Friday, July 03, 2020

Talkin' Trot Podcast - Episode 10

Talkin' Trot Podcast - Listen

Episode 10 - Talkin about City of Rocks & an Interview with POTATO RICHARDSON!

We are so excited to bring you Episode 10!

We talked to riders from the City of Rocks ride in Idaho, one of the first rides to be held under the new guidelines.

Then we interview 3 time Tevis Cup winner Potato Richardson!

We hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did!


Thursday, July 02, 2020

Schedule Released for AHA Distance Nationals

The 2020 Arabian Horse Association Distance Nationals is scheduled to be held September 25-27 at the Lava Cast ride site in La Pine, Oregon.

The Distance Horse National Championships is the overhead titled event hosted by AHA which include Open Lava Cast Forest Rides along with breed National Championships. Our partnered breeds are the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC), the Paso Fino Horse Association (PFHA), the Performance Shagya-Arabian Registry (PShR), the Akhal-Teke Association of America (ATAA) and the American Saddlebred Registry (ASR).

Along with our many National Breed Championships we also offer an Open Lava Cast Forest AHA recognized Competitive Trail Ride and several Open Lava Cast Forest Limited Distance, 50 Mile, and 100 Mile rides. This year all endurance Open Lava Cast Forest Rides will be sanctioned by the Arabian Horse Association (AHA), the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC.) The Distance Horse National Championships have also added the LD Challenge to the event which is for the same rider/horse combination entered in the all three Open Limited Distance Rides; rules and the point schedule can be found under the Exhibitor Information tab. Remember that all Open Lava Cast Forest Rides are open to all breeds and require no qualifications or memberships!

Ogden Group Camp
La Pine, OR 97739

For more information and to see the schedule, see:

Friday, June 26, 2020

Trail’s Open: Endurance Riders Hit the Trail After COVID-19 Lockdown - Full Article

City of Rocks in south central Idaho became one of the first three rides allowed to proceed with American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC)-approved safety regulations.

Posted by Merri Melde | Jun 25, 2020

Walk through any endurance ride camp, and you might raise your eyebrows at some riders’ fashion choices. But with the added specter of life during coronavirus, ride camp at the three-day City of Rocks Pioneer endurance ride June 13-15 resembled a masked bandit convention in the Wild West. Underneath those masks, though, were smiling riders delighted to return to the endurance trails.

With the entire horse sport industry, including endurance riding, shutting down for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, City of Rocks in south central Idaho became one of the first three rides allowed to proceed with American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC)-approved safety regulations...

Read more here:

Thursday, June 25, 2020

2020 June's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen

On this Endurance episode Karen talks about how to get started in Endurance, The FEI gets tough on cheaters and rides are starting up again. We speak with Cathie Birmingham of the God’s Country Endurance Ride in the Missouri Ozarks and Sharalyn Hay of the Santiam Cascade ride in Oregon. Listen in...

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

New MOU Signed for AERC and Bureau of Land Management Cooperation

June 2020

The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bureau of Land Management. This agreement, dated June 7, 2020, establishes a framework for joint collaboration on “mutually beneficial programs, projects, training, and activities,” according to the MOU.

“AERC is excited to have a signed MOU with the Bureau of Land Management. We look forward to working together as partners in the future,” said AERC Trails Committee Co-Chair Monica Chapman.

Because the BLM and AERC work to promote participation in recreational activities on public lands, this MOU recognizes the benefit to both organizations, the BLM with its 245 million surface acres in the U.S., and the 501(c) (3) nonprofit AERC with its thousands of endurance riding members.

Both AERC and the BLM are devoted to sharing an interest in disseminating information to the public regarding the relationship between equestrian recreation and natural resource conservation. AERC has provided funding and AERC members have contributed thousands of hours toward trail design, trail building and trail maintenance projects.

AERC will also be encouraging its members to work on BLM planning projects to improve awareness and potential equestrian recreational opportunities.

“AERC members are constantly looking for new and exciting places to ride,” said Chapman. “We hope to continue our existing rides that are on Bureau of Land Management property and seek out new trails for new rides.”

As part of the MOU, the BLM will encourage AERC members and affiliated equestrian groups to attend events and projects on public lands, where communities and other agencies maintain and provide equestrian recreation opportunities. This is vital to the continuation of AERC’s endurance rides, which often take place on trails in public lands.

For its part, AERC will encourage members to be involved in the BLM planning processes “to improve awareness and potential equestrian recreational opportunities.” The MOU also notes that AERC will provide technical assistance to BLM offices involved in equestrian recreation management.

One section of the agreement encourages AERC members to attend wild horse and burro events with the possibility of using adopted wild horses in endurance riding.

“BLM Mustangs are resurging in popularity in the world of endurance riding. In the last few years a number of beautiful mustangs have placed in the top ten of the famous Western States Trail Ride (Tevis Cup) and at our National Championship Ride in Ridgecrest, California in 2019,” Chapman explained.

The MOU was entered into under the authority of Section 307(b) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), 43 U.S.C. 1737(b).

More information about AERC is available through the association’s website,, or by calling the AERC national office, 866-271-2372.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Happy Trails Podcast: A Very Unlikely Trail Horse - Listen

Recorded on June 12, 2020

I’ve always loved an underdog story so I was immediately intrigued when I learned of a miniature horse competing in endurance. Kricket and her owner, Jen have accomplished amazing things out on trail and have some very entertaining stories to share. I had a great time interviewing Jen for this episode of the podcast. I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing their story.

Listen at:

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Happy Trails Podcast: Stewardship and Preservation - Listen

May 27 2020

On this episode of the podcast, Jess speaks with Holley Groshek, Executive Director of Equine Land Conservation Resource a non-profit dedicated to preserving lands for equestrian use.

The US is losing 6,000 acres of open land every day, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Large open spaces and contiguous tracts of land are critical to providing the space we need to support our nation’s equestrian heritage and economy. Concerned citizens across the nation are eager to get involved at a local level, but may not know where to start. Equine Land Conservation Resource provides easy access to the information, resources and tools that help horse people take action. Since 2007, ELCR has assisted in the protection of more than 200,000 acres of land and more than 1,200 miles of trails.

See more and listen here:

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Update to COVID-19 Competition Action Plan for USEF-Licensed Competitions

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jun 17, 2020, 10:07 AM EST

Dear USEF Members, Competition Organizers (Licensees and Managers), and Licensed Officials,

Now that some competitions have resumed, it is important that we all remain vigilant in our efforts to reduce the risk of COVID-19 virus transmission when attending a USEF-licensed competition. Please remember that we are among the first sports to reopen, and by strictly adhering to these requirements and best practices we can demonstrate to local, state and federal authorities that the equestrian community is able to manage our sport in a safe and responsible manner. This process might be inconvenient and even uncomfortable at times, but together we can keep our sport going and avoid any further shutdown.

Public health authorities continue to promote social distancing and the use of face masks/face coverings as two of the most important tools in combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Included here are some best practices and guidance to assist you in maintaining compliance with the requirements.

Please note that there have been some recent adjustments made to the USEF requirements concerning use of face masks/face coverings for participants in driving competitions and to the social distancing requirements for members of the same household. These modifications can be found in the latest version of the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan.

Face Masks/Face Covering

Requirement: Face masks/face coverings must be worn whenever you have the possibility of being within six feet of another person (including members of your own household), except when mounted on a horse or seated in a horse-drawn carriage or cart. Please do your part and wear your face mask/face covering as required.

Because you cannot predict when another person may be within six feet of you, it is best to keep your face mask/face covering with you at all times while on competition grounds, including those times when you are going to an area where you may be alone or at a greater distance than six feet from another person. This will ensure that you are able to apply your face mask/face covering prior to being within six feet of another person.
Make sure you are wearing your face mask/face covering prior to entering competition areas where you are likely to be near other people, including areas such as the in-gate, arena, schooling area, restroom, food stand, show office, vendors, stabling, etc.
If you become hot while wearing your face mask/face covering, move to a location where you are alone or at a distance greater than six feet from another person (and preferably 12 feet or more), and lower or drop one side of your face mask/face covering to cool off.
If an official, competition organizer or member of the organizer’s team requires you to don a face mask/face covering, you must comply. The competition organizer can impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the Plan.

Social Distancing

Requirement: All individuals must practice social distancing (or physical distancing) at all times while on the competition grounds by staying at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from any person who is not a member of their immediate household. Exception: social distancing is not required while competing (including warm-up) in driving classes where more than one participant is seated in a horse-drawn carriage or cart.

An immediate household is comprised of individuals who may or may not be related but are consistently living in the same house or dwelling.
Members of an immediate household are still required to wear face masks/face coverings when there is a possibility of being within six feet of any other individuals, including members of their own household.
Competition organizers are encouraged to implement a system that visually (e.g., numbered or colored IDs or some other form of credential) identifies members of the same immediate household.
If a competition organizer requires that everyone on the show grounds respect social distancing for the consistency of enforcement, you must comply with this requirement. The competition organizer can impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the Plan.


We encourage competitions to utilize the downloadable, printable poster and digital graphic below to assist in communicating the face mask and social distancing requirements.

It is critical to our sport that if (or when) a positive case is reported on a show grounds, participants and competition management have complied with the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan for USEF-Licensed Competitions. If contact tracing takes place and the investigating party determines that protocols were not followed, then equestrian sport as a whole can be shut down.

The safety and welfare of our members and their horses must continue to be our top priority. Thank you for doing your part to make sure everyone stays safe.

Best regards,

William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer

More at:

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Senior Showcase: Reyna Mero certainly stays busy - Full Article

June 04, 2020

Assistant editor

Reyna Mero is one busy athlete.

In the fall, she dedicated herself to volleyball, as the Mariposa County High School varsity team’s setter. Come springtime, it was all about softball.

She had her spring softball season cut short due to Covid-19. The senior outfielder was batting .375 in four games prior to the season being called off. She had scored two runs as well.

But in between those school sports, she finds time to endurance race, which is a sport in which riders, in partnership with their horse, travel typically 50-100 miles in a race.

The sport is recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports Endurance riding and is in many ways a solo sport, such as tennis or golf.

With no further ado, here is a profile on the versatile Mero...

Read more here:

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer John Miller

by Merri
June 1 2020

Next in my “Behind the Lens” series, featuring members of the Endurance Ride Photographers Guild (ERPG), we meet long-time pro photographer John Miller from the Northeast region.

John says he’s “had a few images on magazine covers” though he’s probably being modest, and he’s had a lot of images in calendars.

John’s website is

Where do you live?
Belmont, Vermont

What is your profession?
I've been a professional photographer for 30 years. I started as a ski photographer at Killington Ski Resort in Vermont. I now work at a hotel to pay the bills.

Do you have horses? do you ride?
No I don't have horses. No I don't ride.

How did you first get into photography?
I started Spectrum Photography in 2000 and then converted to digital in 2004. We have provided photographic services to individuals, couples, families, seniors, at events, for non-profit organizations and corporations in Vermont and New England for 15 years. It is a family owned and operated business.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?
I shoot Nikon.

When did you start shooting endurance rides?

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?
Because I get to spend time in beautiful places. I really enjoy the beautiful places I get to shoot and where I get to spend my time.

What are challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?
Watch the legs, and getting nice backgrounds.

What are one or two of your favorite ride shooting stories/adventures/misadventures?
I can't think of any stories to tell.

Here are a couple of John’s favorite photos:

The Myopia Hunt Club in October in Hamilton, Massachusetts

“This is a fun story,” John says. “I took this picture while chasing an endurance ride. Then years later I got to meet Anya, one of the horses in the picture.”


Behind the Lens: Bill Gore profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Genie Stewart-Spears profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Susan Kordish profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Becky Pearman profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Dave Honan profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Linda Sherrill profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Steve Bradley profile is here:

US Equestrian Approves Additional COVID-19-Related Rule Modifications for 2020

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jun 5, 2020, 6:30 PM EST

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has approved additional modifications to USEF rules in accordance with a resolution approved by the Board of Directors to address issues related to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. A summary of the most recent modifications is listed below, and the full content of each modification has been added to the comprehensive listing of modifications and appears in blue font. The full listing of rule modifications related to COVID-19 impacts can be viewed by clicking here. Additional rule modifications continue to be reviewed and will be published when approved.

In an effort to minimize the risk of virus transmission through the physical handling of paper, modifications have been to made to rules allowing for judges’ cards and score sheets to be stamped as opposed to hand-signed, and adding the requirement for submitting all USEF Medication Report Forms electronically unless online submission is absolutely impossible.

The modifications listed below are effective immediately and remain in effect for the remainder of the 2020 competition year...

Read more here:

Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Long Rider: HER JOURNEY

Bernice Ende photo - Full Story

Long Rider Bernice Ende

By: Sun Cooper

A singular rider surveys a sweeping landscape from horseback. The image is iconic to America; but this time, the rider isn’t emerging out of a Hollywood Western or a Great American Novel. This is real-life Lady Long Rider, Bernice Ende. Her signature wide straw brim wards off the kind of relentless weathering that comes from riding full days under the sun. The worldwide Long Riders’ Guild defines a long rider as someone who has ridden more than 1,000 continuous miles on a single equestrian journey. From 2005 till now, she has exceeded that distance thirty times over.

Long riders are rare today; still rarer it seems, a traveler who doesn’t construct a feed or a following. Bernice camps without internet, almost full time. I had traced her map where I could, following snippets on social media where someone had driven past her on a highway or hiked across her campsite. She navigates her way through urban cities and untamed lands at 4 miles per hour, and fences have taken on the grievances they inspired in the Old West. She has encountered grizzlies and snowstorms, outrun a tornado, had a stranger pull a gun on her, and has foraged for her own food and shelter daily. The day Bernice Ende set out to ride her Fjords – a strong horse breed from the mountains of Norway – across the country and beyond, she was fifty-years-wise. At a time in life when people are usually settling in, Bernice Ende was starting out on her most extraordinary journey...

Read more here:

Friday, May 22, 2020

2020 Big Horn 100 Date Changed to August 1

May 22 2020

The AERC Board approved the change of date for the Big Horn 55/100 to August 1, 2020. This gives us time to meet all of the new requirements, locate a larger (more spread out) ride camp in Shellm and gives folks time to condition and for their travel and quarantine restrictions to lift in their home states.

It is likely that I will have to cap entries soon, but first, let me say that if you pre-entered and are not able to attend the new date, please email me at and I will refund your entry. Also, I want to be upfront about what will happen if I need to drastically reduce numbers. If that is absolutely necessary, I will start by dropping the 55 miler and refunding those riders. I hope that is not necessary. If further reduction in numbers is required, the decision will be made based on date entry and payment was received.

We have the time now to wait and see what happens when the state updates its restrictions at the end of May. Thank you for your kindness and patience and your support of this iconic ride.

Cindy Collins

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

2020 May's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen

May 12, 2020
Endurance riding artist who makes pottery, t-shirts, decals and hosts virtual endurance rides Anne York and AERC board member Michael Campbell stops buy to give us an update on last nights board meeting and what the status is of the remaining 2020 ride season. Plus Karen introduces us to Milo the Mustang. Listen in...

Monday, May 18, 2020

City of Rocks Pioneer a Go: New Ride Safety Protocols to be Followed

May 18 2020

City of Rocks Pioneer Endurance Ride in Almo, Idaho is currently on schedule for June 13, 14, and 15 in Almo, Idaho, with certain COVID-19 safety measures to be followed, per AERC rules regarding coronavirus issues.

The ride will be following the state of Idaho's re-opening restrictions and travel rules. Please be aware conditions can change any day due to the virus, and the ride can be cancelled at any time by Idaho having to shut down again if current disease cases start to go up again. In other words, the ride is a Go until it is not.

We will have certain mandatory protocols in place to protect our volunteers and veterinarians and fellow riders.

Riders *must* pre-register with ride manager Regina Rose. Please email her your entry information to Not having to register at camp will prevent riders and ride manager from close contact.

Face masks or bandanas *must* be worn at vet checks, including pulse line and vet line. If you do come to vet in your horse or consult with the vets without face protection at any time, you'll be asked to go get your mask and come back to vet in or talk with it on.

You will be required to untack to vet in at the vet checks (all of which will be in camp), to minimize the contamination possibilities with our volunteers and pulsers. The pulsers will have special hand baggies for vetting each horse to protect themselves and riders and to minimize the risk of spreading germs between different horses and people.

There will be no meals or big gathering for meals. BYOF - bring your own food!

There will be portapotties in camp but... use at your own risk. We can't clean and sterilize between each customer. We recommend you come to the ride self-contained. There is a dump station on the road that leads into the park campground (you can see it from Ridecamp). And note that some or all of the park potties may be closed.

There will be no ride meetings. Protocols and all ride info (ride meeting information, vet check time, start times, trail information) will be emailed to you after you email your intent to enter the ride. You can ask questions via email or when you arrive at camp.

Please remember that you yourself may feel healthy as a horse, but you could be an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19, and we want to protect our volunteers and veterinarians who will be constantly near every single person at the ride, as well as riders who may be jonesing to ride but who may have compromised conditions. Please take these COVID-19 protocols and precautions seriously at this AERC ride.

Thank you for your cooperation. Please be patient, kind, humor-ful, and please follow the rules. Times are different; we can easily adapt to these minor changes.

We look forward to seeing you at City of Rocks, and getting back on the endurance trails!

Keep checking for updates and developments at either of these pages:

Regina Rose

Friday, May 15, 2020

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Bill Gore

by Merri
May 15 2020

My "Behind the Lens" series, featuring members of the Endurance Ride Photographers Guild (ERPG), showcases the West region's Bill Gore.

Most of you probably know him best for shooting Cougar Rock with his team at the Tevis Cup. For over two decades, Bill Gore has been behind the lens recording your endurance ride memories, starting with, in fact, the Tevis Cup. There's a good story behind that, of course, that Bill will tell you here.

Bill's website is

Where do you live?
Auburn, Ca 

What is your profession?
Fuel Transfer Engineer (Truck Driver)

Do you have horses? Do you ride?
I currently have 4-year-old mustang mare. Last endurance ride was Tevis 2004. Usually rent a horse when I go hunting.

How did you first get into photography?
Around my freshman year in high school I received my first camera (Pentax ME, which I still have). I used to carry that camera most everywhere but didn’t have a specific subject to shoot. It wasn’t until 1997 that I got into shooting endurance.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?
I shoot Nikon. First decent camera I got (at least that was how I looked at it at that time) was a Nikon N90 kit camera. So when I went to upgrade the body I already had Nikon glass, so I stuck with Nikon. I currently shoot a Nikon D5 with a 28-300 lens.

When did you start shooting endurance rides?
First endurance ride I shot was Tevis in 1997.

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?

Shooting endurance felt like a natural fit. Some disciplines you feel like an outsider, but when shooting endurance I felt like I belonged. The people in endurance are down to earth, always willing to help each other out. When at rides I feel like I am with my extended family.

What are challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?

There are plenty of challenges when shooting endurance.

Weather (insert wind, dust, wind, dust, rain, fog, snow, temperature (I can’t feel my fingers anymore) wind and dust). Operator error. Low battery, malfunctioning equipment, forgetting to update camera settings from previous shoot. Low light, you find that perfect spot but the horses arrive before the sun rises. Walking to chosen spot to shoot only to find you need to wade through a creek or swampy area. Forgetting bug spray.

Travel to rides can be a challenge. And stressful. Figuring that if you get up by 1:00 am and out the door by 1:45 am you should be able to get to the ride, park and hike in before the riders get to your spot. But once on the road you realize you need coffee, gas, snack and somewhere along the drive nature calls all cutting into your precious time. Once at the ride you park, grab all your gear (Hopefully) and hustle to your spot. Get there and put up your signs, check settings on camera, check trail to look for any fresh tracks. Then you can hear the front runners heading your way.

What are one or two of your favorite ride shooting stories/adventures/misadventures?
It is very difficult to pick a favorite story from a ride as there are so many.

From the simple; while shooting you notice that there is something just not right about the rider approaching only to realize they only have one stirrup attached to the saddle and the other is in their hand. But having seen the photographer sign they tried to ride past me to get their photo. They didn’t have anything to fix the issue. I pulled the shoe laces from my shoes and was able to patch together a quick fix and she was able to make that last until the next vet check.

To a more emotional story, which seems to happen a couple times a ride while shooting Tevis. When I get to watch a rider approach Cougar Rock with a look of focus, determination and a little fear. And when they make it over Cougar Rock I can hear them sobbing while they praise their horse saying, “We did it.” I always feel honored to be there to memorialize that moment for them.

Any other pertinent info you’d like to share with us?
When I first started shooting Tevis I met Kate Riordan. That progressed into me helping out showing film crews different locations along the trail. Which led to a very cool experience of being able to go up in the helicopter with a film crew.

All of my helping out/ volunteering for Tevis ended up rewarding me when I received a call from Melinda Hughes. She told me that she had contacted Kate and explained to Kate that she was giving up shooting Cougar Rock. (Which had to do with their photographer falling off CR and getting life flighted out the previous year.) Melinda said she wanted to hand over the reins of Official Cougar Rock Photographer and wanted suggestions for a photographer from Kate. Kate gave Melinda my name and I will always be extremely grateful to Kate for that.

As a side note, the first year I was to shoot Cougar Rock the ride didn’t even go over CR. That was the year they started in Auburn and finished in Auburn.

This is one of Bill's favorite shots, taken at Swinging Bridge on the Tevis Trail.

Bill explains: The photo is a shot of the cover for the Endurance News yearbook 1998. After I picked up the yearbook from the post office in Auburn I ran into Doyle Patrick just outside. As I recall, Doyle was the Executive Director of Endurance News. (I could be mistaken on the title.) While we were talking, Charlie Barieau [early eminent endurance photographer] walked over to us, showed Doyle the yearbook and said, "This is what an endurance ride photo should look like." That was a nice compliment coming from someone I considered a mentor to my endurance photography.

**Top photo is Bill and Diana Hiiesalu, who often shoots with Bill on rides. And, thanks to photography, they are engaged!

Behind the Lens: Genie Stewart-Spears profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Susan Kordish profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Becky Pearman profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Dave Honan profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Linda Sherrill profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Steve Bradley profile is here:

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

From President Murray Kessler: Returning to Competitions After COVID-19

by US Equestrian Communications Department | May 12, 2020, 3:20 PM EST

Dear USEF Members,

Here we go! About 50% of states have begun their phased reopening and several competitions are already on the new Calendar. This works well with the USEF date of June 1 for reinstatement of points. While many events and championships have been canceled, USEF has approved over 100 rule modifications to assist competition organizers with rescheduling events. We have also put in place strict competition protocols and resources to help make them as safe as possible under the circumstances. That’s the good news since we fully understand the economic hardship so many in our industry have suffered and recognize the need for them to get back to work.

I want to emphasize that while this will come as relief to many of you, a return to competition is not risk-free. As a community, we all need to be vigilant. The objective is not only to reopen competitions, but also to keep them open. If we don’t individually and collectively do our part, we could find ourselves shut down again. None of us wants that. My personal experience with the company I oversee as CEO has provided me good insight. We have been able to keep 38 essential facilities worldwide running without interruption through the height of the COVID-19 crisis. It hasn’t been easy. But we were able to do it because everyone is doing their part. So here are a few tips as you think about returning to competition.

If you are uncomfortable and feel the risk is too high – Don’t show!
If you are a high-risk individual – Don’t show!
If you have any symptoms at all (flu, fever, allergy, cough, etc…) – Don’t show!
If you become aware that you have come in “unprotected” contact with someone who has tested positive – Don’t show for 14 days!
If you test positive, do not return to showing until your symptoms are gone for 14 days and you have been cleared by your health provider, and notify anyone you have been in contact with so they don’t show for 14 days!
If none of the above applies, go show, but strictly follow the protocols established by USEF, federal, state and county law, and other Competition Organizer requirements. For example, whenever you are on the grounds of a competition, you will need to wear a mask unless you are up on horseback. You will need to maintain social distancing. Additionally, you should continue to frequently wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.

Separately, revised guidelines for horse of the year awards, qualifying and selection will continue to be published as they are finalized. Your working committees have been hard at work coming up with new procedures that are as fair as possible under the circumstances.

These are unprecedented times which have been difficult on all of us. For some, it has been more than difficult. They have lost their lives or lost the lives of their loved ones. Others have suffered deep economic hardship. Our hearts go out to them. Please keep this in mind when you return to showing. We must all count on each other to do the right thing.

I am confident our equine community will rise to the occasion.

Best of luck as you return to the competition ring. But, more importantly, stay safe.

Murray S. Kessler


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

What to Expect When USEF Shows Restart on June 1 - Full Article

Noelle Maxwell
May 8, 2020

A return to normal—or at least, a new normal—is on the horizon as the USEF announced Wednesday that recognized competitions would return June 1.

“New normal” is the operative phrase here, as the USEF also laid out requirements to keep competitors safe. Effective immediately and subject to revisions as the COVID-19 situation evolves, the new requirements will remain in effect until further notice. (Find the full list outlined in the COVID-19 action plan released May 5.)

Here are the key points you need to know...

Read more here:

Tuesday, May 05, 2020

Talkin' Trot Podcast Episode 7

Talkin' Trot Podcast

Episode 7: Talkin AERC News/ Conditioning, Moving up & Making the most of your Ride Time

Episode 7: Talkin virtual riding challenges, how to support our sport when rides aren't being held, and part 1 of our 3 part series on conditioning. This episode covers information such as: adequate rest, considerations to starting a conditioning...


US Equestrian Announces First Webinar in Series: Planning for a Safe Return to Competition

Join us on Monday, May 4, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET
by US Equestrian Communications Department | Apr 30, 2020, 12:00 PM EST

Learn how USEF is planning to facilitate a safe return to competition following the COVID-19 suspension. This is a good opportunity for trainers, exhibitors and competition managers to understand how to work together to create the safest possible environment for everyone, as we look ahead to restarting 2020 competitions as early as June 1 with a phased regional approach in line with local and state government restrictions. USEF Guidelines for Competitions will be shared during the webinar. These guidelines have been developed by Dr. Mark Hart, USEF’s Team Physician and Chair of the Fédération Équestre Internationale Medical Committee, with input from competition management. Panelists will include USEF CEO Bill Moroney, Dr. Mark Hart, USEF General Counsel Sonja Keating, ESP President Michael Stone, and trainer John Madden.


Monday, May 4, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Key Topics/Agenda:

Overview of Approach to Reopening (Bill Moroney)
Competition Protocols and Recommended Best Practices (Sonja Keating and Bill Moroney)
Health and Safety (Dr. Mark Hart)
A Competition Manager's Perspective – How do you plan to navigate/manage start-up? (Michael Stone)
How will this impact trainers? (John Madden)

This webinar event is open to USEF members, with 1000 spots available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The virtual webinar will be held via Zoom. We encourage participants to submit questions in advance when registering. There will be a Q & A session following the presentation.

The recorded event will be posted on the USEF Network at the conclusion of the session.

More at:

Monday, May 04, 2020

Documentary Film Release: “Lady Long Rider”

“Lady Long Rider”

How far one woman went to find herself.

The Story of Bernice Ende

Film by Wren Winfield
W+E1 Productions

Approaching her 50th birthday, Bernice Ende picked up the reins and rode south on a borrowed horse. Her plan was to visit her sister, a 2000-mile ride from Montana to New Mexico. She never imagined that facing the challenges of life alone on the road, would take her so much further.… In Lady Long Rider, Bernice shares the miles of insight she gained on the horseback ride that ultimately became a 15-year 30,000-mile journey of self discovery.

What Bernice has to say about the film:

I was reluctant to watch the film. As I told the filmmaker, Wren Winfield, ‘I’ve lived it, I don’t need to watch it.’ However, curiosity got the best of me. Words failed me, but my tears did not. I was deeply moved by Wren’s ability to capture the essence of my rides. I applaud her presentation of my life with such artistic beauty and sincere dedication to depicting both the narrative and the insights gained from my life as a long rider...”

See more at:

Friday, May 01, 2020

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Genie Stewart-Spears

by Merri
May 1 2020

In today's issue of my "Behind the Lens" series, featuring members of the Endurance Ride Photographers Guild (ERPG), we get to meet veteran photographer, journalist, and inspiration to many of us, Genie Stewart-Spears.

Genie has written and photographed for - to name a few! - Arabian Horse World, Western Horseman, Trail Rider, Chronicle of the Horse, Arabian Horse Express, Horse & Rider, Endurance News, Horse Women, Horse Play, Equus, Equine Images, Morgan Horse, Appaloosa Horse Journal, Inside International (AHA), Horse Care, Horse Show, Miles To Go, Ride, and Horseman. Her photographs have appeared in numerous books and calendars, and also in ads.  Most recently she sold an endurance photograph that will be on the side of a regional horse feed delivery truck!

Where do you live?
Southern Illinois

What is your profession?
Equine Photographer and Journalist since 1984 - 2020, but retired except for selling a few in-stock photos, writing a few articles a year, and running an airbnb out of my home (Inn To The Forest)

Do you have horses? Do you ride?

Yep, a now 13-year-old Missouri Fox Trotter and 22-year-old mule that I  trail ride all over the Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois.

How did you first get into photography?

I began photographing for my articles in equine magazines - how-to articles that included endurance, and then covering endurance rides for magazines.  I got a lot of practice photographing horses in motion at the nearby Paducah Downs, in Paducah, Kentucky.

I was an endurance competitor in the beginning (5-day Outlaw Trail and Renegade Rides were my favorites), and often carried my camera, getting off and photographing other riders (for the purpose of illustrating the magazine articles I wrote). And because I was frequently being asked by riders if they could purchase photos, my work morphed into also being an endurance ride photographer.

One of my first events to photograph and cover for magazines was the 1987 Race of Champions in Utah, followed by the World Championship (1988) in Virginia.  I also photographed and covered a number of North American Championships, more Race of Champions, Pan Americans, Old Dominions and Biltmore Rides, to name a few of the big rides.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?

I began with a 35 mm Olympus and went to Canon equipment with the 70-200 lens being my favorite.

When did you start shooting endurance rides?

Mid 1980s

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?

I was drawn to the athleticism of the horses and the riders.

What are challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?

Biggest challenge was getting trail maps/directions to preview the course. Ride managers or trail bosses back then didn’t comprehend what all goes into finding the best places to capture the essence of the competition with a strong background or foreground with the best possible light.  I often would arrive two to three days prior and explore the trail in reverse, because that is how I would be viewing the horses.

What are one or two of your favorite ride shooting stories/adventures/misadventures?

Endurance photographers often lend aid on the trail to lost or injured riders and horses!

#1 Oh mercy, I’m not a swimmer but I had to swallow my fear of water to get out in the middle of the Shenandoah River (Old Dominion Ride) year after year.  The second or third year a horse was as terrified as I was of the water, dumped its rider and fled across the river in terror. It was in full panic mode.  Suddenly it saw me standing in the middle of the river and I guess it thought I would save it from the water swallowing it whole, and turned straight for me. I was torn between photographing or running for shore! True to being a photographer, I kept shooting and then grabbed its reins. It stood, trembling, until the rider slogged her way across the river to retrieve her horse.

#2 At a ride in Kentucky (Land Between The Lakes), as I was driving to my next spot to shoot, a riderless horse came toward me at a full gallop. I was able to slow him and catch him. Once he was secured, I went in search of the rider who I found in the middle of the trail, conscious but in great pain. She had been full-bodied slammed into a tree. She was helicoptered from the local hospital to a major one in Tennessee where she underwent surgery. Thankfully she fully recovered and returned to competition. As I recall, she was riding the late Dr. Matthew Mackay-Smith’s horse that had its own idea how fast to run the course.

Any other pertinent info you’d like to share with us?

I was honored to meet and spend time with the late and great (and first ever) ride photographer Charles Barieau during the 1992 Tevis. Some of the stories he shared were wonderful pieces of endurance history! He talked about riding the Tevis Trail (in training) with Wendell Robie and about their adventures. Charles wasn’t into riding as much as Wendell. On one long ride, hoping to turn back for home, Charles told Wendell the horse he was riding was getting tired. Wendell told him the horse was just fooling him and swapped horses (both were Wendell’s horses) and they kept going. Not what Charles wanted!

I’ve ridden alongside some great riders and horses through the years and better yet I’ve photographed and interviewed many of the greats for magazine articles. People like Valerie Kanavy (Cash) and her daughter Danielle who is just as awesome of a rider as her mother; and there’s Becky Hart (Rio),  Jeanne Waldron (Brombe), Crockett Dumas (Grasshopper), Debbie Gordon (Redman),  Maggy Price (Priceless),  Beverly Gray (Omner),  Mary Koefod (Dana’s Northlite), Darla Westlake (RT Muffin), Sharon Ballard (Kidd), Kathy Arnold (Easter Charm), Stagg Newman (Drubin) and so many more greats that make up the sport and made it what it is today.  

While I’m not out there photographing rides anymore, I’m enriched with having been in the midst of great riders and learned from them, not just about riding but about life and how to roll with the punches as well as appreciate the good times.  I thank God for it all.

Below are a couple of Genie's favorite shots and rides over the years.

Valerie Kanavy with some of her horses on her farm in VA (2009)

Stagg Newman with Drubin after the horse’s retirement from endurance (2004)

Annie Whelan during the North American Junior and Young Riders’ Competition in 2015

Valerie Kanavy on Cash (Pieraz) in the 1993 Race of Champions.

Danielle Kanavy McGunigal at 2005 Biltmore finish line.

Top photo is a recent photo of Genie with three of her four poodles that often go hiking with her


Behind the Lens: Susan Kordish profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Becky Pearman profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Dave Honan profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Linda Sherrill profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Steve Bradley profile is here:

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Historical ApHC Chief Joseph Trail Ride Cancelled

April 28 2020

MOSCOW, IDAHO—The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Chief Joseph Trail Ride, set to take place August 3 – 7, 2020. This would have been the 56th consecutive year the historical event has been held.

Due to COVID-19, the United States Forest Service (USFS) is unable to issue recreational permits, hindering the ability for ApHC trail leaders to access trails and establish a ride route. Trail maintenance has also been halted for the time being which would support a safe ride for members, organizers, and their Appaloosas.

“As a Board, this was one of the most difficult decisions we’ve ever had to make,” said ApHC President Ken Johnson. “But our hands were tied by circumstances out of control. That said, I’m confident that the historic Chief Joseph Trail Ride will be back next year better than ever, with even greater participation.”

The uncertainty of this situation and lack of a set timeline for when USFS operations will return to normal have required the ApHC to make this decision. In order for the Appaloosa Horse Club to successfully hold a safe and enjoyable ride, the time for proper preparation is not feasible this year.

While the situation is unfortunate, the Appaloosa Horse Club and its leaders encourage Chief Joseph riders and participants to look forward to next year when this special tradition can be continued. The fourth leg of the Chief Joseph Trail Ride over Lolo pass will now be ridden in 2021. Meanwhile, ApHC encourages members to spend quality time with their Appaloosa and consider enrolling in the Saddle Log program where awards are earned for their time spent in the saddle.

For additional information on the Chief Joseph Trail Ride and further updates that become available in the following months, please visit

The Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) was established in 1938 with a mission of preserving, promoting and enhancing the Appaloosa breed. The ApHC has since registered more than 700,000 Appaloosas, which are known for their distinctive color, intelligence and even temperament. True to their reputation as an extremely versatile breed, Appaloosas can be found in nearly every discipline including racing, endurance riding and serving as reliable family horses. The international breed registry is headquartered in Moscow, Idaho, the heart of the Palouse region—the Appaloosa breed’s namesake and point of origin.

USEF Update on COVID-19: Suspension Extended Through May 31, 2020

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Apr 25, 2020, 8:15 AM EST

April 25, 2020

Dear USEF Members and Competition Organizers (Licensees and Managers),

We continue to carefully monitor the COVID-19 Pandemic situation and the position of health experts, including the CDC and other public health authorities. It appears that in several areas of the country, restrictions put in place by State Governors, such as the “stay-at-home” orders, are making a positive difference. Federal, state and local governments are discussing plans for re-opening the environment in the near future. However, this will not occur overnight and will very likely consist of a graduated easing of restrictions over several weeks, which may vary greatly state-to-state, as well as within the states themselves.

The success of these plans is predicated on a mindful and responsible approach to easing restrictions while also maintaining best practices that we have all learned and adopted in order to reduce exposure to and transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Once USEF competitions resume, we must all continue to support and maintain these best practices as part of our daily activities to help prevent further disruptions to our lives. We hope that resumption of competition comes soon.

With that in mind, the suspension of all USEF owned and named events, selection trials, training camps, clinics and activities is being extended through May 31, 2020. This suspension also includes points, scores, money won, qualifications, or rankings toward any USEF award programs, USEF owned and named events, or selection to a US team including USEF National Championships. Upon the expiration of this suspension, competitions must comply with requirements issued by USEF for operating sport horse competitions in this environment.

Collaborating with competition organizers, affiliate leaders and other industry experts, USEF has been developing competition protocols for safely operating competitions and mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19. Once finalized, we will be providing all competition organizers with these protocols as well as other risk mitigation tools for their use. These tools and resources will also be front-facing on our website and accessible by all members and website visitors.

We have been working on amendments to qualification and selection processes for numerous USEF owned and named events as well as how USEF HOTY awards and ranking lists are calculated. We have started announcing modifications that will make the process as fair as possible for all participants, despite the disruption to the competition year and the likelihood of a staggered regional start-up.

We have received inquiries as to whether USEF will grant exemptions to the junior competitor age restrictions, equine age restrictions and equine eligibility restrictions based on competitive experience. While these topics are being discussed, it is still too early to make definitive conclusions regarding these issues.

We will continue to assess the pandemic impact, and we will keep you informed of any updates to our position as circumstances warrant or as instructed by the government and public health authorities.

The safety and welfare of our members and their horses must continue to be our top priority.

Stay safe,

William J. Moroney
Chief Executive Officer

Friday, April 24, 2020

Wild West Virtual Endurance Ride

Joining a couple of other innovative endurance riders and ride managers, Wild West is hosting a virtual endurance ride - a one day ride on May 9 or 10, or a week-long challenge May 9-17.

It's a way to get your virtual endurance riding on while still practicing social distancing and while having a goal for your fit equines.

After you complete your ride(s), you'll e-mail Wild West your GPS tracks, a screenshot of them or a link to them. Then watch on their Facebook page for your standings. Awards will be mailed out after the ride but depending on the popularity it could take up to a month to arrive depending on availability. 

For more information and to sign up, see

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Susan Kordish

by Merri
April 15 2020

Next up in my "Behind the Lens" series, featuring members of the Endurance Ride Photographers Guild (ERPG), is Susan Kordish, of AZ Cowgirl Photography.

Those of you who ride in the Southwest region have seen Susan behind the lens the last decade. In this article, Susan shifts between saying “I” and “We,” because her husband John is a very important part of her photography business. “He takes great photos,” Susan says, “and one of our Endurance News covers was actually his image. We are two halves of a whole.”

Where do you live?
We currently live in Skull Valley, Arizona. We vacationed here for 10 years prior to moving here in 2005 from Northern Vermont.

What is your profession?
My husband John and I owned and operated a convenience store/gas station for 20 years in Vermont. When we moved here to Arizona we both went to work for the local casino operation. I still work full-time as the Administrative Licensing Technician. My job is to process people's paperwork and do the initial background investigation for gaming licenses (required to work in a casino). I am hoping once I retire to make photography my full-time occupation.

Do you have horses? Do you ride?

I began riding at 8...and I am now 60. My very first horse was actually a Chincoteague Pony. His name was Little Fellow and the man that owned him wrote a book about his early life called "Hundred Acre Welcome" by Ronald Rood. Little Fellow came to me when I was 10 and he was 6. He lived with me until he was 36! Currently I have a registered Morab gelding named Chase. He will be 21 this year. John has a registered Arabian mare named Fancy. Fancy will be 28 this summer.

When I was a kid I competed in hunter/jumper, eventing, gymkhanas and some dressage. My husband and I competed as a team in hunter pace events in Vermont. Since moving here we are trail riders although neither of us is riding lately.

How did you first get into photography?
I casually did photography as a kid with a little 110 camera. My big breakthrough came on our first trip together to the West. We made a trip to Las Vegas in the early 90's. I had met a horseback rider and photographer on an AOL chat room. She said she would take us riding in the desert around Las Vegas. Not only did she take us riding, she took us on a photo safari to the desert near Vegas and handed me her Minolta 35mm with a 70-300 lens and pointed out mustangs in the desert! I was HOOKED! When we got home I bought the same camera and lens combo; I still have it but have moved on to digital. While in Vermont I mostly shot dressage, hunter/jumper and some gymkhana and team penning. I also do some fine art photography and editing.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?
I currently have two Canon 7D bodies, one has a 70-200 f2.8 pro lens and the other has a 24-105 f4 pro lens. My husband is my second shooter. We both use monopods to help with the long hours that shooting endurance rides entails.

When did you start shooting endurance ride
I originally shot alone. Our first endurance ride came about in an interesting way. We were set to volunteer at a new endurance ride happening right here in Skull Valley. I first tried to be the Official Photographer, but another photographer (Linda Sherrill), well known in the endurance world, was already chosen. The day before the ride I was asked if I could shoot the ride, as Linda was ill and couldn't make the trip. That ride was the Prescott Chaparral Ride in 2011. I had a Canon XTi and a 70-300mm lens and no website. I was able to get a website up and running in 3 days. It wasn't pretty but it functioned and I had a way to sell. A few years later my husband John started being the second shooter so we could get more images of each rider.

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?

We love the excitement and camaraderie of the endurance shoots. We know many of our riders by name and they know us at this point. I love the smiles and kind words they share with us. We feel like part of the endurance family here in Arizona.

What are challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?
The challenges are to find great locations, and the weather. Most of our rides are a bit of a distance from where we live, so we either have to make a scouting trip or arrive a few days early to scout. The weather is usually great but once in awhile the rain comes and makes it very hard. Had an expensive repair when the rain cover didn't protect well enough...I have since purchased a better rain cover!

What are one or two of your favorite ride shooting stories/adventures/misadventures?
Every November we photograph the Lead, Follow or Get Out of My Way ride at McDowell Mountain Regional Park down near Phoenix. We always take our mountain bikes because the biking is wonderful there. So, the ride was on Saturday...I spent much of Sunday working on images, so Monday we decided to head out for a bike ride. About 3 miles in...John fell crossing a dry wash. I could tell immediately that he was hurt bad!! The rest of that day was spent waiting for the helicopter to arrive...then meeting the ambulance back at the park. I was dropped off at our travel trailer to arrange to stay a bit longer - we were supposed to head home the next morning. I arrived at the hospital to find John in the ER with a broken femur/broken hip. A couple of days later while John was having surgery to put a titanium rod into his femur I had to learn to drive the truck pulling the travel trailer alone for the 3 or so hour drive back home. Having driven horse trailers I did fine, but yikes. The good news is he is on the mend and he only missed one shoot.

Also...last April while at our first location at the Lead, Follow or Get Out of My Way at Bumble Bee we got chased out of the desert by a huge bull. We were walking back towards the car to catch the last few riders when we started to hear a bull calling out behind us...then crashing in the desert brush...walking faster I looked back and it was coming our way! I don't think he actually had bad intentions towards us BUT we were in between where he was and where the other bull was. We stopped once we were safe and took a few shots of them sparring!

And any other pertinent info you’d like to share with us?
We have been fortunate to have been published extensively, with covers on The Horse, The Horse's Hoof, Trail Blazer and Endurance News. Many of our photos have been used to illustrate articles and for advertising. Along with our website we have a Fine Art America site. I also have my fine art work available locally at The Prescott Art Market and the Skull Valley Station. In the past I entered many juried art shows both locally and online.

Below are a couple of Susan’s favorite shots and rides over the years.

In the Flagstaff Monsoon Fever ride in Arizona, Junior rider Hailey Zehring is riding Andrea Maitland's mustang Wyatt Earp. This made the cover of Endurance News a few months ago.

Brad Person in the Lead, Follow ride in McDowell, Arizona. Brad is Susie Kramer's significant other.

Mary Jane Fridley on Dreamer, in the Dashing through the Trails ride near Goodyear, Arizona.

Here's one of Susan's favorite cover shots


Behind the Lens: Becky Pearman profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Dave Honan profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Linda Sherrill profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Steve Bradley profile is here:

Vermont 100 Cancelled

April 14 2020

 Due to the COVID-19 viral pandemic, the Vermont 100 ride committee made the very difficult decision to cancel this year's endurance rides, scheduled for July 18, 2020. 

"Consideration for the health and safety of the endurance riding community, our generous volunteers, veterinarians, and the public in general are our foremost concerns in making this decision. These are truly unique circumstances.

This was a very difficult decision for the committee, as we understand the love and passion so many have for this incredibly unique event. We feel that this was the only responsible course of action. We will be back stronger than ever for 2021! Please be safe and well as we rise to meet this global challenge by working together while staying apart."

 Pam and the ride committee.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

2020 April's Endurance Day on Horses in the Morning - Listen

Apr 14, 2020

Endurance Day Revisit: We chat with 2017 Tevis Cup winner Tenney Lane, Haggin Cup winner Jeremy Reynolds and Molly Farkas shares her adventures riding this year’s race on her Appaloosa Spotted Wap; 49 years after her first Tevis Cup. Listen in...

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Suzy Kelley Passes

The endurance community is not the same without Suzy Kelley, who passed away on the first of April.

She was the 2008 AERC Hall of Fame inductee and known as a tough competitor with a heart of gold. Her daughter, Laurel Wynn Black, wanted to be sure endurance riders knew that "You all were such a big part of her life for so many years!"

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

2020 AERC National Championships June 5-7 Cancelled

April 8 2020

Due to the uncertainty and upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 AERC National Championship June 5-7 at Fort Howes, Montana, has been cancelled. The difficult decision was made by ride managers and hosts Jan and Bill Stevens today.

They are uncertain at this time if they will postpone till a fall 2020 date, or June 11-13, 2021.

Stay tuned to for further developments.

Washington's Jill Ann Smith approaches her wide-ranging pursuits with passion and dedication - Full Article

By Carrie Scozzaro
April 8 2020

hat do Arabian horses, women veterans, ceramics and the food industry have in common? They're all things Jill Ann Smith has built businesses around.

"I've always been a niche marketer," says Smith, who lives in the Little Spokane River area in an older home with a newer shop surrounded by funky outdoor sculptures and a garden. From the road, a unique metal fence reads like a biography of Smith's life with cutouts of things like leaves and horses.

Cutouts of Air Force jets relate to her husband, Doug, whom she met while on the westside, where she grew up and earned her art degree at the University of Puget Sound. Fairchild Air Force base brought the couple to Spokane.

Smith likes to tell the story about a trip to Serbia she and her husband took to secure contracts for EarthGoods, one of many ventures she has run or created in her 50 years as a self-styled entrepreneur.

"In Serbia," explains Smith, "business is done over drinking." Only one person spoke English and none had ever dealt with an American nor a woman. Through hand gestures and smiles, they persisted, with Smith pointing to her husband as the "designated drinker," so as not to offend their hosts.

"My husband drank the Serbs under the table," says Smith, laughing.

Her husband also gave Smith her first horse, opening the floodgates, she calls it. Although she never rode a real one as a child — she made do with stick ponies and stories of the Black Stallion — Smith was especially enamored of Arabians...

Read more here:

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Along for the Ride - Full Article

INL employee uses endurance equine racing to explore the great outdoors

Published online: Apr 02, 2020 Articles, East Idaho Outdoors Rebecca Jones

Jessica Cobbley loves preparing others for the ride of their lives.

In her work at Idaho National Laboratory, Cobbley works as an Advanced Test Reactor e-learning technologist. She spends her days finding ways to incorporate new technology like virtual and augmented reality or 3-D printing into the training classroom for the national laboratory’s test reactor.

Off the clock, Cobbley spends time with her passion of equine endurance racing – and works to help others in Idaho enjoy her beloved sport as well.

Growing up in Montana, Cobbley claims she was “riding horses before I could walk.” Her love for horses only grew when she discovered long-distance competitive trail rides at the age of 11. She spent years training, competing and caring for her horses.

She began endurance racing in 2014. Today, Cobbley and her husband both compete in the sport. The couple has seven horses, three of which are used for the difficult endurance races...

Read more here:

Waiting Out Coronavirus, and Thank You to Our Advertisers

April 2 2020

First and foremost, in this time of social distancing and lockdowns and uncertainty with COVID-19, we at would like to send all of you best wishes for staying well and coping. We hope you can still get your horse therapy and horse hugs on!

We will continue to provide our usual US and world-wide endurance news, stories, and uplifting equine-related entertainment for distraction and to look forward to the time we emerge on the other side of this, ready to get back to riding and the sport we all enjoy. is suspending advertising fees for the months of March and April due to coronavirus and the economic situation, and we are offering 2 free months for new/introductory advertisers. As always, we will continue to promote and share our advertisers' businesses through our popular social media channels, Ridecamp, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

We do want to thank our current advertisers for the mutual support. Please take time to look them, shop, and keep them in mind as we all go through this journey together. Thank you all!

Interested in new advertising? Contact

Belesemo Arabians - in Caldwell, Idaho has been breeding quality endurance and sport horses for more than 35 years. Horses with Belesemo bloodlines account for 18 National AERC titles, 23 U.S. National Champion, Reserve Champion and Top Ten Sport Horses,and numerous Regional & Best Condition placings, in addition to numerous Class A and Open show ring wins.

In the 2016 Tevis Ride - 3 horses sired by stallions in the Belesemo breeding program were in the Top 14. Belesemo Arabians are becoming known as "the definitive endurance horse", the Cadillac of trail horses. Their versatility in all areas of halter & performance are widely accepted.


Cypress Trails Equestrian Center - in Humble, Texas. Darolyn Butler's stables offer adventure trail rides, training and lessons, horse boarding, and more.

WE ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS! We have established a safety protocol for our staff and customers and are supplying surgical gloves to riders. There are no crowds and we ride in the fresh air along the creek. Reservations adored. Walk-ups will be accommodated if possible, but those with reservations will be given priority. Book online 24/7 or call 281.446.7232 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.


The Distance Depot - The Distance Depot has grown into one of the premier shops, for custom made Beta BioThane tack, endurance and trail riding equipment supplies in the nation.

Manufacturing their products in the USA remains important to the integrity of their business, as well as offering proven, innovative products that are used by top riders in the endurance and trail riding communities. Maintaining expert customer service, and providing the fastest shipping available on all of their orders, continues to be a top priority for this company.


Dixie Midnight No-Sweat Vent Pads - Dixie Midnight No-Sweat Vent Pads are made Exclusively For Horses By Riders Who Care, right Here In The USA!! No-Sweat vent pads are guaranteed to perform as described and the FAQS are......There is no finer piece of tack made.

This is how the No-Sweat vent pad is placed upon your horse. Your No-Sweat rests on your horse's back, your saddle pad rests on the No-Sweat, and your saddle rests upon your saddle pad. Your horse will be cooler and more comfortable, your saddle pad will stay clean and dry, no matter how hard you ride.


Drinkers of the Wind Arabians in Bellevue, Idaho - Robert Bouttier has owned and operated Drinkers of the Wind Arabians since the 1970's and named it Drinkers of the Wind Arabians after the book written by Carl Raswan.

Robert raises mostly Polish Arabian horses with the Forta and Sabellina bloodlines which produced the great horses such as Sambor, Sabson, Samtyr, Monarch AH, Falat, NF Proof, etc. French Arabian bloodlines have also been included in the DWA breeding program by stallions such as Haffir el Rimal, Chndaka, Ala Croixnoire, Falina des Fabries, and Darwinn. Many of the DWA horses have excelled at the racetrack as well as in endurance, and others have made excellent pleasure and trail horses.


Equipedic Saddle Pads - Can a saddle pad improve your horse's performance? Can it increase the oxygenated blood flow levels across the horse's back? Can it help build strength and accelerate muscle recovery? Will it provide your horse with more energy without supplements? Can a saddle pad lower the body surface temperature of a horse? Can it eliminate saddle fit problems and pressure points? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES, if it is an EquiPedic® Saddle Pad! There is no other saddle pad like it!

EquiPedic, Inc. has utilized the latest in space age technology and proven existing technology to bring you the ultimate in equine comfort! A saddle pad that actually lowers the body surface temperature of your horse, increases the transcutaneous oxygen levels of your horse's back, increases energy levels, and speeds muscle recovery. All while protecting its back!

All in an orthopedic, anti-slip, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, machine washable saddle pad! Combining phase change material, Celliant (formerly known as Holofiber), and the most advanced impact reduction material, Confor™ material, with natural wool and non coated breathable 1000 denier Cordura eliminates saddle fit problems, increases oxygen, energy, muscle recovery and keeps your horse cooler when it's hot and warmer when it's cold!


Euroxciser - We’ve been manufacturing Horse Exercisers for over two decades. It’s our focus and all we do. Built strong to last and meet your horse training needs every day, all day, year after year.

Owning a EuroXciser is an investment to improve the performance and health of your horses. The euro walker opens a wide range of training opportunities. Improve your horses’ fitness base with daily work plans. Integrate interval training to build strength and speed. Rehabilitate horses in a safe controlled environment. Exercise several horses at once saving time with fewer hands to manage the work. Keep your older horses sound and in shape. Prep your yearlings and foals for sales. The options are many; transform your facility with a EuroXciser. Find training tips and more on our blog.


Idaho Saddle Company - Welcome to Idaho Saddle Company - Trail & Endurance Saddles

Let's find your new trail or endurance saddle today! I have a large inventory to pick from of new, used, and demo saddles or I can order you a new custom Arabian Saddle Company saddle. I went through a ton of trail and endurance saddles before I found Arabian Saddle Company saddles. I have ridden in an ASC Solstice for 10 years and own two of them. They are the best English saddle for trail riding and endurance riding. I am always amazed at how they fit me and my three horses that have different shaped backs.


Moss Rock Endurance - MRE is a maker of Beta Biothane® tack, and it’s created right here in the USA. Excellent customer service and high quality tack has always been and remains our highest priority! Additionally, you'll find a wide assortment of headstalls, reins, saddle accessories, and dog equipment.

A family-owned business since 2000, Moss Rock understands your passion, so let’s tack up and ride!


Renegade Hoof Boots - The Worlds Highest Performing Hoof Boots! Proudly manufactured In the USA by Lander Industries Inc.

Featuring unique pivoting heel captivator technology; if properly sized, fitted, adjusted and installed, the Renegade Hoof Boot will not rub, not even for distances of 100 miles (Tevis proven) and requires no accessories whatsoever to accomplish this feat.

The Renegade® Hoof Boot has been a long time coming but its arrival represents the unleashing of the inherent performance potential of the barefoot performance horse, providing them with the extra protection they need to achieve unprecedented levels of performance over the toughest of terrain.


Riding Warehouse - Affectionately called "RW" by its devotees, Riding Warehouse is Your One-Stop Online Tack Shop for English, Western and Endurance riders. Located in San Luis Obispo, California, Riding Warehouse offers a wide selection of quality equine products including horse tack, riding apparel, horse trailer and stable equipment, plus gifts for horse lovers. RW everyday mainstays are: Free Shipping & Free Return Shipping (for a year!), Guaranteed Lowest Prices, and Unbeatable Customer Service.

The RW Creed tells you more about the heart and soul of Riding Warehouse and its staff. Get to know each of our crew members' backgrounds and horse interests on our blog's RW Crew Bios page. We welcome you to engage with us in-store, via our website (try live chat!), or social outlets - say 'hello' and share a photo with us on facebook!
Happy Riding!


Slypner Gear - Quality Gear for Horse & Rider. 
We personally test each product we offer, so we know each one is high quality and will serve our riders well so you can turn to our dedicated team to deliver quality horse care products and the finest riding gear. At Slypner Gear of Claremont, New Hampshire, our large selection of products includes hard-to-find products for trail riders and horse aficionados.

We specialize in products designed especially for the trail rider and horse – from grooming supplies and supplements to saddles and heart rate monitors. We are also the home of Slypner Athletic Horseshoes, designed and developed in Denmark. Our name was derived from the mythological Nordic horse with 8 legs that walked on water, in the air, and over the ground. We strive to offer products that enhance the well being and health of the horse, the weekend warrior and the seasoned competitor. Here you will find high quality products designed for the horse and rider who do it all – just like Slypner!

Slypner Gear is a division of the Slypner Athletic Horseshoe Company located in Claremont, New Hampshire. Building on the concept of Slypner shoes which put the horse’s comfort first, we have sought out superior products for the trail and endurance horse and rider. Our goal is to provide a complete and convenient source for tested products for the trail horse and rider. If you can’t find something you’re looking for on our site please call us and we will try to help you.


Specialized Saddles - “The worldwide mission of Specialized Saddles is to alleviate horse’s sore backs, resulting from poor saddle fit. Specialized Saddles provides both horse & rider with unequaled comfort.” We are blessed to have made great strides toward achieving this goal. Our customers and their input & support keep Specialized Saddles growing and improving.

Specialized Saddles more popular features are:

* Adjustable stirrup positions (forward, balanced or centered). 

* Patented 3-D (three dimensional) fit system, allowing you to fit multiple horses. 

* Lightweight close contact saddle.

* Custom saddles, built to fit the rider’s specific needs.

The patented adjustable 3-D fitting system developed by David Kaden has greatly improved saddle fit. This improved technology has led to superior performance by horses worldwide, Specialized Saddles has customers and sales representatives around the world.


Synergist Saddles - Custom saddles for you and your horse or mule and all your riding needs. Whether you are looking for custom Western Trail Saddles, Lightweight Trail Saddles, Endurance Saddles, or English Saddles we have just what you need.

As a custom saddle maker, our saddles are hand made in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Each of our custom made saddles are fit to you and your horse or mule. You’ll also find matching tack, articles about horse care, horse health and saddle fitting.

* Patented EQUImeasure Kit included with every custom order to ensure proper fit of your horse or mule
* With the kit it’s like having your horse or mule right there in the shop
* The fit of your saddle is adjustable for life to accommodate the growing or aging horse or mule
* Saddle can be adjusted for a new horse or mule of similar width back
* For multiple horse needs we can build a generic tree bottom to fit the type of horses you ride


Taylored Tack - Designed with your horse in mind!

Are you tired of the same old BioThane® and Beta® tack out there? Taylored Tack™ has the solution! We make quality, hand-crafted, unique tack designed with you and your horse in mind. . . . and most importantly, our tack is made in the good ol’ US of A with Stainless Steel hardware, guaranteed not to rust or fade!
Whether it’s an Arab or a Warmblood, size does not matter. Our solution and commitment to you will be to provide unique and beautiful tack . . . that fits properly.

Each Taylored Tack™ product is individually hand crafted by Amanda Taylor, with close attention to detailing down to the last stitch. No other Beta® and BioThane® tack manufacturer comes close to the quality of Taylored Tack™.
Taylored Tack™ is proudly made in the USA