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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

April 14, 2009


Four days until the Chicken Chase.
Our plan for the week is just some round pen work for flexibility.
Under the impression that this cold weather will lift!
Really putting the feed to Phebes at this point to maintain her weight.

Our weather has turned off chilly again, and everything is soggy from the intermittent rain showers. I'm crossing everything for nicer temps this weekend, especially at night as I'll be camping without any heat. I'll be missing my Rat Terrier for sure as she comes in handy when it is cold *LOL* It looks like we'll be riding on Saturday, though I'll be going to Henryville on Friday to get myself set-up. Michelle I believe you on the kicking thing. Poor Phebes has been kicked twice in the past seven days because she trotted up on somebody. I have a difficult time with that as she has a very long stride for a short horse. She out paces the horse in front and then we are there right behind. I'm not really wanting to pass, but we don't want kicked necessarily either. I've also given thought to Phebes being the kicker...she hasn't offered to kick another horse yet, but that isn't to say she wouldn't in a high stress situation, so I'm putting red in her tail, just in case. I'm going to do my best to just stay out of the that is the competitive spirit! ~E.G.


  1. And as far as kicking goes. I consider it the person in the back's position to try to prevent the kick. Because humans don't have eyes in the back of their heads, we don't know if a horse is close behind us or not. But a horse can tell, they can see better behind themselves than we can. And they get real nervous if a horse they don't know runs up on them. Well, even if it's a horse they do now. Both Stormy and Jazz have each kicked once at each other when we've been riding, and they are pasture pals.

    Hope you have a good ride saturday and can't wait to read about how it goes. Hopefully our ride goes well too! It's getting close now.


  2. Our goal is pretty simple. Complete within the allowed time, with a healthy horse. That is all I require for the first ride.

    I want to build a horse with longevity, not a one ride or one season flash in the pan. There is only so much within our control and the rest is ...well-fate. My deepest respect is for those riders who are able to compete the same horse for multiple thousands of miles, over a decade or more. That is the highest measure of horsemanship and endurance. That is the goal to reach for.

    Climbing off my soap box, past my bedtime. ~E.G.

  3. I've heard of using green ribbon for a green/new horse? But I suppose the red would probably garner more attention.

    Also, out of curiosity, how do you plan to attach the ribbon?

  4. I don't completely believe that. I believe the highest level of horsemanship is to ride many different horses to their best abilities for a long career. To just ride one horse for a long career, means the HORSE is a great horse-- and the rider, may or may not be the best horseman. Some horses are easier and make it easier than others. A truely good rider can ride all kinds.

    Michelle Detmer

  5. Well, our plans have changed and now I'm riding the LD saturday. Michelle called and wanted us to come saturday because she is going to leave saturday night. She wants to ride the 50 on one of her horses one day and would rather do it Friday than Saturday, since she wants to leave saturday. She'll be able to leave earlier on Saturday if she only does the 25. We still have the same plan, to start at the back of the pack, even after the 50's probably.

    So I may see you out on the trail Saturday.

    I was leaning more towards riding Friday so I could ride my horses saturday with my hubby. We could always ride them sunday afternoon but it looks like it's going to rain. So we may try to ride saturday after I get back. He said, I'd be too sore, but I said I won't! And even if I am I'll ride anyway.

    Michelle Detmer

  6. "To just ride one horse for a long career, means the HORSE is a great horse--"

    Reply: I totally disagree. A great horse is NOTHING without training, and a leader. Without those you have nothing but a pushy non-disciplined horse (which is what I'm contending with this first six months under saddle), which takes somebody with dedication to work through all that. Agreed that a series of good horseman (or more likely horsewomen) can mold that horse and bring out the horse's potential. However, my point was a horse with longevity. Not a horse that has a one season winning streak, or a two season winning streak, and disappears. I know a couple of people who have dedicated their riding career to A HORSE, and continued with that horse for more than 12 years, and did something such as National Championships, or Regional Championships on that horse, or have phenominal accumulated mileage. They do not just enter to ride fast, but rather compete with the rational to get the most longevity out of that particular horse. Not saying that is for everybody, but it is definitely MY MIND SET. I'd like to still be riding my horse five years from now, ten years if I can still swing my leg over the saddle.

    My respect is for those who are in for the long haul. I know that many people compete with a race mentality, but if that is the ideal, then why is the motto: To Finish Is To Win? Because every rider's goal is not to WIN. And that's okay.

  7. Nicole: I've heard of hanging green ribbons on green horses, but I've not seen it yet. I'm figuring on going with RED just in case. Phebes has been doing better, hasn't offered to kick another horse since we've started. But I figure ride day there will be a lot of commotion, and I'm not sure how she'll react to the vet (though we have practiced that thanks to Chris helping me out, and David, and you). So just insurance to let everyone know that my horse "might" get upset.

  8. I know exactally what your saying and agree. I just respect someone even more if they can do it with one horse, and then another. Like Lois, she has had a great time with Khemo and he's not only won but has kept winning and doing well into his teens. If that were the only horse she had doing well I'd say; must be a great horse, and a pretty good rider. But since she has Tonka Toi that has also done very well and has been competing for a long time, I say wow what a great rider! My example just happens to win a lot too. But they don't have too. Just if they accumulate a lot of miles on more than one horse. Like Bill Wilson, he doesn't ride just one horse. His horses are conditioned to the max, so he's bound to top ten sometimes and win sometimes. But he is in no way competitive and usually gives up his win to others if they come in close together. Both he and Lois are excellent role models and heros to me in my book.

    Obviously, the horse can't do it all by himself. But some horses are just more suited to being long-term endurance horses than others, no matter how much you try.

    I don't respect people that go out and race their horse for one season or two and then race another horse for one or two seasons. I'm not about winning at all costs. I hope you don't think that.

    But I do understand the person who wants to be somewhat competitive. They may wish to do as well as they can without harming their horse. From what I've seen so far, most of the people in endurance really care about their horses first and foremost. Just because they win or top ten doesn't mean they are not being good to their horses.

    Michelle M. is out to just condition her horses some more for this ride and so we will probably be competing with you for the turtle. Plus, Laura will be riding her greenie. Strange that she put her on her newbie. But she says the horse is super calm at home and in training and she expects him to be at the ride as well. While the other two have been doing this for a couple seasons, are still a little harder to ride and control so she is riding one and I'm riding the other.

    I will place a bet that I will be riding the tallest horse out there! If I were a betting woman.

    Is it light out at 5:30 am? That's what they say for the start of the LD on AERC's ride calendar......

  9. Michelle,

    We are really saying the same thing. We just have different competitive goals. I feel I have a decent horse that may eventually be competitive if I can get her head into the game. So my "goal" or my "competition" is against myself. If I can set a baseline on this ride to know what to expect, where I'm going to have to work my butt off (and her's), then I am able to point my horse in that direction. The role models you are speaking of are like mine, long term endurance people. I don't know Lois but she is obviously a mentor to look up to. It is good we all have one :) I know that I am every day grateful for mine, as she has encouraged me, even at times that I've felt discouraged. Your conclusions are drawn from where you are (an accomplished rider, young, agile, and ready to have at it) my conclusions are drawn from being a novice rider, with a green horse, over fifty, and what I feel I want to do with that, which is have a horse with longevity. I don't want a replacement horse in the future. I want to ride for the long haul with Phebes. Which will certainly present its own challenges. She is a challenging, Alpha mare. I'm not even sure YOU would want to ride her.

    Please just keep in context that my opinions are not meant as a judgement of others. When I say I feel a certain way the finger is really pointing at me, my goals, what I want for the future. I could easily over-ride Phebes, be pulled, or get spittin' mad at her antics and just take a rider option this weekend. The vet could send me home. Whatever happens, we gave it our best, our way. Make sense?

  10. Nicole! I forgot to answer your questions on the ribbon attachment. It is pretty low tech. I bought a roll of thin red ribbon, cut it into long streamers, folded them in half and knotted a small loop on one end. I'll take a thin section of tail hair and start a braid, go through the loop, and braid below and tie it off with a little hair band. Hopefully that will work! ~E.G.

  11. Yeah, that makes sense.

    I was just picturing Phebes with a bow tied around her dock, thinking that felt an awful lot like a crupper! Even when I used to hunter braid my horses tails, they didn't really like the pull it caused when they swished their tails - you might try it on her ahead of time so that she's used to it.

    Hope all the packing goes smoothly!