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

November 9, 2009

Cave Country Canter

Michelle Detmer's 50 mile ride story follows from the Cave Country Canter:

I am so blessed to have 2 great horses! We got 11th and 12th place!!!! We thought for sure we were last. But when we came in they said, no there are others behind you?!

I believe there were 21 riders, at least there may have been one or two more. Some were pulled only a few were behind us. We still went our own speed and were mostly alone (me and Sabine) 95% of the time. We started at 7am and were done around 4:45pm. There was tons of mud! Or I guess I should say bogs. Mud puddles at least have a bottom. This mud was like quick sands in spots, and it sucked you in. I know because I got personal with a couple of them. My boots came off in them. First one of my renegades. I search for a good 15 minutes. But unfortunately had to leave it. Then I foamed on an easy boot at the start of the second loop. So I had one renegade and one easyboot. They stayed on the entire loop until about 3 miles from the end and the easy boot came off. I looked for it for a few minutes but no luck. At the last hold I realized the one renegade I did have was broken. The cable broke (it can be replaced) I just wasn't able to do it there.) So I had no boots for the final loop. Which really didn't matter anyways because there was only about 4 miles of gravel road the rest was muddy bogs thru the trails. The footing was really difficult. The leaves are all down covering the trail. There are big rocks, naturally strewn about on the woods trails, but you can't see them much for all the leaves. And where there weren't big rocks there was the muddy bogs. Just a little portion of it was gravel roads and more so on the first two 19 mile loops. The last 17 mile loop was mostly in the woods and that portion was not terribly rocky just muddy - you couldn't ever sustain a trot for very long. We mostly walked it because the footing forced us to. I was happy that the horses still had the desire to want to move out, we just didn't let them.

I'm not complaining because the weather was absolutely perfect, the scenery was breath taking. We rode along the ohio river with cliffs and caves on the other side. Beautiful woods and forest, and another river as well. And we finished!!!!! Stormy trotted out great on the final vet check even with going 17 miles barefoot, and a good portion of the other loops with just one boot. I didn't bother with trying to boot her backs.

Jazz wore her new renegades and didn't ever loose them!!! And those bogs were just like glue. Sabine liked Laura's Bob Marshall and felt comfortable riding Jazz. It was a great day. We stayed for the awards and then left around 7:45pm. The horses still look great today but I plan on giving them a couple weeks off. I'm at least going to try. We aren't going to any more rides this year.

Sabine brought a camera and took some pictures, out on the trail as well. (I'll send those along when I get them).



  1. Michelle,

    Do you know who won the 50? And what the winning time was? I'm always fascinated by the winning times as I can't fathom HOW YOU GET A HORSE TO THAT LEVEL OF FITNESS? So I take the time and mileage and figure out the average MPH which gives an overall perspective of what you need to run (at that competitive level) over a given distance, terrain, and conditions.

    Phebes averaged 6.2 ,mph at C.C. and 6.1 at Spook Run. The only difference in relative time was the gait we used...Chicken Chase we cantered 50% of the time, Spook Run we trotted 100% of the time. Which tells me that cantering with Phebes is NOT a good thing for her at all. I wish I could sit with someone and talk and "learn" how to bring a horse along over several years to get them to that level, and where the muscle tissue isn't damaged by cantering at least part of time.

    Michelle, if you get the time I'd love it if you'd email me and tell me how you started Stormy out in training in the beginning and how you progressed, and what a training ride looks like today (how far, how fast, how often).

    Again...congratulations. SOMEDAY a fifty for me I hope! But first we need to crack the 25-30. Big hug :) ~E.G.

  2. I was too the point where a 25 to 30 was "almost" too easy for my horses. That's how I knew they were ready. We really didn't do that much cantering this time. Some the first loop and alittle less the second loop. But completely walked and trotted the last loop. The horses pulsed in as soon as we came in for every vet check. Criteria was 60 and they were usually at 55. I think the last loop Stormy came in at 59 and Jazz was 55. The first loop I remember Stormy came in at 55, I was even surprised. I'm not sure what Jazz was but she was under 60.

    I'll emial you more later. If I can do it, anybody can. As long as it's what you really want, you do the hard work in between and it can be done. I KNOW Phebe can eventually do it, if you want her to. You may want to do one more year of LD's and get comfortable with them and then try a slow 50 the next season.

    I'll email you more later.

    Michelle Detmer

  3. Michelle,

    What did you think of Corydon? Based on my rides in Clark State Forest vs. Corydon, I kind of felt Corydon was more difficult to maintain a pace. I did think it was such a pretty ride though.


  4. I like both a lot. But I agree with you. You can move out faster on more trails at Clark than at Corydon. Because of all the muddy bogs. But the scenery at Harrison Crawford was pretty cool. Going along the Ohio with the rock cliffs and caves on the other side was very neat!

    I can't remember who won. Maybe Lois McAfee, or Austin Shaffer (his mom Deb Shaffer got pulled I believe.) OR Bill Wilson. And I know for sure Cindy LaRoy Young got third. Guy Worthington was just a horse or two in front of us. He passed us on the last loop about 5 miles (maybe less) from the finish.

    Michelle Detmer

  5. Sounds like a tough event. How many starters? Who was BC in the 50 mile events?

  6. Garrett, Even though I was there I'm not sure. I was just all wrapped up in myself and my own horses doing their first 50. I'm sure AERC will post the results in a couple weeks.

    Michelle Detmer