Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Blazing Saddles - Jody Buttram

February 27 2012

Well, back from Blazing Saddles endurance ride in Laurel, MS.  Ride management of Jack and Terry Price…..and just happens to be my favorite ride.  But I think I have mentioned that before. Seems that this was a weekend from truck troubles, started with me, then spread to Angie McGhee and then on to Peggy Clark, both had issues on their way home.  Joni and I were on schedule to pull into camp on Thursday, evening about 6:30pm.  A little over an hour away, just hitting Meridian, MS we hear a popping sound under the hood, then a flapping, then smell burned rubber.  The battery light goes on immediately, and I told Joni, we’re screwed.  Started watching the gauges, not running hot, nothing looked off, but we know there is something wrong.  When you drive a truck that is literally 24 yrs. old, my ’88 F-350, fondling referred to as “the old grey dinosaur”….I suppose you can expect something to go wrong.  But, this old girl has been a good one, with right at 200,000 miles (yes, that’s right) it has had very little in repairs over the years.  And more than once, I have passed way nicer/newer trucks broke down.  But anyway, we go about 2 miles, and get off the interstate at a gas station, coming down the exit ramp, I find out we have NO brakes. YIKES. Standing on the brake, I get it stopped, pull into the gas station and start calling Joel.  He DOESN’T answer the phone….repeatedly.  Say some bad words (just a few), Joni calls her boyfriend, Hunter Burden, and I talked to his daddy. Yep, it was the alternator and the belt. I asked the nice guy in the station where an Autozone or something was, he tells me there is one only 1 mile from us.  What luck !!!!  So we drive very slowly to the Advanced Auto Parts, and pull in and park.  I go inside and this really super nice guy, named Mark, comes out looks and he starts calling us a mechanic.  We sit and wait, and I am beginning to wonder if it can be fixed that night, it was 6:00pm by then.  He comes back out and informs us that the mechanic is out of town, but he knows another one.  Turns out the second mechanic a really nice man from Panama can come look at it.  So, then I start trying to call camp, thinking I may need someone to come gets us if we have to leave the truck overnight….and by the way, we were in like the worst part of town.  The minute I pulled in, a homeless guy hit me up for money, to which I said, “Look, I need all I have to get my truck fixed…sorry”.  Second thought, I should have given him a sandwich from the trailer.  My bad.  We counted 6 ambulances, and 3 cop cars, all with sirens going while we waited.  Lots of “bad looking people” walking past too.

             I had started trying to call camp, to find ANYONE that could help us.  I tried Terry Price, no cell service, I tried Samm Bartee, nothing, but did leave her a message, I tried Fred Myers, nothing, I tried Steve Huffman, nothing, we had the computer with us, so I got on there and was trying to remember who would be in camp on Thursday, I thought of Mike Everett, looked up his number from the AERC page, and called him.  YEAH!!!!   He answered !!!  I told him I needed him to do me a big favor and that if he could go find Mr. Steve (Huffman) I needed to talk to him because we were broke down.  He did, and Steve called us back, and was kind enough to unhook and drive 70 miles to come help out.  About the time he got there the mechanic did too.  What a nice guy this mechanic was, he was the most jolly little, happy man, he even dragged his wife out who was on bed rest, and 9 weeks from having twins.  Very sweet folks.  Turns out that the parts place didn’t have an alternator for my truck, and the plan was:   A. rebuild the one I had, and B. order one that would be there that evening (Friday at 4:30).  Ok, that means leaving my truck in the ghetto overnight.   So, now, we have to unhook my trailer, and move all my stuff that was on the bed of the truck into Steve’s truck and hook to his truck.  And when I say move all the stuff, the word from the parts folks was, “If you want to have it in the morning, you better take it with you”.  Spare tire included, empty my tool box under the bed, etc.   So, the sweet little mechanic jumped in and helped us transfer all the stuff.    Got ready to go, I had an adaptor for the lights, yes, LIGHTS !!! Started to pull off….brakes lock on the trailer.  Well, Joni and I had this problem before when we pulled my trailer with another truck, so NO lights.  On the way to camp, we passed about 3 cops on the interstate….good thing they were hungry for tickets. Whewww.  

            We get into camp about 11:30 pm or midnight, and there sits Fred Myers, Alice Smith, Benny, Alice’s right hand man, and Jana Smith.   They all had waited on us to get there and then jumped in to help set us up, I didn’t have any water, because my barrel was on the truck …inMeridian.  Alice gave the horses water, and tucked them in and was ready for bed at about 1 am. Next morning, I get a call from the mechanic, we’re in luck, the guy that re-builds alternators, has one that is re-built already and will fit my truck, so it will be fixed in a hour or so.  He calls me a while later, and it’s ready to come get.  Yeah, but now I have a problem of no cash really to pay him. I had $110, and the bill was $291.  So, I walked over to Suzanne Solis’ trailer and Cindy Young, I tell them that I have some cash on it’s way, but if they had some could I borrow it for a few hours.  Boy, endurance people are the BEST.  Suzanne shelled out $120 and Cindy finished up what I needed, $80.  I had $300 and was ready to go get my truck.  Good ole Mr. Steve again was willing to haul me back to get my truck, I did put gas in his truck (to which he protested, but I won).  Got my truck, got it back to camp….ALL was well now. Keith Kibler told me I should’ve asked him for the money and he would have given me whatever I needed.  Again, another super nice endurance friend.  I really do love these people, they are all there if you need them in a pinch. Mr. Steve has pulled my butt out of a crack or creek more than once, and he was rewarded with a nice chair from Jana Smith at the awards, in honor of Stephanie Waddington for his good deeds.  I’d say he earned it this past weekend. 

            As far as the ride went, Mr. Marty, the most loved horse did an easy 50, completed with nothing but A’s on his card and was so cute sleeping in his hay nest and eating hay that night. Storme, aka the Lame horse, looked great all day in the 100, was pulled at 85 miles for the same thing that seems to be her nemesis.  Left, rear lame.  I spent some time talking to Dr. Dee Dee, and she and I kicked around that maybe she has some chiro issue there. So, the next morning, I had Dr. Ike Nelson (who does Marty’s chiro work) work on both of them…BTW, she was sound then. Turns out her RT front shoulder was really jammed up.  He seems to think that she is compensating for the shoulder and causing the issue in the rear….and that she can be FIXED !!!!  Wonderful, because  she was really on her game. 

            This is the best ride, best management, best trails, BEST food !!!!, Best vets, people…everything.  Thanks to everyone who helped put it on, and to everyone that helped me and Joni out this weekend.  Endurance is the BEST !!!!

Blazing Saddles - Keith Kibler - Full Story

Posted on February 28, 2012 by Keith Kibler

Early spring is too cold in the Midwest for rides and summer is too hot. So, Sandy and I have to travel. I have a 500 mile limit for Drs. Otis Schimtt, Dee Dee Huff and Ken Marcella. This ride was right at 500 miles and offered both Otis Schmitt and Dee Dee Huff.

It is also the only ride out of 15 that my twh mare Kate had not finished. Last year, I did a rider option at mile 85 due to a look in her eye and have been thinking about it. I know I did the right thing but I still think about it. I love my little 874 lb. Kate but she is the most challenging gaited horse to ride that I have owned or ridden. She is also the only horse I have ever ridden that gets stronger after 40 miles into a ride.

I can call this girl and she will leave the mare herd and come to me and kiss me. She may think I am her food slave but I fancy that she loves me and I sure do love her. Sandy wanted to ride (one of her) favorite Missouri Foxtrotter mares, Savanah, in the mare’s second 50 mile ride. So, off we go to southern Mississippi.

Naturally, we had truck problems. In the past we have blown trailer tires on trips. This time I replaced two extremely expensive truck tires before we left so I thought we were good. When, just into Kentucky, the engine light came on. Now, I had $ 8,000 of warranty work done on this truck in the last year and thought it was good to go. I was wrong. We pulled into a Ford dealership and they said it was just an EGR valve and I could keep going until I got home. 100 miles later it started surging. Okay, that gets your attention. Then, the entire dash cluster started going dead and shutting off completely. This was definitely starting out interesting. We prayed, drove on and prayed some more.

We finally got to Laurel, met Terry Price and parked. We looked for my friend Jody Rogers-Buttram but learned she had broken down too. My buddy Paul Sidio showed up. My endurance friends are an important part of my life and although I don’t get to see them often, I sure enjoy running into them as gypsy vagabonds with these horses we love. Some of my friends and fellow competitors and characters that showed up included Paul, Steve Huff, Jody Rogers-Buttram, Angie McGhee and Lucy Estabrook.

Sandy got the horses looking great with a spiffy weave into both of their manes. I am so proud of Sandy. She is my hero. Most women of her age would have retired to the couch with her physical challenges long ago. She will not go quietly into the night...

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Golden Horse Shoe Ride - Golden Girls Blog - Full Story

Friday 24th February - The Golden Girls - the first episode of their blog...............

Nikki Routledge and Linda Kidd share the ups and downs of their very different training plans for this year’s Golden Horseshoe Ride. Follow their weekly progress right here.
Welcome to our blog. Now, preparing a horse for the Golden Horseshoe Ride is always a challenge I enjoy and this year, my good friend Linda Kidd and I intend to compete and COMPLETE the 160km class again. We achieved this together in 2010, with Angela Osborne completing the team of three. Rather tongue-in-cheek we called ourselves: ‘The No-Hoper, Joker and Rogue’ as per the Fisherman’s Friends song playing constantly on Radio 2 that year! I was on the Joker (always vets out last vet gate of the ride), Linda was on the No-Hoper (talented mare but totally bonkers) and Angela was on the Rogue (huge Irish Draught cross who tends to leave a trail of destruction behind her as she powers across the countryside). Only Angela’s horse had previously completed the 160kms, but in 2010 our luck held and with the hard work of our crews, who were as fantastic as the horses themselves, we all achieved the full 160km distance in good style.

So can Linda and I repeat our success this year? Well, join us on our journey to the 2012 Golden Horseshoe Ride and find out!

First, let us introduce you to our intended steeds:

I am riding my 13-y-o Arab mare Ca Daisha. Daisha was Linda’s mount (the No-Hoper) in 2010 when I elected to ride my (much nicer) little mare Mimi. Linda is riding her talented mare Drastik With A K, now a 12-y-o advanced mare. However, as Linda explains below, the road has not been a smooth one for Drastik...

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Eastern Mojave - Karen Chaton

Enduranceridestuff Blog - Full Story

Ride is going well so far, around 46 to 49 starting each day. Two days down, two to go. I rode Bo on day 1, and Chief today (day 2).

Weather was windy and cold the first day and we rode in snow and ice. It melted off, and then warmed up. Today we rode under brilliant blue skies with warmer weather and it was fantastic. You can see in the first photo that my jacket and rain gear are on the horse (and not me). Good sign!

Marking trail was a challenge as we did a lot on foot in high winds. Nannette and I also marked a lot on horseback, which was great. I love getting the horses out before a ride. This ride is great because there are so many long sections with excellent footing and I don’t need to use boots.

BBQ hot dogs at lunch today….yummy! I won’t eat hot dogs otherwise, but at an out vet check on an endurance ride they are a prize let me tell ya! It’s also always great to get to see Lavone...

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

IAH Airport Express Endurance Ride - by QOS - full story

I am sitting back home now. I just woke up in the middle of the night. I was sick when I left and still am.

We got to the huge staging area and it was ankle deep in mud. Some people got stuck but there were tractors to pull them out. We got our panels set up for the horses and got them hay and all tucked it. Our other friend arrived shortly after us.

We vet checked it - super nice vet from Idaho. Biscuit did fantastic on the vet check. Trotted out like a really good boy. Doc asked me if he always had a heart rate of 36 and I said every time I put the heart monitor on it says 36. He said FANTASTIC. Biscuit went back to eating hay.

We had the ride meeting and at first the ride was as clear as mud. They also said that the grounds were saturated with water and some trails were under water. Oh yay. Vet strongly suggested riding SLOW - that this was NOT the ride to blast off on that suspensory injuries could result from the deep mud. Another storm was coming at 1:00 am.

It rained some during the night and Lee Ann and I were glad it should be a slower ride but Biscuit is not a fan of sloppy conditions. At 5:00 AM it started POURING down rain, lightening and thunder popping everywhere...

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

DuPuis Piney Pig - Heather Reynolds - Full Story

Tuesday, 31 January 2012
This last weekend we took 7 horses down to the Piney Pig FEI ride in Canal Point FL. The lucky 7 were: (Day one) Kutt & our clients horse P doing the FEI 75, Bailey doing his first 50 & Chanses doing his second 1* to help get his rider, Rachel Shackelford, her qualification. Day two Marvel would do his first 1*, Stirgess would do a 1* with a first time FEI young rider JJ Donley, Cleo doing her first 50 and Bailey and Chanses doing an LD.

We loaded up and drove down to the ride on Thursday morning. It was a very hot day. The drive took about 4:30 hours and was super simple. When we got to camp we scouted out a shady spot. P's owner, Barbara Hershberg was already there and had a spot in mind for us.

The camp at this ride is super awesome. There are shade trees, stalls and large turnout pens. There are also showers. We were lucky enough to find a pen that was about an acre! We put all of the geldings out in it as they always live together anyhow. Cleo on the other hand was put on our hi tie. No risking any mare gelding confrontations!

Camp was set up quickly as all we had to do was turn out our 5 geldings, hand P to Barbara and hi tie Cleo.

It was probably 80 degrees and pretty humid...

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