Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dead Dog 2012 - Keith Kibler

Shawneesunrisefarm.net - Full Story

July 16 2012

First of all, there is no Dead Dog Creak at this ride in Kinmundy, IL. Secondly, it is not in Kinmundy, it is at Stephen Forbes State Park outside of Salem IL. The ride is put on by the lovely Mowrer family with no backing from other groups. They are endurance heroes in my book.

Thirdly, the ride was named after the previous ride where there was also no Dead Dog Creek. Supposedly, there was some ride about 30 years ago that did have a creek that featured a dog past his prime and the name stuck. Go figure. Such is the lore of endurance.

This ride features up and down and around and mud. Usually it has lots of mud and sometimes impassible creeks. They moved the ride date to miss the rainy season. Someone forgot to tell the weather. Record drought fell on the ride site. It left the course with hard as concrete dirt and mummy dust. I have never seen dust on this course before.

Sandy and I held a “This Is Endurance 101” weekend two weeks before the ride and several of those folks who attended showed up to ride. Some showed up to help and learn and they even brought someone. Sandy moved down to the LD to mentor a first time rider on a twh gelding that we had sold him. The new owner was thrilled to try his first ride but apprehensive. I told him to relax, have fun and let Sandy mother him. She is superb at that.

I had a friend come to the pre ride who had done an Ld on his mixed breed gaited horse named Buddy a few years ago. The friend, Kelley is a very experienced and gifted gaited trainer and Buddy is a super horse. In fact, I tried to buy Buddy from him when I started this adventure many years ago. I took Kelley and Buddy to the Ky Horse park a few years ago for their first 50. That course, which was held during the Egyptian Arabian Festival, it extremely stressful on the horse. It was a bit too much for Buddy and Buddy had to be pulled and it really shook Kelley up. Even though Kelley rode one of my mares in a later 50 and ended up tying for 4rth in a very well ridden ride, he was still apprehensive about another attempt with Buddy at 50 miles in hot conditions.

This was to be Kate’s last ride for a while, as I am hoping to breed her. She had been leading her last ride through 34 miles at the Ozark wilderness 100 when she lost a shoe and some hoof, along with the shoe. She had almost 2 months off to get well but her front hoof angles were wrong as not enough hoof had grown to set the angles exactly where I wanted.

Kate was the top endurance point TWH for the last two years and is leading this year. I am riding this weekend for points. Well, I am riding to help Kelley and for points. My plan was to ride on Buddy’s heart rate and let that put us where ever it put us. Kate already had a double 50 weekend this year and a 100 completion. I knew she was ready...

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