Thursday, October 18, 2012

Want to Ride Endurance? Read "Endurance 101"!

For immediate release:

Triangle Ranch Communications is proud to announce the release of the first book written specifically for beginning endurance riders. Endurance 101: a gentle guide to the sport of long-distance riding is told in a comfortable narrative style with plenty of informative stories and photos.

“This is the manual I wish I’d had when I was a new rider in the sport,” says author Aarene Storms. “I read every book, every magazine article, every listserv and webpage, even the fine print of tack catalogs, and I still made mistakes that I could have avoided with more guidance.”

Storms uses the lessons she has learned in ten plus years of competition and combines them with practical advice from other experienced endurance riders. Endurance 101 enables new endurance riders to make better decisions when choosing a horse and tack, and to make good choices when feeding, conditioning, and competing with a novice endurance horse.

Endurance legend and author Julie Suhr says, “I wish I had this book when I discovered endurance riding!” And Merri Melde, equestrian traveller and correspondent, calls Endurance 101 “the next best thing to a two-legged mentor, unravelling the mysteries of getting you and your horse to the starting line, through your first ride, and through what happens afterwards, always with the goals of caring properly for your horse and having fun.”

Riders seeking a straightforward, easy-to-read book will love Endurance 101’s mix of narrative and practical, step-by-step advice on everything from packing the trailer to keeping their horse sane, sound and safe through the conditioning process. Storm’s enthusiasm for her chosen sport will rapidly infect newcomers, and even experienced riders will be look at their riding and training routines with fresh eyes.

You won’t want to miss taking a ride in the company of Storms while dodging her nemesis, the Bad Idea Fairy, along the trail. Laugh and learn. Endurance 101 is the book you’ve been waiting for.

In the words of endurance powerhouse Dennis Summers, “Read this book, cinch er up tight and get er done!”

Author Information: An advocate for Junior riders, equestrian trails, and novice endurance horse and rider teams, Aarene Storms has published numerous articles in Endurance News and other equestrian sport publications. She has completed more than 2000 AERC miles on several horses, and currently competes on a tall, opinionated Standardbred mare called Fiddle. Her adventures in the saddle and on the ground are documented with tongue firmly in cheek at the Haiku Farm blog.

Photographer: Storms recruited a fellow blogger and rider Monica Bretherton and her stockpile of photos to help bring endurance riding to life. From post-ride grins to the intricate details of endurance tack and ride rituals, the images help to draw the reader into the world of long-distance riding.

Publication Information: Anticipated release date for the ebook edition is October 31, 2012, to be available from and other e-book retailers at the price of $9.99. A print edition to follow shortly thereafter, price to be announced.

Contact Information:For further information about the book or for press photographs, please contact Triangle Ranch Communications via Author Aarene Storms can be reached on the book’s Facebook page: or for bookings at

Time in saddle gives county woman rare feat to go along with ‘legs of steel’ - Full Article

By: Cindy Klepper - Thursday, October 18, 2012

When Janet Kirkpatrick tells you she has "legs of steel," believe her.

The 74-year-old sticks out a well-toned gam -the result, she says, of the time she spends in the saddle.

"You're standing up the whole time," Kirkpatrick says. "And I think it helps the back, too."

She should know. A horse enthusiast her entire life, the Huntington County woman discovered endurance riding - a sport in which horse and rider race to finish trail rides of 25, 50 or 100 miles - in 1984. Fifteen years later, she became one of an elite group of endurance riders to log 5,000 competition miles on the same horse.

This summer, Kirkpatrick repeated that feat - piling up another 5,000 competition miles on a second horse.

"To do it on one horse is very unusual," she says. "To do it on two separate horses is just a dream."

In actuality, Kirkpatrick says she's probably accumulated three times her official miles - if you count in all the miles she's logged in training and just for pleasure.

"In the beginning of the year, I put in probably 300 miles just getting him ready to roll," she says.

Kirkpatrick's current equine companion - a purebred Arabian officially known as H.A. Highfire but answering to Booker - came into her life shortly after the unexpected death of another Arabian named Butch.

She and Butch had accumulated 6,168 competitive miles between 1990 and 2002, when the horse suddenly became ill and had to be euthanized.

"That was the longest night of my life," she says of Butch's death. "I held his head. I always told that horse I'd never let him hurt."

A friend connected her with Booker, an unbroken 4-year-old who "had never been out of the field he was born in." Another friend got Booker used to having a rider on his back, and Kirkpatrick spent some time playing with the horse before taking him to the woods for their first ride.

"He dumped me right off," she says...

Read more here:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Effort to bring attention to horse abuse stirs up a dust storm of its own - Full Article

Posted Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012


A cowboy preacher form North Texas who set off in July to ride around the world to publicize horse abuse has ridden into a social media dust storm.

A vigilant Facebook posse of horse and long-distance riding enthusiasts are dogging CW Cooper's every move after he lost two horses to injuries, including one that broke its leg on a cattle guard and had to be shot last month near Alamogordo N.M., in the first 600 or so miles of his marathon ride.

Mounted on his sixth donated horse, Cooper, a 53-year-old air conditioning repairman and one-time country musician from the Parker County town of Bluff Dale, has doubled backed into West Texas.

He's also dumped the notion of trying to make it around the globe, and dropped the horse abuse angle.

He now says he's simply in the saddle for God.

"I prayed about it and the Good Lord said let's go to Texas and spend the winter there. Apparently he has work for me to do in Texas," he said Friday.

Cooper, who spoke from the trail by cell phone from somewhere around Seminole, said he plans to ride until the "Good Lord tells me to stop.

"My whereabouts right now are unknown, brother," he said, in hopes of eluding the online tail which managed to have him checked out by the Gaines County Sheriff's Department on Thursday.

More than a thousand people in a Facebook group are tracking him on the "Stop the ride of Carl Wayne 'CW' Cooper" page. Since Oct. 5, they have been sniffing out his trail, discussing his horse troubles and questioning the shifting reasons for his ride as well as his claim of being an ordained minister of the Cowboy Church in Springtown.

"He just continues to prove that he is willing to risk the health and well-being of these horses to justify his own personal ambition," said Colleen Parmenter Hamer, a long-distance rider from Blair, Neb., who started the Facebook group.

Cooper's digital trackers have also called him out on a whale of a whopper.

While trying to gin up support in what he once proposed as a five-year ride around the globe, Cooper posted online that he was a widower who lost his wife to cancer.

But his wife, who once managed his band, is very much alive. They're still married but "more than estranged," he admitted.

"I did that before I was ordained and I forgot about it. I didn't want people to know my business. If you say you're a widower they tend to leave you alone."

A bumpy trail

Cooper's ride has been rocky since he set off from Springtown on July 23.

His first horse laid down on him just a few miles into the ride, said Hamer's aunt, Bambie Goodall, of Bellevue, Pa., who was acting as Cooper's ride coordinator...

Read more here:

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Several hundred expected for endurance ride - Full Article

by Wayne Ruple

Anywhere from 100 – 400 endurance riders and their horses are expected to gather today in the Choccolocco Management Area in the Shoal Creek Division of the Talladega National forest just north of Heflin for the annual Alabama Yellowhammer Endurance Horse Ride.

Horses, from mules to Arabians, and their riders will begin today with timed 75-mile, 55-mile and 30-miles events near Coleman Lake throughout today and Friday with a 10-mile “fun ride” on Saturday.

An endurance ride is a marathon for horses across distances from 25-100 miles. The distances normally offered are 25, 30, 50, 55, 75 and 100 miles. Twenty-five milers have a maximum of six hours to complete, 30 – seven hours, 75 – 12 hrs, 55 – 13:15 hrs, 75 – 18 hrs and 100 – 24 hrs.

The ride is a run over a pre-marked, pre-measured trail. Trails are marked with color coded ribbons and directional arrows. Trails that will be used after dark will be marked with glow sticks. Each evening there is a briefing for the riders about the trails they will be following and the procedures they are to follow during the next day’s ride.

There are designated checks every 12-20 miles where the horses must stop and be examined by veterinarians and rest, drink and eat for a pre-determined time before continuing on the next leg of the ride. There are timers at the vet check location to officially release riders onto the trail and to record what time the riders come off the trail into a vet check. The vets examine the horse for signs of lameness, heart rate, dehydration, etc. to make sure the horse is fit to continue.

If the horse is judged not to be fit to continue, the horse and rider are not allowed to continue. Each evening after the ride, every horse/rider team that completes the ride with a sound and health horse within the maximum time limit gets a completion award.

Various awards are presented based on the sport motto “To Finish Is To Win” and the health of the horse always comes first...

Read more here:

Thursday, October 04, 2012

AERC Logo Contest

October 3 2012

AERC members: Get creative and come up with a logo to take AERC into the future. Must be a one-color design (printable, silk-screen-able, embroider-able) and designed by a current AERC member, who must agree to assign copyright to AERC.

Up to three designs may be submitted. A member vote will determine the top choices, with the board choosing the final selection.

DEADLINE is 12/1/12. Send submissions to

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

CVM Student Completes Grueling Endurance Ride Blogs - Full Story

October 1 2012

The Western States Trail Ride, also known as the Tevis Cup, is widely considered the toughest endurance ride in the world. The trail follows part of the original Pony Express route through 100 miles of steep canyons, rocky pinnacles, sheer drop-offs, and deep forest in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Competitors have only 24 hours to complete the ride so it’s not surprising that only half finish successfully.

Endurance riding is not a race. The challenge is for a rider to finish with a horse who is judged “fit to continue”, which means he is mentally, emotionally, and physically ready to keep going. Veterinarians make sure that happens. The Tevis has more vet stops per mile than any other endurance competition.

Fourth year vet med student Rita Wehrman has been dreaming of riding in the Tevis since she was seven years old. “I read a book about it and I was hooked,” she says. “I knew I was going to do this ride eventually.”

Wehrman grew up around horses and began riding in local endurance races six years ago with a plan to work up to the Tevis. This year, she got serious and started cross-training her Morgan horse, Thompson. They did the usual trail riding, where Wehrman tried to present Thompson with obstacles and other challenges, but they also spent time in an arena. “We did light dressage to keep the horse balanced and collected,” she says. “You want their back up and their head down and them really listening to you.”

In May, three months before the Tevis, Thompson was injured chasing a goat friend who had escaped from the pasture. Wehrman realized he would not be able to compete and calls it “heartbreaking.” But she didn’t give up. She had nine weeks to find another horse and get it ready. Fortunately, a friend who was pregnant and not participating in Tevis this year offered Wehrman her horse, Dragon, an experienced endurance competitor...

Read more here:

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Nationwide West Nile Case Count Continues to Rise - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
October 02 2012, Article # 20720

As fall begins and temperatures slowly drop, the number of confirmed equine West Nile virus (WNV) cases around the country continues to rise.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey disease maps, 364 cases of equine WNV had been confirmed at last update (Sept. 25). The current case total is the highest since 2007, when 468 horses were confirmed WNV-positive. The current total will likely rise, as mosquito season is not over in many parts of the country.

Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia have all confirmed WNV cases recently.

Iowa--The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship issued a statement Sept. 28 indicating more than 20 horses in that state had tested positive for WNV thus far in 2012. The statement reported only one case was confirmed in Iowa in 2011.

"Horse owners are encouraged to make sure they get their animals vaccinated and keep the vaccination up-to-date," Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said in the statement. "The cases we are seeing are in horses that have not been vaccinated or are not current on their vaccinations, so we are encouraging owners to talk to their veterinarian and make sure their animals are protected."

Kentucky--Kentucky animal health officials confirmed an additional case of equine WNV, according to a Sept. 28 statement from Kentucky Equine Programs Manager E.S. "Rusty" Ford.

An unvaccinated 26-year-old Quarter Horse stallion from Madison County began showing clinical signs--including recumbency (unable to rise after lying down), hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound), and miotic (constricted) pupils--on Sept. 25 and was euthanized the same day. Ford said the horse had no vaccination history...

Read more here: