Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Horseback Riding Arizona’s Tonto National Forest - Lisa Florey

Equitrekking.com - Full Story

June 23 2017
by Lisa Florey

Trading in Chicago winters for Arizona sunshine was a no-brainer. Instead of slogging through slush in downtown Chicago, I explored the canyons, washes and rugged trails of the Tonto National Forest on horseback. The fifth-largest national forest in the United States, Tonto boasts nearly 900 miles of trails.

For several months, I had the Superstition Wilderness — one of eight wilderness areas within the Tonto National Forest — as my back yard. Located east of Phoenix, the Superstition Wilderness has 180 miles of trails spread out over 160,000-plus acres. This “forest” is populated with saguaro, cholla, prickly pear, mesquite, palo verde, ocotillo and many other cactus, trees and shrubs I still need to learn to identify.

Exploring by horseback is the best way to access this sprawling national forest. From the steep, primitive trails around the Superstitions to the colorful Old West canyons of the Goldfield Mountains and the winding trails around Saguaro Lake and the Salt River, there are no bad rides, only scenic (and sometimes challenging) ones...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/horseback-riding-arizonas-tonto-national-forest/?mc_cid=a18aa07f36&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Monday, January 28, 2019

Close Encounters with a Deer! - Nancy Sluys

FB.com - Full Story

NANCY SLUYS·SUNDAY, JANUARY 27, 2019

As a remedy for cabin fever I decided to travel to the Broxton Bridge Endurance Ride in Ehrhart, South Carolina with my horse, Summer, this past weekend. Since I hadn’t been able to ride much lately, due to the bad weather, I entered her in the limited distance 25 mile ride both days, intending to ride at a slower pace in hopes of getting her ready for a 50 miler in March.

The first days ride went as planned, I started near the end and kept Summer at a moderate and steady pace, using caution in areas of loose sand and muddy places. Even though the trails were well packed, we don’t train in sand so I needed to be careful. We rode alone most of the time and enjoyed each other and the nature around us. She was really tuning in to me and didn’t mind when groups of faster riders cantered past us. We hooked up from time to time with friends for short distances, which kept things interesting with occasional conversations. She finished the ride looking fresh and ready to do it again. At the awards ceremony that night I discovered that we had won the coveted turtle award for being the last one’s over the finish line.

The next day I decided to ride with my good friend, Dana, and her mare, Beryl. Being a 16 hand Belgian/Arabian cross she made an odd pairing with Summer who is only 14 hands but they get along well and are surprisingly well paced together. Along the way we picked up another rider, Alicia, whose horse was looking for company and then we were a group of three. The first loop winds in and out of the woods and sometimes around fields. The trail loops back on itself many times. We rode at a moderate pace, although faster than my ride the day before...

Read more here:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/nancy-sluys/close-encounters-with-a-deer/2282368405141761/

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Death Valley Encounter XP Ride Dec 2018 - Kip

TheMonkeysKnowNothing Blog - Full Story

Commentary by Kip the endurance horse
January 13 2019

Little late writing this. The Monkey has had some bronchitis and laryngitis ( same stuff I had after Moab a couple of years ago) and a few other things so I had to wait in line.Geez!

Once again we all had fun in Trona! Mr Monkey and Ice did all four days! I'm proud of them especially Ice who skipped and danced over all those rocks bare foot!She has cast iron hooves I think!

I only did two days because of the monkey's bronchial condition.Geez. Anyway, on day one we got to ride with the front runners for the first cold and windy loop. The monkey just wanted to get her wheezy little body back to the warm trailer so off I went following Christoph's cute little filly. Her Monkeyship usually only lets me catch up to Christoph on a ride to say hello then pulls me back. Today was my day! It was Christoph's cutie, Mark Montgomery's Mustang Gus and......littl' ole me! We had a ball for the first loop. Wheee! I was as hungry as a horse (funny about that) at the hold and wanted to stay there but those youngins' would listen to me. Wait I said, there's no salad bars on the trail. Not even slim pickins'!Just sticks and dirt!Let's chow down here.

Wouldn't listen. So I went after them with my mouth stuffed with hay. Then I remembered,Gus told me he was 8. Hey, I'm three times their age. Yep! Three times! Three times plus one I think. So I came to my senses and let them go...

Read more here:
http://themonkeysknownothing.blogspot.com/2019/01/death-valley-encounter-dec-2018.html

Monday, January 21, 2019

Horseback Riding Graves Mountain in Syria, Virginia

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

May 8 2017
by Susan St. Amand

Close to Skyline Drive and Luray Caverns, read about riding out from Graves Mountain Lodge in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

On an unusually warm spring weekend in late April, members of the Shenandoah Trail Riders and Horseman's Association ventured to Graves Mountain in Syria, VA to participate in a benefit trail ride for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Graves Mountain Lodge provides overnight accomodations in a lodge that is rustic in appearance and family style food in their restaurant, along with a gift shop.

On this 300+ acre family-owned property, you can enjoy life's simple pleasures such as fishing and hiking. It is also a working farm with a pick your own apple orchard and provides educational farm tours to school children. Graves Mountain Lodge also hosts many events on the premises throughout the year, such as the fall Apple Festival and Bluegrass Festival, which attracts a large crowd.

In a partnership with Graves Mountain Lodge, Circle B Stables provides guided horseback riding tours. It also offers day parking for persons wanting to trailer their own horses to ride, or in our case, primitive overnight camping for multi-day stays...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/horseback-riding-graves-mountain-in-syria-virginia/?mc_cid=d77a56ec5a&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Why Viñales, Cuba is the Perfect Backdrop for Horseback Riders

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

May 7 2017

Travel expert Jeannette Ceja rides horses in Viñales, Cuba, just two hours from Havana through tobacco fields and lush forests.

Cubans frequently told me that I had to make time to visit one town during my stay in Cuba. To really know Cuba, I have learned to always listen to what the locals recommend. And the experience exceeded every expectation I had.

One must pay a visit to a breathtaking town called Viñales located a little over two hours away by car from Havana. If you love horseback riding, Viñales offers the perfect backdrop of mountain forests, caves and endless tobacco fields. You will literally feel as if you are in a movie. Visitors can go on many trails led by local trail ride guides that will lead you anywhere you like. Make sure to request a visit to a local tobacco farm during your ride...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/why-vinales-cuba-is-the-perfect-backdrop-for-horseback-riders/?mc_cid=d77a56ec5a&mc_eid=290b655fe3



Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Mongol Derby: ride across the ancient trails of Genghis Khan

Life.spectator.co.uk - Full Article

Taming in a Mongolian horse in this iconic race is no mean feat, says Camilla Swift


by Camilla Swift
17 January 2019

Forget Aintree or Ascot, the Mongol Derby is the horse race to beat all others. It takes place on Mongol Steppe in Mongolia and it covers a thousand kilometres. The horses are not your trained, riding-school variety but native, semi-feral Mongolian ponies. I’m short, but even I looked pretty silly on board these tiny creatures.

The Mongol Derby is based on Genghis (or Chinggis, as he is known in Mongolia) Khan’s ‘Örtöö’ messenger service, which enabled information – and messengers – to travel from one end of his empire to the other in a matter of days. Given that at one point the Mongol Empire stretched from central Europe to Japan, organising the system was no mean feat. It entailed, essentially, a series of ‘horse stations’, each around 20 to 40 km from one another, at which a messenger could sleep, eat, and pick up a new horse.

It’s called a race, but as far as I was concerned, it was more a matter of getting from start to finish in one piece. I couldn’t quite picture a thousand kilometres (I still can’t, to be honest), but what I did know was that it meant riding for around 12 hours a day. And that sounded painful...

Read more here:
https://life.spectator.co.uk/2019/01/the-mongol-derby-trace-the-ancient-routes-of-genghis-khan/

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Frigid Fire Mountain - Nina Bomar

January 13 2019
by Nina Bomar

It was bitterly cold and I had so many layers on that I looked like a woman in a moon suit. One expensive jacket after the next yet I couldn’t warm up.

I was a few minutes late to the start and it seemed as if everyone had already left. Cheeky and I quietly moseyed out of camp, called out our number and we were off. I pretended I wasn’t freezing but I found myself constantly fidgeting with all the layers, scarves, hoods and zippers. The morning started off with a wet mist that graduated quickly to a cold rain, accompanied by a frigid wind that seemed to cut through all that I was wearing.

Cheeky was feeling frisky and he had a good pace going on, which would bring us back to camp for the first vet check nice and early. He pulsed down quickly, we vetted through and everything went smoothly. Juan accidentally slept through it all and when he heard us outside the trailer, he came out frantically knowing that he’d blown it. I threw a few blankets on Cheeky, made sure he had plenty of food and then huddled in the tack room and tried to get warm. Juan quickly made me a hot coffee, while the hold time passed by quickly and we were soon back out on trail.

The second loop had more rain, and cold air but Juan was ready and waiting for us this time when we arrived back at camp. It was to be the 1 hour lunch hold and by then we had already completed 30 miles of trail with only 20 more to go. I was frozen like a popsicle. The rain was coming down steadily and we didn’t talk much. I added a rain poncho and rain pants on top of everything else and that helped to warm me up.

The final loop was long but Cheeky handled it like a champ. For the first few miles he protested and seemed rather incredulous that I was asking for more under such dire weather conditions. He complained loudly for the first few miles and then he gave in and went to work with the strength and forwardness that he’s known for. I loved our time together.

This morning Juan made me some coffee and now he’s warming up my gloves like they’re tortillas. We are not desert rats but instead beach bums... The air here is so harsh that it feels like opening up a freezer door and then taking a big inhale. It’s time to head home after a wonderful weekend at the Fire Mountain Endurance Ride. We give many thanks to ride management, all the wonderful veterinarians and the many volunteers who without their efforts, we would not have this amazing sport of endurance riding.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Horseback Riding at Big South Fork Recreation Area in Tennessee

Equitrekking.com - Full Story

October 29 2018

Frequent Equitrekking contributor Susan St. Amand rides again amid sandstone formations and historic sites at Big South Fork Recreation Area in Tennessee.

Recently, I had the pleasure of trail riding at Big South Fork Recreation Area in Tennessee again. No matter how many times I ride here, it is a beautiful and interesting area to ride.

A national park, the Big South Fork area has many scenic gorges and sandstone bluffs that are impressive. Whether due to the 100th anniversary of the National Parks, economy, or increased interest in trail riding this year, we encountered an increase in the number of trail riders and horse camping in the area which everyone was pleased to witness. In addition, the fall weather and foliage were beautiful during the week we rode.

During one of our usual stops to True West Campground, they were experiencing an exceptionally busy season. Muddy Pond area Mennonite stores also proved to be very busy with shoppers. It seems there is a resurgence of interest in the Big South Fork Recreation area, which is beneficial for all. A recent horse breed organization report indicated a decrease in horse show attendance, and an increased shift in equestrians pursuing trail riding...

Read more at:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/horseback-riding-at-big-south-fork-recreation-area-in-tennessee/?mc_cid=3bec7ab4df&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Monday, January 07, 2019

Long Lady Rider Edgewood, New Mexico, January 5th, 2019

EndeOfTheTrail.com - Read more

Greetings to those who follow the ride!

Below is the most up-to-date information on my current ride. I try to post as often as possible but when traveling I’m limited with access to computers and the internet.

Happy Trails, Your Lady Long Rider, Bernice Ende

January 4 2019

I have been accused of bringing Montana with me!

No one is complaining however. The moisture is much needed. But this much at one drop, with single-digits weather is more like Montana.

No matter how fast or slow I travel, the days consistently pass by as we near the end of 2018. Bill’s Old Blue Truck gallantly pulls me on and on. I remember thinking way back in Oregon, “I’ll be halfway through my book tour when I reach Santa Fe.” Well here we are!

Re-cap:

Lone Pine, California. I said goodbye to Claiborne Mitchell who helped facilitate the California stretch as snow-covered Sierra Nevada’s reminded me, winter is coming, winter is coming...

Read more here:
https://www.endeofthetrail.com/2019/01/04/edgewood-new-mexico-january-5th-2019/

Friday, December 21, 2018

Marquesas: Meet the last horsemen of these paradise islands

NationalGeographic.com - Full Artice

For centuries, the Marquesans have preserved their home's rich natural heritage and distinctive cultural traditions.


By Amy Alipio
Photographs by Julien Girardot

The Marquesas Islands are part of French Polynesia and yet proudly apart. You won’t find overwater bungalows and turquoise lagoons on these 12 volcanic islands, six of which are inhabited. Instead, the Marquesas feature green peaks that plunge directly into the sea, waterfall-laced valleys, and dramatic rock spires. In addition to this rich natural heritage, the Marquesans are active in keeping alive distinctive cultural traditions in tattooing, dance, language—and horse riding.

Horses were introduced to the island of Ua Huka in the mid-19th century, a gift from French admiral Abel Dupetit-Thouars, who brought them from Chile. Islanders tamed and adopted them over the years, and they became the perfect transport for traversing roadless valleys, steep slopes, and high ridges. Horses enabled islanders to range widely in their hunt for wild goat and pig, which are traditionally slow-cooked in an umu, an underground oven...

Read more here:
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/oceania/french-polynesia-marquesas-islands-horse-riding-pictures/?utm_medium=40digest.prsonly.20181221.home&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign

Mongolia: The Last Reindeer Riders: Expedition to the Tsaatan of the Taiga

Gearjunkie.com - Full Article

By Erik Cooper on December 20, 2018

The Tsaatan tribe in Mongolia lives in harmony with the reindeer they raise. They are among the last nomadic tribes rooted in this historic relationship. I traveled to Mongolia to learn more about their culture.


I raced in the world’s longest and toughest horse race, the Mongol Derby, in 2012 to follow a passion for exploring the world on the backs of spirited horses. While racing, I found Mongolia one of the wildest and freest places on the planet.

Curious to know more about the unique cultures within Mongolia, I came across a book by Jimmy Nelson, “Before They Pass Away.” A photograph of the Tsaatan tribe riding their reindeer captivated me. The photo compelled me to meet them for myself while their way of life still exists.

To the Taiga
A year later, I returned to meet the last reindeer riders. Using skills honed from growing up on a horse farm in Missouri, I began leading expeditions to their camps...

Read more here:
https://gearjunkie.com/reindeer-riders-tsaatan-mongolia

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

2019 Ride Season - Ashley Wingert

Gopony.me - Full Story

DECEMBER 4, 2018 / ASHLEY WINGERT

AERC ride season starts Dec 1 and runs through Nov 30 of the following year. Which means that as of this past Saturday, 12/1, the 2019 AERC ride season was on!

Only once in the 13 years I’ve been doing endurance have I done a December ride…they just historically haven’t happened very frequently in AZ, which is a shame because the weather in early December is just about perfect. I’m guessing that timing between holidays probably makes it more difficult.

But we’re fortunate this year in that we’ve got a brand-new ride coming up on Saturday, 12/8 — the Dashing Through the Trails ride, held at Estrella Mountain Park. I’m really excited about this ride — it’s “local” to me, being only an hour away, and it’s the site of my very first competitive trail ride I did, back in 2001, so there’s some major nostalgia and memories involved...

Read more here:
https://gopony.me/2018/12/04/2019-ride-season/

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Mongolia: The Wild, Wild Steppe - Kelsey Riley

Thoroughbreddailynews.com - Full Story

November 26, 2018 at 12:51 pm
By Kelsey Riley

The Mongol Derby wants to kill you.

I had been warned of it. I had started to suspect it. Now, as a pair of snarling dogs came lurching at me as I hung off the side of my bolting horse, I knew it to be true.

We had been galloping for 10 kilometers down a desolate dirt road through what appeared to be an equine cemetery, with horse skulls and bits of bone scattered across the green knolls. Rounding a bend, we found ourselves face-to-face with a fully intact horse skeleton. As my horse spooked, launching me half out of the saddle, two dogs blasted out of a ger, biting at his ankles as I struggled to hang on.

Really? This is how I’m going to die? A year of preparation to ride 620 miles across the Mongolian steppe and I’m going to be ripped to pieces just four days in by two angry, potentially rabid dogs?

“Not today, boys!” I shouted as I hauled myself back up onto the saddle. As we reached the edges of their territory, the dogs backed off and slowly disappeared into the distance.

Welcome to the Mongol Derby. That was pretty much a typical moment in the world’s longest and toughest horse race, where riders have 10 days to navigate 1,000 kilometers of the Mongolian steppe on the backs of semi-wild horses...

Read more here:
http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/from-the-tdn-weekend-the-wild-wild-steppe/

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Horseback Riding in Egypt: Valley of the Kings New Year Celebration with Ride Egypt

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

March 1 2018
by Felicia Quon

Equestrian adventurer Felicia Quon shares her personal experience of horseback riding through the land of the pharaohs with Ride Egypt.

“Are you mad?” “Is it safe?” These were just a few of the comments I received when I booked a solo riding holiday to Egypt. I’ll be candid, there were times when I had some reservations. But I needn’t have worried.

The nine-day Valley of the Kings New Year ride in Luxor with Ride Egypt was hands down, one of the most unforgettable, magical riding holidays I’ve experienced.

I flew into Cairo from Canada where I spent a few days exploring the bustling city. I never felt threatened. I never felt unsafe. From there, it was an easy flight to Luxor, and the moment I stepped into the warm, golden air, everything felt different. I had a sneaking suspicion that I was in for an experience. I wasn't wrong...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/horseback-riding-in-egypt-valley-of-the-kings-new-year-celebration/?mc_cid=2ed446304a&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Magic of the West Virginia Highlands

Liz-Stout Blog - Full Story

by Liz Stout
November 16 2018

Alternate titles: Recognizing Childhood Dreams; Griffin and Q Drive Cattle; The West Virginia Tundra

A new girlfriend, Emma, asked a week or so ago if I'd be interested in riding the horses in the Sinks of Gandy in the near future. Her family owns quite a bit of land up there, and she'd always dreamed of traversing it on horseback. Familiar with the area because my family has held a lease nearby her family's land for decades and I have visited the area she wanted to ride for various conservation efforts as a part of my current and past jobs, I didn't have to think about my response, "YES!"

The Sinks aren't far from Canaan Valley where I live. The area harbors a lot of similar climate to Canaan and has always been a favorite place of mine as a result. Something about these high elevation areas with red spruce forests and completely bizarre plant life compared to what you'd expect at this latitude just makes my soul happy. Both Canaan and the Sinks area a sanctuary for plant life more akin to what one may find in the tundra and the Arctic Circle, not the temperate Appalachian forests found between 38-39°N latitude!

Part of the land Emma's family owns is one of the most unique ecotypes in the world. So unique that only a handful of places like it exist anywhere on the planet. Balsam fir and red spruce litter the landscape surrounding a high elevation swamp that harbors plant life known to the Arctic circle. Karst (limestone) outcroppings litter the hillsides of the knobs, and the headwaters of several rivers begin right on the property!...

Read more here:
http://liz-stout.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-magic-of-west-virginia-highlands.html

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Enjoying New Hampshire on Horseback - Susan St. Amand

Equitrekking.com - Full Article

October 26, 2018

Equitrekking contributor and trail riding expert Susan St. Amand visits some New Hampshire's best trail riding destinations.

While traveling with my horse through the Northeast recently, I spent a few days in New Hampshire exploring Bear Brook State Park and riding on Hampton Beach.

Bear Brook State Park contains 10,000 acres of recreational space and is the largest of New Hampshire's state parks. Besides horseback riding, other activities available are hiking, biking, fishing, boating, swimming, and two archery ranges. Overnight recreational camping is also available. Bear Brook State Park and its affiliated supporters are currently in the process of planning for overnight horse camping facilities in the future. Forty miles of multi-use trails traverse through the area's marshes, ponds, and brooks. Trail maps are available and trails are well marked. Park staff were very helpful during my visit.

My favorite trail was riding along Bear Brook. The trail followed the brook very closely and on the opposite side of the trail was a steep hillside so that you had no place to travel but forward. Luckily my horse did not misstep – otherwise, I would have been swimming!...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/enjoying-new-hampshire-on-horseback?mc_cid=9430346522&mc_eid=290b655fe3

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Riding Off the Grid in British Columbia - Linda Ballou

Equitrekking.com - Full Story

September 11, 2018

Equestrian traveler and author Linda Ballou shares her rugged off the grid experience horseback riding through Tyslos Park Lodge in British Columbia.

I awoke to a loon’s haunting call floating over the still waters of Chilko Lagoon mirroring granite spires sporting snow in July. The smell of crackling bacon and camp coffee pulled me out of my snug sleeping bag. On the far shore, a moose with her gangly calf trotting behind was the morning news. We were totally unplugged at base camp for the pack trip out of Tyslos Park Lodge through the rugged wilderness of the Chilcotin/Cariboo region.

In the crisp morning air with dew lifting from grassy meadows, seven riders, four pack horses, and two guides headed out for Goat Camp. This is not just a ride, it is a journey back into a time when you could ride for days and see no one. We rode in silence through a grove of quaking aspen to a rocky shore of the Chilko Lake to water the horses. The trail to Goat Camp is infrequently used each season and feels a bit like bush-whacking. It snakes through alder thickets and then begins to climb. Our sturdy, sure-footed horses took on the steep ascent with aplomb...

Read more here:
https://equitrekking.com/articles/entry/riding-off-the-grid-in-british-columbia?mc_cid=aea6f48147&mc_eid=290b655fe3

My Favorite Things: Rides - Ashley Wingert

GoPony.me - Full Story

October 12, 2018 / Ashley Wingert

My Favorite Things: A series of my favorite things of different categories, less formal than a review and more conversational musings. Everything from rides, to tack, to food, to apparel, all following a “Top Three” format. Also, because I’m me, and I’m known for changing my perspective and opinion of such things as favorites from year to year, some of these topics may end up revisited…more than once.

It was hard for me to narrow down my favorite rides, especially limiting myself to the Top Three. I can pretty easily narrow down two…but that third one I just may have to leave as a “rotating space” for now.

Virginia City 100 (Sept 2017)
It’s probably my favorite ride to date, even with not finishing. Yes, that’s how good everything else was to basically negate the Overtime pull. It’ll always be special because it was my first 100-miler attempt. It was a leap of faith, with an uncertain outcome, and I’m still proud of myself for attempting it and taking that chance, even if all the stars didn’t align for a finish.

(FWIW, 100-mile hallucinations are real. I saw land bridges and Easter Island heads.)

VC just has the best atmosphere. Given that it was the 50th anniversary ride when I rode it, it was larger that usual, with over 70 entries…but normal years has entries usually between 40-50 people, which makes for a very laid-back, more intimate type of ride. I love that it’s a 100 only, so everyone in camp to ride is there to do that ride and that distance. Kind of hard to describe, but it gives it a different feeling than other rides...

Read more here:
https://gopony.me/2018/10/12/my-favorite-things-rides/

Friday, October 05, 2018

The First 1000 - Ashley Wingert

GoPony Blog - Full Story

OCTOBER 4, 2018 / ASHLEY WINGERT

There’s some trail wisdom out there that states that “The first 1000 miles are the hardest” when it comes to endurance and the learning curve.

Considering it took me 13 years to get there, I would say I made the most of that curve. But I finally did it…at least, if you’re counting combined miles (which, hey, I’ve learned just as much off of some LDs as I have longer distances).

1,015 endurance + LD miles. 12 seasons of endurance. 15 different horses (and only 1 of them mine), everything from greenies on their first ride to “hold my beer and watch me show you how its done” experienced campaigners. One heck of a learning experience…and I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface...

Read more here:
https://gopony.me/2018/10/04/the-first-1000/

Barnyard Basics: Ahmahl the clown and endurance rides

IdahoStateJournal.com - Full Article

By HEATHER SMITH THOMAS
October 5 2018

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the last of three parts about a truly unique horse.

The spring of 1976, I was riding Ahmahl to move cattle and he trotted through some sharp rocks to head a wayward cow and stone bruised a front foot. He was lame for several days.

The bruise abscessed; we had to open up his sole, drain it and soak it. The infection cleared up, but he had a big hole in his sole that would take months to fill in.

Even though the abscess was healed, I couldn’t ride him. It was such a big hole that I kept his foot wrapped so he wouldn’t get dirt and gravel in it walking around in his pen. I thought about shoeing him with hoof pads, but that would not be enough protection. We decided to weld a metal plate onto a shoe, to cover that hole in his sole.

My husband Lynn created a special shoe for Ahmahl. The hole was an inch behind the toe of his foot, a little to one side, so Lynn cut a piece of flat metal the proper size and welded it to the shoe, to cover that hole. I put that shoe on, and started riding Ahmahl again.

When it came time to reset his shoes, Lynn created another “armor plated” shoe for the other front foot, to help keep it from stone bruising — since Ahmahl had such flat feet — and balance his stride, so he’d have the same weight on both feet. Lynn welded hard-surfacing material (borium, which is tungsten carbide used on drill bits) onto both shoes so they wouldn’t wear out in the rocks. This material is harder than diamonds and kept the metal shoe from wearing away. We were able to use the same shoes the rest of the summer and didn’t have to keep making new ones.

With his special shoes, Ahmahl happily trotted and galloped through rocky terrain with no fear of hurting his feet, chasing cows and competing on three more endurance rides that year, placing first on two of them and fourth on the other...

Read more here:
https://www.idahostatejournal.com/postregister/farmandranch/columnists/barnyard_basics/barnyard-basics-ahmahl-the-clown-and-endurance-rides/article_ccf6674a-dbab-5a65-88c3-dac883174369.html

Followers