Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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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