Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 Eagle Ranch - Keith Kibler

Shawneesunrisefarm.net - Full Story and photos

November 29 2010

Somehow, I knew the last ride of the year would be special. I had lost my Dad, my brother in law, and Sandy’s favorite uncle shortly before the Thanksgiving day ride and we decided we would rather go ride than look at empty chairs at the table.

We were all ready to go except loading up the three we were taking and as I went to let them catch me the sky opened up into a gully washer deluge. We were into a 3 month drought and this was the moment for it to end. It rained so hard I was drenched under a poncho. It was about 60 degrees when we left Southern IL. By the time we hit Springfield Mo., it was snowing. A misunderstanding in the directions, coupled with a road closure turned a 7 hour drive into a 9 hour drive.

I got up at 4:30 to get Kate, my almost 7 year old twh mare ready to do the 50 mile race. Sandy is the inquisitive type and always wants to know what the temperature is. We have an inside the trailer temperature gauge, an outside the trailer temperature gauge, and a gauge in the truck. The outside gauge said 15 degrees. At least there was no snow and no ice.

Eagle Ranch is outside of Collins Mo, which is "near" Springfield Mo and Kansas City. The camp has stalls and electric hookups and a shower house. Winnie Clutter is the ride manager and just does a super job. She had a wonderful group of volunteers and vets.

Kate had about 900 miles of training so far this year, including 3 50s and a 100. She had a good taper rest and I really thought she was ready. Kate is one of our slowest horses and the most challenging gaited horse to ride that I have ever owned. She has a great running walk, but wants to do a stepping pace rather than a rack if left to her own devices. In the pasture this girl paces. That being said, she is my favorite horse and I love her...

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Friday, November 19, 2010

“I can’t even THINK about bowls!” - Patti Stedman

Life Lessons from and Unlikely Endurance Rider blog

November 19 2010

Sometimes life gets just a little too stressful.

As a self-employed consultant, when there is work available, I work. There are enough lean times that I rarely turn down work, and sometimes find myself with too much travel, too many clients all needing assistance “urgently”, and too many technically demanding training programs to deliver. A classic symptom for me is that disturbing moment where I find myself standing in a hotel elevator with the little key card in my hand and absolutely no recollection of my hotel room number.

I get homesick, miss all of the critters, miss sleeping in my own bed, miss my routine on the farm, miss my husband.

Work has been that way lately. Back to back classes scheduled, such that one weekend was simply an exercise in driving home, unpacking, doing laundry, repacking and hitting the road again. A non-weekend, of sorts.

In the middle of this hectic schedule, my friends Rachel and Pam and I started plotting a way to get ourselves to the Mustang Memorial Ride in New Jersey.

The Mustang ride is a bit of an enigma. The trails there, while lovely, are miles and miles of the same scenery — pine trees, sand, more pine trees, more sand, sand moguls, pine trees, puddles, sand. Did I mention the sand? So to say that the views from the saddle are not awe-inspiring is a bit of an understatement...

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Monday, November 01, 2010

The Spook Run - Endurance Granny

Endurancegranny Blog - Full Story

Saturday October 30 2010

We packed up and headed out on Thursday for the ride at Henryville. Set up camp, dropped off our box of turtle stuff, then headed out for an hour long fairly slow warm up ride, a little uphill trotting in the mix. But the warm up wasn't so much about the warm up as it was getting the lay of the ribbons at the start so I would not botch my ride like last time. I don't know who marked the trail this time but it was CRYSTAL CLEAR where you turned, and where you did NOT. The person who marked the trail should be commended for a job well-done. Ride management in general did an extraordinary job at this ride. Even the sun smiled on us eventually.

But did I mention it was cold? OH MY GOSH....I had a Buddy Heater going in my dressing room / sleeping area and I could still see my breath. The temperatures dropped into the low thirties overnight, and a wicked wind was blowing on ride day Friday. I was concerned about the start as that is usually a big part of her emotional unraveling, and even though I stayed where I thought was in the back, unravel she did. So I just one-reined her and shut her down, again, and again, and again. It was pretty hairy. Then along came Mary from Ohio (who's last name I never did get, I'm so sorry)...who graciously offered to let us ride along with her "slow" horse. The horse was a very big Anglo-arab, very nice gelding. I'd let Phebes lead until she would get another horse on her radar, then I'd tuck her nose behind the big gelding. It worked out well except when leading she was difficult to rate. She'd hold her trot, however my nice little jog got up and went and the trot expouned to 9-13 mph depending on how flat the trail was.

Did I ever say that endurance riders in Indiana ride FAST?...

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