Friday, September 14, 2012

Lincoln Trails 2012 - Keith Kibler Blog

Posted on September 13, 2012 by Keith Kibler

Lincoln Trails 2012

The tradition of the names of Endurance rides is bemusing. “Dead Dog Creek”, has lots of creaks but none of them are named “Dead Dog”. “Red Barn Run” has no barn, but the word is their used to be a barn. “Raptor Run” is named that because the old growth forest made the race director feel like a dinosaur might use her for lunch. “Lincoln Trails” used to be in Central Illinois. If you know history, Illinois is the “Land of Lincoln” because he did practice law in Illinois and lived most of his life here before going to Washington D.C. However, the ride was not in Springfield and is definitely not within a few hours driving of their now. It is listed as being in “Kinmundy” IL. If you go to Kinmundy, you won’t be at the ride because, it is actually at Stephen Forbes State Park and that is in Omega.

Omega has a population of about 30, but does have a general store with great ice cream and beer. It seems the store’s Sunday beer sales keep it going, as it is the only place allowed by law to sell beer in the entire area.

In any event, the ride application clearly stated in bold print, “There Might Be Mud”. Having ridden there several times, I knew they were right. I had Jazz, a 7 year old twh mare, ready for her first 100. She was 2 for 2 at LD, and 4 for 4 at 50 miles. Kate was in foal, so she stayed home. Sandy had Savanah, her 7 year old mft mare, more than ready for a 50. Savanah can fly and was two for two in Lds and 3 for 3 at 50 miles. Now, I am kind of in charge of training schedules in our program and making sure our horses are ready for rides no matter who is riding them, but my Sandy is in charge of “nurturing”. That means a variety of different things. From my male type “A” perspective, it sometimes means “worrying”. But, if “Mama isn’t happy…….” Well, you get it.

So, Sandy started worrying 3 weeks ahead that Jazz was not ready for a 100. I poured over our training catalogs. I showed her that Jazz had about 1700 miles of training in the 4 years. I submitted the question to a 100 miler friend, okay it was Paul Sidio. He said yes. I submitted it to 2 gaited competitors who are friends. They said yes. I submitted the issue to our close friend who is a local genius gaited trainer who knows the horse extremely well. He said yes. I thought, “I have a lot less trouble convincing juries than my wife”.

Then it rained. Oh, oh, new worries. Then it rained more and the forecast was for a gully washer at the race site the night before. I finally realized I just needed to ride with Sandy in the 50. Mind you, she does not need me to ride with her. Far from it, she won’t even wait for me. The woman, who does not appear to have a competitive bone in her body, turns into Billy Shoemaker when she hears “the trail is open”.

In fact, no one rode the 100 because of the mud. It became a monsoon the night before the ride. They delayed the start to make sure the creeks could even be crossed. This is an Umecra ride and they have lots of rides like competitive trail, Ld, and novice but the field for the 50 was small at 5. This was probably because of the mud. I am never apologetic about the size of a ride. All any of us can do is ride the ride presented to us by the people putting on the ride and ride with the folks that show up to ride. I figure everyone that fails to show up is missing out...

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