by Merri Melde
No matter the size, you've got a good crowd when some of the '-est' guys and gals show up at your endurance rides.
There's not much different about 59,000-mile Dave Rabe since his riding accident back in December of 2012 other than wearing a helmet (a good thing!) - he still wears shorts, he still rides the same couple thousand miles a season, he still rides the same white horse that might have killed him, and he's still the same nicest, Helping-est guy in camp and on the trails.
Need help marking trails? Dave will show up early and help you. Got a problem with your truck or trailer wiring? Dave will help you sort it out. Need Easyboots glued on before the ride? Dave will do it for you. Keep throwing your Easyboot Gloves on trail? Dave will stop to help you get a better fit so you can continue on your ride. Need help unmarking trail? Dave will do that too.
Much of all this in addition to bringing 3 horses to the 3-day Owyhee Fandango, riding 50 miles the first two days, and riding the 100 on Day 3.
This including riding his rogue horse White Cloud on the 100, the horse responsible for his accident, the one he still has to always be alert while riding, since White Cloud will still pull stunts if Dave is not paying complete attention. Why ride such a horse? "Because he's a good horse!"
Since his accident at the Death Valley Encounter in December of 2012, where White Cloud bolted and bucked as Dave was climbing on, once Dave started back on endurance rides (on White Cloud), the pair has completed over 1300 more AERC miles (and plenty more marking trail). The Owyhee Fandango 100 was White Cloud's 9th 100-mile completion, and 7315 AERC miles. His record shows one pull back in 2011. That's why Dave keeps riding this horse with a devilish look in his eye. Dave is now only 1615 miles short of being the High-est-mileage endurance rider ever. It might be White Cloud that gets him there...
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