-up and CTR
    (658.13 YTD)

    Indian Cave 40th Anniversary CTR. What a fabulous weekend with beautiful weather, fun friends, and an awesome horse. Mika and I enjoyed mentoring Carol and Chief through their first CTR. We had a good ride and enjoyed the down time visiting with friends. First place Horsemanship, Second place Horse, Hi Point CP Combo. Our homework has been paying off. :)

  66. 2.41 miles (660.54 YTD)
    Short ride in the arena to stretch his legs and work on a few things before the next CTR.

  67. 10/22/13

    1.76 miles (662.3 YTD)

    Could only fit in a few minutes to ride in between jobs. Brrrr! The cooler temps combined with wind made for a chilly ride and frisky horse. The fields are now open so we can start enjoying more room to ride!

  68. 10/23/13

    1.41 miles (663.71 YTD)

    Not many miles at a time but we have also been doing in-hand work every day.

  69. 10/25/13 3.08 miles
    10/26/13 .31 warm up + 20.73 CTR
    10/27/13 1.12 warm up + 18.16 CTR

    707.11 YTD

    An awesome finish to the Region 6 CTR season. What more could I ask for? My favorite Kanopolis trails to ride on, a great group of Nebraska friends to share it with, outstanding horses to watch in action, an entertaining Halloween costume contest, a lot of laughs, good food and drinks, and we all checked out sound and in the placings. Mika and I both finished second and I think have earned enough points for the regional year-end CP Team award as well as Horsemanship. His P&R's were excellent despite a bit faster pace and winter coat, so we are off next weekend to try an Open ride in OK.

  70. Great job at the CTR! Congrats on getting over 700 miles :-) All the best to you and Mika at the open next week!

  71. 11/1/13 1.82 miles
    11/2/13 .98 warm up + 26.54 CTR
    11/3/13 1.14 warm up + 26.34 CTR

    763.93 YTD

    Headed down to Oklahoma for our first Open ride and first out of Region ride. It was great fun and Mika did amazing with perfect scores in metabolics and soundness, finishing 2nd overall in a tough class of top competitors. I finished 4th in Horsemanship and learned a lot about pacing and caring for my horse over this distance and speed. I was just looking to complete so was ecstatic when we both placed. :)

  72. 8.41 miles (772.34 YTD)

    What a beautiful day to be out riding in November! Mentored 3 people interested in CTR at Lake Cunningham. They showed me trails I hadn't been on before. What an easy place to put on miles. Mika and I may have to go there more often next year for conditioning.

  73. .9 miles (773.24 YTD)

    I'm sure I rode more than this over the weekend at the Nebraska Horse Expo but the GPS had trouble catching a signal inside the buildings. I rode under Larry Whitesell and Jennifer Bauer in the Gaited Horse sessions and learned a lot. I was nervous about entering but now am so glad I did and look forward to practicing the lessons over the winter until they become ingrained habits!

  74. 1.98 miles (775.22 YTD)

    Quick ride before dark and a 4-H meeting. Mika was very surprised to see the new neighbor's horses across the road. It was the first time his tail flagged up over his back from his excitement. LOL

  75. 2.84 miles (778.06 YTD)

    Good ride in the arena practicing things from the Larry Whitesell clinic.

  76. 2.41 miles (780.47 YTD)

    Figured I better ride since it was much nicer than the crazy bitter cold we've been having.

  77. 8.16 miles (788.63 YTD)

    Gorgeous day to ride with friends at Two Rivers. Fun day playing with CTR obstacles and trotting down one of the few trails closed to hunting. Unfortunately an evil tree branch sticking out into the trail caught my inner thigh and pushed me off my horse. 17 stitches but it didn't tear my breeches or catch my saddle, so I was lucky!

  78. 15.03 miles (803.66 YTD)

    Beautiful last Saturday of 2013! Met a large group of friends at Two Rivers to enjoy the day and destroy the Tree of Death. It was with great pleasure that Lori and I sawed off the limb that attacked us. Fun day visiting with everyone and riding. Since my leg was feeling okay and I was so close to a new milestone in the DD but frigid weather sets back in tonight, I went out for another few miles with a gentleman that had never ridden there before. What a fabulous end to 2013 and I look forward to seeing what 2014 has in store!

  79. Awesome Shari, you made it to 800 miles this year!


Sorry to have to add the word verification. The spammers are hitting this site hard!