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

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Steve Bradley

by Merri
March 31 2020

In my "Behind the Lens" series, readers and endurance riders get a glimpse of members of the Endurance Ride Photographers Guild.

The ERPG was formed in 2019, and consists of a group of two dozen professional, skilled photographers from around the USA dedicated to documenting AERC endurance ride events in the USA.

Steve Bradley, of the aptly named Stevesphoto, was sort of roped into endurance ride photography by his wife Cindy. Since spouses are usually part of endurance, photographing the rides was a perfect option.

His photos have been published in Endurance News, Arabian Horse and the now defunct Trail Blazer magazine. "It is both exciting and humbling," Steve says, "to see your photo on a cover or included in a story line."

Where do you live?
Idaho and Arizona, hate the snow and love the warm after 30+ years of shoveling snow.

What is your profession?

Retired from Law Enforcement (just in time)

How did you first get into photography?

I have had a camera around me since High School. I worked as a wildland firefighter and carried a Kodak 110 and took a lot of fire pictures. I started shooting horses after I met my wife who is crazy about Morgan horses. She was into the show horse scene and I kind of naturally started shooting her in the various show classes.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?

Nikon D500, Sigma f 2.8 80-200 and 18-300 Nikon lens, heavy but built like a tank.

When did you start shooting endurance rides?

1999 was my first ride, it was at the “Purple Passion” ride in Eagle, Idaho.

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?

I like the challenge that shooting endurance rides give me. I try to shoot with great background, good footing for the horses, (most of the time) and show the smiles of the riders as they go by me. My goal is to show the connection between the horse and the rider. I have hiked miles up the trails or rode my motorcycle or mountain bike on the same trails that the horses use to get the best shot of the riders that I can.

What are challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?

Lighting, it is very difficult sometimes to get appropriate light, the trails dictate where we must go to shoot and then there are the days when the sun is shining and clouds come over and we have to quickly change the setting on the camera to compensate for that change, ( I shoot manual and do not use any auto settings so got to be fast on the dials).

Another challenge is when ride management has to split the different distances and I try to make sure that all riders that pay an entry get a photo.

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

I like to tell people how I got into shooting rides. Cindy (my wife) decided that she wanted to try endurance riding. She was trying to tell me what fun it would be (for her) to ride endurance and I could come and hang out in camp. I just couldn’t see sitting around camp and she figured that out pretty fast (cuz I told her so). So at the Purple Passion ride I had worked a graveyard shift and I went to camp to see Cindy. To my surprise she brought my camera gear down and told Pam, the ride manager I could take photos. So I got the good news when I arrived in camp. I had a Canon AE-1 that was manual everything, no stress there. I think I sold those shots for $2.00 each just to cover developing expenses this was BD, (before digital).

One more story, years ago we traveled all the way from Idaho to Arizona so I could shoot the Old Pueblo ride south of Tucson and Cindy could ride it. I bought a new camera and did not take a lot of time to get familiar with it. End result was I shot 6 rolls of 35MM film, all were under exposed as the light setting was set wrong, I gave that camera away shortly after. Bot the camera's fault, but it made me feel better.

And any other pertinent info you’d like to share with us?
Just want the riders to know all of the ride photographers do the best they can to show both rider and horse in the best light as they go down the trails. If you have a ride photographer at your ride don’t hesitate to ask questions and ask if there is anything we can do to make outstanding photos of you and your equine partner. At the same time please respect our work and follow the rules pertaining to copyright on our photos.

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

Cindy Bradley and Bogar Tucker at the Owyhee Fandango, Idaho

Dave Rabe and Kerry Redente at Mt Carmel, Utah. It's one of 12 shots that Steve took of those 2 galloping by him. The series of pics really shows how in sync the two were running down the trail.


Behind the Lens: Becky Pearman profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Dave Honan profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Linda Sherrill
profile is here:

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Gillian Larson has Completed the Pacific Crest Trail Twice, On Horseback - Full Story


And, along the way, she’s learned that the key is meticulous planning.
Steep switchbacks flanked by tall evergreens slowed the progress of Gillian Larson, age 22, and her mother, Jodi Johnson, age 53, hiking the High Sierra Trail in the summer of 2013. As they plodded along, Larson's mom distracted her with the story of Heather "Anish" Anderson, who had just completed a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 60 days, 17 hours, and 12 minutes, breaking the previous record by nearly four days. Both were in awe of how many miles Anderson had covered daily, especially as they were struggling with just 10.

“Are horses allowed?” Larson asked, almost immediately. When she returned to her home in Topanga, California, she began researching thru-riding, a term for horseback riding long-distance trails. She learned that others had thru-ridden the PCT, and knew she wanted her horses to come along for the adventure.

Today, Larson, now 27, is one of very few horsepackers to tackle the entire trail—and the only one she knows of to do it twice, in 2014 and 2016. She went on to complete the Arizona Trail and the Colorado Trail in 2017 and is also, as far as she knows, the only person to thru-ride the complete 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail (CDT). She’s learned a lot along the way—most importantly, that these long-distance trips require a lot of planning...

Read more here:

Saturday, March 28, 2020

US Equestrian Extending Submission Period for Expressions of Interest for Endurance Recognized Affiliate

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Mar 27, 2020, 12:01 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. - Due to the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the extreme disruption to business this has caused, US Equestrian (USEF) is extending the deadline for submission of Expressions of Interest (EOI) from those organizations interested in being considered for designation as a USEF Recognized Affiliate for the international discipline of Endurance.

Through its announcement released Monday, March 16 2020, USEF opened the submission period which was originally established for three weeks, ending April 6. With the new two-week extension, the submission period will now remain open until 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday, April 20, 2020.

For organizations seeking consideration as the USEF Recognized Affiliate for Endurance, please click here for the Expression of Interest packet.

Affiliation with US Equestrian offers organizations a host of benefits including access to resources and processes that aid in providing fairness, safety and a level playing field and that provide unique opportunities for expanded reach to build awareness.

To learn more about the Endurance discipline, please visit the USEF Endurance Sport Page.

EOIs must be submitted via the online form accessed within the packet, and all submissions must be received by no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday, April 20, 2020.

In order to preserve the integrity of the process and ensure the absence of conflict of interest, any communications issued outside of the online EOI application process must be sent by email to

Thursday, March 26, 2020

USEF Update on COVID-19: Suspension Extended

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Mar 25, 2020, 1:30 PM EST

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

We are all anxious for equestrian sport to start up again and for our families and friends to return to their normal lives pre-COVID-19 Pandemic. We also understand the financial pain that this is having on so many in our industry. We, too, at USEF are feeling that pain. However, we are not through this yet. The pandemic continues to cause unprecedented impact throughout the world. The Las Vegas World Cup Finals were canceled. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are being rescheduled. So, we must all work diligently to address the situation. We greatly appreciate those of you who have joined us in our community-wide effort to responsibly address the COVID-19 virus outbreak by canceling competitions and choosing not to compete during this critical period. This is the only way to flatten the curve of this virus and let us all get back to some level of normal. So as promised, here is an updated position on USEF competitions.

The original 30-day suspension that became effective March 16, 2020, is being extended through May 3, 2020. Effective today, all USEF owned events, selection trials, training camps, clinics and activities will be suspended through May 3, 2020 consistent with recommendations by the CDC. Due to the importance of keeping the members of our equestrian community and their families safe, USEF strongly recommends that competition organizers suspend all USEF licensed competitions across the country and that equestrians do not compete for this same time period. For those competitions that choose to run and can do so in accordance with the CDC, State, and Local recommendations, there will be no accumulation or points, scores, money won, qualifications, or rankings toward any USEF award programs, USEF owned events, or selection to a US team during this time period. This includes USEF National Championships.

Again, we are cognizant of the ramifications that extensions have on the lives of our members, support personnel and the events that fall within this time period, and the significant impact they have on qualifications for, and the operation of, major events that might be occurring later in the year. With that in mind, our President, Murray Kessler, has already informed me he intends to use his Presidential Modification authority to waive mileage rules and allow for major events to be rescheduled later in the year and has instructed us to develop a fair method for altering qualifications for these events. With that direction, USEF has already implemented mechanisms to provide for flexibility and the ability to make necessary modifications to responsibly manage the competition calendar in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are engaging with organizers daily and continue to review situations on a case-by-case basis.

Important Reminder: If you need to cancel a license or have questions about postponing your event to another date, please contact Katlynn Sacco at

We continue to closely monitor the situation and we pledge to keep you informed about any updates to our position as circumstances warrant or as instructed by Public Health authorities...

More information at:

Monday, March 23, 2020

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

Endurance Day, Tom MacGuiness, Online Learning for Endurance Riders, Hoof Balance, Mar. 10, 2020

Mar 10, 2020

Karen Chaton is joined by Tom MacGuinness, who shares why qualifying for WEG 2018 was so important. Sarah Schick talks about hoof balance for equine athletes and Patti Stedman introduces a web based course for Endurance riders. Classic re-visit.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

Endurance Horse Podcast: THE FARM- Interview with Tracy Porter & Shirley May of Milton, WI

EnduranceHorsePodcast - Listen

March 19 2020

Welcome to The Farm Interview with Shirley May & Tracy Porter

Endurance Horse Podcast Hosted by Christina Hyke

I know it is a challenging Spring for those in North America, and for all of us across the world. Though I'd like to wish you all a Happy Spring, it is my hope that we can brighten your first day of spring!

So the best laid plans of mice & men…… Episode 36 of Endurance Horse Podcast was to be on Ride Management, though the recent world health concerns put a damper on my plans to travel around getting several interviews with Ride Managers. I was able to do a few interviews, and just so happened to interview a few friends before the pandemic restricted all the movements and gatherings.

In Episode 36 we will hear from two great horsewomen, mother and daughter, Shirley May and Tracy Porter. We chat about how both of them got into horses, a bit about horse training and yes a little about endurance. Shirley and Tracy operate a 120 acre boarding facility in Milton, Wisconsin

It is my hope that you enjoy this episode getting to know this midwest horse trainer and her mother. And I hope it helps to take your mind away from current events, even if only for a few minutes.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

US Equestrian seeks new affiliate for endurance - Full Article

March 17, 2020

Horse sport’s governing body in the United States is seeking a new affiliate for the discipline of endurance.

The US Equestrian Federation (USEF) is accepting Expressions of Interest (EOI) from organizations interested in being considered for designation as a USEF Recognized Affiliate Organization for the international discipline of Endurance.

Just over a year ago the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC), the USA’s biggest Endurance organisation, voted to cut formal ties with the USEF in a stand against extreme flat-track racing within the discipline. The decision to disaffiliate with the USEF was made by the AERC board on January 14, and the affiliation agreement ended on December 1...

Read more here:

Monday, March 16, 2020

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Linda Sherrill


by Merri
March 15, 2020

"Behind the Lens" series is a snapshot, for readers and riders, of the Endurance Ride Photographers Guild members who capture your endurance moments on the trails and in camp.

The ERPG was formed in 2019, and consists of a group of two dozen professional, skilled photographers from around the USA dedicated to documenting AERC endurance ride events in the USA.

Linda Sherrill, of Justus Photography, is a full-time photographer, represented by a stock photo agency in Great Britain, where she was born. She sells photos to various horse magazines each month to illustrate articles, and she's been blessed to have had cover images on Endurance News, Saddle Up magazine, Equus magazine, TrailBlazer magazine, and The Horse magazine, as well as photos featured in books by 17 various authors, and calendars sold by Barnes & Noble.

Linda's business name, Justus, has a unique origin. "There are two men in the Bible named Justus," Linda said. "One was a man who was no one special; he just loved the Lord and did whatever he could to help. That spoke to me; hence the name Justus!"

Where do you live?
Southern New Mexico

How did you first get into photography?
I started photographing Arabian horses at a horse show for a friend in 1992. After that, I was hooked.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?
I shoot with a Canon Mark IV with a 70—200mm f/2.8 lens.

When did you start shooting endurance rides?
I started shooting endurance rides in the midwest in 1996.

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?

I competed in the sport for many years (started in 1987) and I love to still be able to see and visit with friends. I love saying hello to everyone as they go by. It’s nice when you’ve been in the sport this long, and can still find a way to connect.

What are challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?
As I’m sure every ride photographer faces, finding the perfect spot where the sun isn’t against you as the horses go by. It’s a challenge, but I always go out ahead of time and scout locations.

What are one or two of your favorite ride shooting stories/adventures/misadventures?
At the Ft. Stanton ride a few years ago, some Texas riders had just lost a friend to a horse riding accident. I think it meant the world to them to have photos of them all together riding. As they went past me on trail, They stopped in the middle of the trail, lined up for their group photo, and those are still some of the most beautiful photos I’ve taken. The feeling that they all just knew what it meant to have photos of each other.

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

There is nothing more satisfying as a photographer than to show a rider an image of their horse and themselves going down trail and getting an audible gasp from their reaction. I love what I do and have so many friends and fellow horsemen who appreciate our efforts to come out to the rides and photograph. It makes it all worthwhile!

Below are a few shots from a couple of Linda's favorite rides over the years.

These 2 are just a sample of Linda's varied work


Trailblazer cover is a sample of Linda's magazine work

2 horses running to finish line are Nat'l Champion and Reserve Champion at the 2011 AERC National Championships at Stanton, New Mexico

Blake Potter riding Julia Lynn’s stallion at Ft Stanton a couple years ago.


Behind the Lens: Becky Pearman
profile is here:

Behind the Lens: Dave Honan
profile is here:

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Heart 2 Heart Ranch in Idaho: Mules and Much More

March 16 2020
by Merri

They are a familiar sight on our local Idaho/Oregon endurance trails: Heart 2 Heart ranch mules, carrying young (mostly) girls who are smiling and laughing as they cover the miles.

Trinity and Jeff Jackson's mules of Heart 2 Heart ranch in Parma, Idaho, have long played an essential role in the Matthews-Jackson families. The long-eared equines work their magic in developing healing bonds with children with disabilities - both mental and physical - and their families.

Trinity's dad Warren has trained or re-trained the Heart 2 Heart mules to make them suitable mounts for Trinity's program. They are used for arena and trail riding and lessons and sessions, and for endurance, rodeo, and parade mounts for Trinity's 'kids.' The idea of the ranch started and came together in the summer of 2009, beginning with 5 kids. Over 11 years, Heart 2 Heart's program has grown to where Trinity has a waiting list. In 2019, last year's roster had 39 kids, working with 16 mules.

Every kid starts one-on-one in the arena with Trinity and a mule. "In the lessons, they're learning how to ride mules, but they're also learning balance and coordination," Trinity said. "Every kid has their own program. I figure out what their goals are, what I see they need; and we put a plan together for them." The plan may just include assisted riding on an older, dependable mule for the more frail children, or advanced riding in competitions, depending on the physical and/or mental needs of the kids. Over time, Trinity matches up the kids with the mule that suits them best; the more experienced endurance riders have to be able to ride all of the mules.

In addition to her full-time teaching and coaching jobs, the ranch is a full-time job also, though it's busiest in the summers, when school is out. "It's a labor of love," Trinity said. Her family - dad Warren, husband Jeff, their 3 girls, sister Jill, and in-laws - have been involved since the beginning. And the entire community supports her program and shows up for the year-end awards in November, which is outgrowing the community church's meeting room.

Heart 2 Heart ranch's story and mules are featured in the March 2020 issue of Mules and More magazine. That's Irish, a 16-year-old Thoroughbred mule in the lead on the cover, at the Autumn Sun Pioneer endurance ride near Gooding, Idaho.

The March issue of Mules and More magazine is available at:

You can find out more about Heart 2 Heart at

Saturday, March 14, 2020

AERC Statement Regarding Precautionary Measures Amid Coronavirus (COVID-19) Concerns

March 13 2020

Due to concerns regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and public health, American Endurance Ride Conference is taking precautionary measures and is following the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) guidelines and recommendations on the proper steps to take to help prevent the spread of the virus. AERC continues to closely monitor the developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

We understand that some rides will be cancelled or rescheduled over the next few weeks. Some rides will amend their policies regarding, for example, whether meals can be provided.

In accordance with health guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, we encourage our members and volunteers to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and to make use of the hand sanitizers. Additionally, we recommend that our members and volunteers avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and, for the safety of others, remain at home if they feel ill.

AERC will continue to monitor the situation and follow guidance from the World Health Organization, the CDC, as well as other federal, state and local authorities.

Monica Chapman
AERC President

A Letter from the President and CEO Regarding USEF Licensed Competitions

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Mar 13, 2020, 1:00 PM EST

Dear USEF Members,

Your health, safety and well-being and that of your horses is paramount to USEF. We are continuing to closely monitor communications on the COVID-19 Pandemic from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) and the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all USEF owned events, selection trials, training camps, clinics, and activities will be suspended for the next 30 days. Additionally, USEF strongly recommends that competition organizers suspend all USEF licensed competitions across the country for the next 30 days and that equestrians do not compete for the next 30 days. For those competitions that do run, there will be no accumulation of points, scores, money won, qualifications, or rankings toward any USEF awards programs, USEF owned event, or selection to a US team during this 30-day time period. This includes USEF National Championships.

If you choose to compete, USEF recommends that you take immediate steps to limit your exposure and create social distancing. Based on information and guidance, in particular, from the CDC, the USEF provides the following recommendations to our membership. Participate in events that:

Are venues within close proximity (driving distance) to your residence;
Limit out of state competitors (and for currently operating winter circuits limit new out of state competitors);
Restrict free access in stabling areas to only essential personnel (ie; riders, grooms, farriers, vets, officials);
Provide alcohol-based hand sanitizer at in-gates, competition offices, vendors and convenient places throughout the competition grounds;
Ensure restroom facilities are regularly cleaned;
Operate without spectators;
Limit social gatherings to less than 250 people as recommended by the CDC; and
Ensure that food services are of the type that limit contamination, buffets are strongly discouraged.

We are providing these same recommendations to Competition Organizers and asking them to comply within the next few days. Some may choose not to cancel their event but, all are expected to take steps to limit exposure and create social distancing. Some may impose additional restrictions and safety measures in line with guidance from local public health authorities. Therefore, we are requiring organizers to post all relevant information to their website and provide it to the USEF Competitions Department.

We are counting on you to make responsible decisions based on the information available, the conditions in your geographic area and the recommendations from your local public health authorities. USEF will continue to assess the situation on a daily basis and will update our position as circumstances warrant.

Resources from the CDC, WHO, USOPC, and the FEI are available on the USEF website (click here). Links found on this webpage provide you with direct access to valuable information on each organization’s website which is updated regularly.

If you have any questions, please contact us using this email: and your inquiry will be addressed by the appropriate department.

Murray S. Kessler
William J. Moroney

Thursday, March 12, 2020

The Horse Show Podcast: S5E7 - Equestrian Legend; Endurance Rider Julie Suhr - Listen

March 9 2020

Californian Julie Suhr has broken records in Endurance competitions and milestones in horseback adventures around the globe. Since her first ride in the world renown 100 mile Tevis Cup, Julie has completed twenty-two times out of twenty-nine starts [updated to 33 Tevis Cup buckles]. She has collected three Haggin Cups for the Best Conditioned Horse to finish in the Top Ten and she famously garnered three in one year – the Turtle Award for being last to finish; the Hard Luck Award when her horse fell and she endured a full body mud bath and for being the Oldest rider. With a recorded 30,282 miles in competition which represents 63 one hundred mile rides and almost 500 fifty mile rides, Julie last completed the Tevis Cup at the age of 76 although four years later she made her final attempt and came within two miles of another record finish. Her adventure rides have taken her from the remote expanses of Outer Mongolia to the searing heights of the Himalayas. Julie is the author of Ten Feet Tall Still, Julie and Bob Suhr (deceased) have three children, Barbara, Robert, Nancy (deceased) and John as well as six grandchildren. Julie lives in Scotts Valley, California.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Endurance Horse Podcast: Long Feather Racing

Endurancehorsepodcast - Listen

March 7 2020

Welcome to the Long Feather Racing episode of Endurance Horse Podcast with The Milwaukee Art Museum & Veterans Light Up the Arts

This topic may seem to have little to do with endurance riding, we distance riders are often talking about riding the same horse over many miles, in this episode we talk to a father who manages a racing team that is comprised of his family members. Long Feather Racing Team stands tall among the many skilled teams who participate in Indian Relay Racing.

One rider, 3 horses and many team members comprise the team. Riders must mount bareback on their own power and relay onto three horses to win this race. Though swapping horses, high speeds and bareback seem to have little to do with endurance, I reached out to Richard Long Feather of Standing Rock Reservation to connect with him and listen in as shares his love of Indian Relay Racing.

It is funny how things come together if you track them backwards. As you may know, I had the idea for WARHORSE Endurance ride, that then also led me to loan an idea and name for a second ride to Laura to change the name and theme of her ride. I loaned her the name I had for another ride, Spirit Horse. Laura then spoke to people who gave her the idea to fund raise for an equine program at Rosebud Reservation- which brought me to purchasing the DVD, HORSE NATION, which helped me to find out about the Mankato ride, and the Wounded Knee ride, and then apparently FB suggested Long Feather Racing- and so I found Richard’s family & now Richard is on Endurance Horse Podcast.

Richard’s family works as a team traveling during the racing season covering many miles with typically six horses to care for. This sounded very familiar to the ride camp we all travel around to. I wanted to make a connection with Endurance Horse Podcast and this amazing family. As you can see, what started out as a short interview turned into much more as I found myself enjoying this man’s love for his horses and his home. I hope you all can forgive me as I learn the more technical side of recording. I think that we had a bad phone connection, though I hope you can listen long enough to see what a good horse connection we made.

Sit back, hold on and enjoy the ride!

Christina Hyke

Cheers to 2020!


Monday, March 09, 2020

AERC Announces New Hall of Fame Members

March 9 2020

At the annual AERC Convention, held over the weekend in Jacksonville, Florida, AERC Newest Hall of Famers were announced at Saturday night's banquet.

Laurie Birch, from Rosamond, California, and her mare Scudd Run were recipients of the Pard'ners Award. The pair have, over 13 endurance seasons, completed 11,155 miles together.

Stagg and Cheryl Newman were co-recipients of Hall of Fame Person(s). From Candler, North Carolina, they are long-time endurance riders, and ride managers of the Biltmore Challenge and supporters of the sport of endurance.

Fire Mt Malabar, owned and ridden by Lee Pearce and Naomi Preston of Baker City, Oregon, was named Hall of Fame horse. With over 8000 miles to his credit over 13 seasons of endurance, the son of Sierra Fadwah recorded his second-highest mileage season last year, with 925 miles. In 2011 the gelding won the National Best Condition award with Lee.

Congrats to all the winners!

2019 AERC High Mileage Standardbred winner announced - Full Article

March 5, 2020, by Jessica Schroeder, USTA Membership Enrichment and Outreach Coordinator

Columbus, OH — The 2020 American Endurance Ride Conference convention is this weekend, March 6-7, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in Jacksonville, Fla.

Along with educational seminars, a tack swap and trade show, the National Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday evening. One of the awards announced will be the AERC 2019 High Mileage Standardbred. This year’s winner is last year’s High Mileage Standardbred Solar Partner (a.k.a. Trooper) and Bruce Weary. The award, presented by the USTA since 2011, has only one other team that won back-to-back years.

The now 12-year-old Trooper is by Shark St Partners, out of the Admirals Galley mare Solars Lady B. While Trooper and Weary recorded 520 total miles in 2018, in 2019 they only completed 290 miles at six out of the seven rides they attended. The non-completion ride was Tevis, the 24-hour, 100 mile ride held in California mid-summer each year.

“We just didn’t get to as many rides in 2019,” explained Weary. “At Tevis, my wife and I rode together and she was on a faster Arab. Trooper carried more weight and struggled to keep up at a speed that wasn’t best for him. I still think he could do it with a lightweight rider.”

Weary once again chose a blanket honoring Trooper’s accomplishments with the AERC; he sold the gelding last fall and this will be a way to remember him...

Read more here:

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Two area Montana women take on "world's toughest horse race" - Full Article

March 5 2020
Kristine DeLeon

or the next 10 days, two Montana women will be thundering deep into the wilds of Patagonia astride a series of horses they've never met.

With only a steed, a pack horse and minimal supplies, they will be navigating across some of the wildest terrain on Earth attempting to finish one of the toughest and most unusual equine challenges in modern history.

They will face countless problems, possibly encountering dehydration, hypothermia, dysentery, intense sleep deprivation, and overall fatigue.

Even for experienced horse riders, they know this is no mean feat. To top it all off, there will be no prize.

But that’s what Corie Downey of Whitehall and Marie Griffis of Manhattan signed up for when they applied to race in the Gaucho Derby, a 300-mile multi-horse race in Patagonia, Argentina...

Read more here:

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

The last remaining member of the original Yucaipa Police Department retires - Full Article

Rachael Gustuson
Mar 1, 2020

Torgils Wold was the last remaining member of the original Yucaipa Police Department, transferring to Yucaipa shortly after the city incorporated in 1989. As of Feb. 13, 2020, he is officially retired.

At the station, an overflowing crowd filled up the community room on Feb. 13, to say goodbye to a longtime fixture of YPD Wold and Secretary Kristina King, who will be transferring to another position.

Police Chief James Williams and Lt. James Porter shared Wold’s story with the large law enforcement crowd...

Read more here:

Monday, March 02, 2020

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Dave Honan


by Merri
March 2, 2020

The Endurance Ride Photographers Guild, ERPG, was formed in 2019, and consists of a group of two dozen professional, skilled photographers from around the USA dedicated to documenting AERC endurance ride events in the USA.

"Behind the Lens" series is a snapshot for readers and riders of the ERPG photographers who capture your endurance moments on the trails and in camp.

David Honan is a civil engineer, and a self-professed Train and Airplane geek, who has long been a contributor to Trains Magazine; highlights include winning their 2009 Photo Contest and having three covers, including the March 2020 issue currently on newsstands. The American Society of Civil Engineers has featured Dave's photos numerous times in their annual Bridges Wall Calendar, and he's twice had the honor of judging their Bridges Photo Contest.

His equine work has been featured on the covers of Endurance News multiple times, and Appaloosa Journal once.

Where do you live?

Snoqualmie, Washington

How did you first get into photography?
I've taken photos for fun almost as long as I can remember. I've had a lifelong passion for trains, so that's been a primary focus since the beginning. I'm also an avgeek and these days seem to spend more time on airplane photography than anything else.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?

I have a couple Canon DSLRs and a collection of L series lenses.

When did you start shooting endurance rides?
Spring of 2016.  My wife, Cortney, had been riding endurance for a few years and saw a post from Karen Bumgarner seeking a photographer for her Owyhee River Challenge. There's lots of great railroad photography to be found in Eastern Oregon, so I immediately accepted. Unexpectedly, I landed an Endurance News cover from that ride -- beginner's luck.

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?
The people in the endurance community are amazing, and I've always felt welcomed at rides.  It's really a delight to help create memories for Pacific Northwest riders.  Also, I enjoy using the opportunity for travel to ride sites to engage in my other photography interests.

What are challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?
I try to find dramatic backgrounds that are distinctive to the ride. It can be difficult to bring together great scenes with the time of day and direction riders are traveling.  A piece of advice I offer ride managers so they can help identify photo spots is to ride their loops backwards to see the trail as photographers will.

What are one or two of your favorite ride shooting stories/adventures/misadventures?
One year at Owyhee River Challenge I decided to shoot one of the Succor Creek crossings, but the water was too deep to ford in my car.  It took a couple trips of wading across to get all my gear to the far side... and I didn't quite time things correctly, resulting in at least one rider arriving before I got my pants back on.

A nice part about being on trail with a car is serving as additional event support.  Over the years I've handed up countless bottles of water to thirsty riders, and my wife takes particular pleasure in having a place to dump excess layers of clothing.

My worst misadventure was last year at Top o' the World, when my memory card with photos from the Continental Divide Trail failed before I could download the photos at home.  It was heartbreaking to have put in so much effort to capture those photos and come away with nothing. To prevent this in the future, I obtained a portable backup device this winter so I can download photos every day.

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

Find me on social media at, or @dwhonan on Twitter & Instagram.  Ride photos can be purchased via my website,

Below are two shots from a couple of Dave's favorite rides over the years.

Cortney Honan and Amira riding the Continental Divide at Top O' The World near Spencer, Idaho

This photo of Karen Bumgarner aboard Owyhee Justice at the Owyhee River Challenge near Adrian, Oregon, made the cover of both Endurance News and Appaloosa Journal

Behind the Lens: Get to Know Endurance Ride Photographer Becky Pearman profile is here:

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Idaho IronHorse Challenge ​2020

Idaho IronHorse Challenge

Are you tough? Got what it takes to be crowned the 2020 Idaho IronHorse Champion? (Or the Idaho IronButt Champion?)

Last year's inaugural Idaho IronHorse Challenge saw endurance riding's rather famous Dave Rabe and his rather famous three horses, White Cloud, Cheys Cocamoe Joe, and Rushcreek Okay, crowned the Idaho IronButt Champion. No single horse and rider team was crowned the Idaho IronHorse Champion, though Nance Worman and Second Chance Fance came so close.

This year's Idaho IronHorse Challenge is a chance for you to test your mettle in Southern Idaho's four, AERC-sanctioned Pioneer rides: City of Rocks (June 11-12-13 in Almo), Top O' the World (July 24-25-26 near Spencer), Old Selam (September 4-5-6 near Idaho City), and Autumn Sun (October 9-10-11 near Gooding).

There are many categories you can compete in, with one horse or more, Limited Distance or endurance or a combination. The awards and subsequent fame are enormously gratifying.

Now get out on the trails and start conditioning!

For more information, see:

Monday, February 24, 2020

Challenging Ride at the 20 Mule Team

February 24 2020

The sometimes-deceptive terrain, and the always unpredictable weather, made for a challenging edition of this year's Twenty Mule Team endurance rides in Ridgecrest, California which ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning with a lower than normal finish percentage.

One rider described it as "A steady all day precipitation from misting to hail to pouring rain," that horses and riders contended with, though it did serve to keep the horses cool.

22 started the 65, with 13 finishing. Leahe Daby and Lucy won the 65 in a ride time of 9.01 and got Best Condition.

25 started the 100, with 10 finishing. Reyna Mero and Vaz Djets On won in a ride time of 14.01. Kaitlin Cummins and VA Anastahzi finished third in a ride time of 17.07 and got Best Condition.

For unofficial results and stories from riders, see:

Happy Trails Podcast: Finding Healing on Horseback - Listen

Recorded on February 27, 2020

My guest, Kathy Burns overcame personal trauma by immersing herself in nature while traveling the country, camping and riding. She is the author of SHLEP: Finding Healing on Horseback in the Lower 48 States. In the book, she describes her experiences traveling solo with her dog and horses, while healing herself on the trail and through her art.

She set out on her own in September 2013, with a goal to ride and paint in all 48 states. She was an inexperienced trailer driver and had never been horse camping in her life. She ran into many problems early on as she became accustomed to traveling full time with horses in unfamiliar territory.

Along the way, she met many kind-hearted people who opened their arms providing the support she needed so desperately. Eventually, the pieces of her broken life began to fall back into place.

Kathy’s story is moving and so inspiring. We all experience lows in life and it’s good to be reminded by tales like her’s, that no matter how bad it gets, there’s always hope for the future.

Happy Trails was produced by Jessica Isbrecht. Music by Jason Shaw.

Listen to the episode:

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Arizona: 100-mile endurance ride comes to Boyd Ranch - Full Article

February 19 2020
By Shawn Byrne

Sun Editor

A weekend of horseback endurance riding will take place from Feb. 29-March 1 at Boyd Ranch with distances of 30 miles, 50 and 100, and a 12-mile introduction ride across four divisions based on weight and one junior division.

Endurance riding near Wickenburg first appeared in the early 1970s, according to Dr. Lawrence Serrano and his wife, Maureen, mangers of the upcoming Land of the Sun Endurance Ride. The sport combines the athleticism that it takes to win, or even complete a ride, with the love of a nature ride on a desert trail by horseback.

“Boyd Ranch is a really nice ride,” said Crockett Dumas, a 74-year-old rider from Utah. “The most spectacular is the old growth saguaro. It’s the best ride in Arizona. The Serranos have worked hard putting on that ride...”\

Read more here:

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

Feb 11, 2020

Endurance Day: Karen’s Endurance Tip on getting medications for less, getting your Class A license, the Equilab app, Saddle fitting the Endurance horse and horse trekking in Mongolia. Listen in...

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Behind the Lens: Get to know Endurance Ride Photographer Becky Pearman

by Merri
February 18, 2020

The Endurance Ride Photographers Guild, ERPG, was formed in 2019, and consists of a group of two dozen professional, skilled photographers from around the USA dedicated to documenting AERC endurance ride events in the USA.

The aim of the ERPG is to preserve and promote the prestige of the AERC, the sport of endurance riding, and the quality and integrity of their photographers, in a mutually beneficial relationship of support, education, promotion, and protection. They also aim to provide unique, quality photographs of riders and horses for lasting memories of a sport we all love.
You can follow the ERPG here:

Throughout the year, I’ll be spotlighting an ERPG photographer in Behind the Lens interviews, so that we get a snapshot of the human who’s behind the lens, capturing your best (and hopefully not worst!) moments on the trails and in camp.

Becky Pearman, is one of our long-time professional endurance ride photographers. In addition to endurance ride photography, she’s been published in numerous national magazines and websites, including John Lyon’s Perfect Horse magazine, US Equestrian Federation publications and online media, and breed magazines including Standardbred and Appaloosa. Some of her highest accomplishments are having been the US Endurance Team photographer in France for the 2014 World Equestrian Games, and covering the 2015 Young Riders World Championship in Chile for FEI and USEF. She currently has 49 magazine covers to her credit.

Where do you live?
Ivanhoe, Virginia

How did you first get into photography?
I inherited my dad's Zeiss-Icon 35mm camera when he passed - I was 13 that summer. My mom gave it to me out of nine kids. I never looked back. I started taking pictures of all the horses I could, and by the time I was about 19 I got my first money for competitive trail riding prints of my friend's horses. I still have that camera!

I have never had formal photography education besides my ninth grade teacher schooling me in darkroom techniques and camera settings. I worked on my high school yearbook staff.

What equipment do you normally shoot with?
Canon 7d Mark ii, which is a phenomenal crop sensor sports camera. Favorite lens is a 70-200 2.8 Canon. I’m getting ready to invest in my first full frame camera body!

When did you start shooting endurance rides?
I shot my first endurance ride in 1988 (I had been shooting CTR until then).

Why do you like shooting endurance rides?
My mom told me once that "horse" was probably the first word out of my mouth. Since then, my obsession with horses has never waned.

I love shooting endurance for the the natural action of horses and riders truly enjoying going down the trail with joy. I love the outdoors and seeing new places, experiencing all kinds of weather conditions and saying hi to riders on trail.

What are some challenges you find in shooting endurance rides?
Crummy lighting in the East regions because of so many wooded areas. Lack of accessibility to the best photo spots.

What are one or two of your favorite ride shooting stories/adventures/misadventures?
One time while shooting the Million Pines ride in Georgia about 2008, I had to park along Interstate 16 and climb a six foot fence to get to my photo spot at "Bobcat Rock". I was told to back my truck way up the bank to sort of be out of sight. Well that year I got my truck stuck. I just got enough cell service to call ride management and they sent Danny Herlong to pull me out. Which he did while I stayed in my spot shooting. 

I'd have to say my favorite memories though are of sitting in the rivers waiting on horses at the Big South Fork ride in Tennessee and Ride Between the Rivers in West Virginia. I was usually able to capture some unusual action in these spots and the beauty is incredible.

Also in 2018 at Leatherwood in North Carolina when it snowed. I'd been shooting over 30 years and that was the first time I ever shot endurance in the snow.

And any other pertinent info you’d like to share with us?
If you are reading this and ever plan to get into endurance photography, it can be the most rewarding, challenging, frustrating, crazy and (sometimes dangerous) way to "eke" out a meager income. But, it is super tough to be competitive in this digital world - be prepared for a challenge.

If you are reading this and are a customer of ride photographers, we thank you for your on-going business. Please be respectful of our copyright limits and always check with the photographer if you are not certain how that photo can be used, displayed or shared on social media! Now let's ride!

Below are three of of Becky’s favorite shots over the years.

This is at the spring Sand Hills Ride in South Carolina. I would get this sunrise shot while riders warmed up for the 50 miler. It was used on convention magnets a couple years ago, and a vertical shot like this one made the cover of Endurance News that year.

This family is the Issacs from Tennessee. Karen has been in AERC for about 25 yrs, and I photographed their daughter Madeline getting a bath in a horse bucket when she was a few months old at an endurance ride.

The group shot was taken at Leatherwood two years ago when it snowed. I had been photographing endurance about thirty years then and it was my first time shooting riders in the snow!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Endurance Horse Podcast: Rider Health - Part Three

EnduranceHorsePodcast - Listen

Created February 7, 2020

Welcome to episode 34 of Endurance Horse Podcast!

This topic has been a popular one, and I am having to expand it to a third part! We are chatting with Chrystal Stephens, the Director of Operations for Lifestriders Theraputic Riding Center in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Chrystal shares her extensive knowledge gained from working twelve years with two of the premier theraputic riding centers in Wisconsin. We will also hear from endurance rider Kim Fosler and her overcoming a back injury, Brooke Moeller will share how she is dealing with riding after having a difficult fall, we will hear more from Bridget Helms and what she does to stay fit to ride.

To wrap the episode up Jim & I chat a bit about the upcoming two year anniversary of Endurance Horse Podcast, so sit back, hold on and enjoy the ride!

Christina Hyke

Cheers to 2020!

Listen to the podcast:

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Boyd Zontelli Passes Away

by Maria Cooper

Heaven gained another angel last night. My dad, Boyd Zontelli, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends.
Those of you who knew him, knew what an incredible man he was. I don't say this just because he was my dad. I say this because the Dos Equis man had absolutely nothing on him. His life was fascinating. He was born into an Italian family in Minnesota in a small mining town (where he developed his love of horses) and then moved to Hollywood at a young age to pursue acting where met and befriended a few of the legends of the time. He had lots of acting roles and Burt Lancaster recommended him to John Ford. John Ford wanted him to co-star in a John Wayne movie and tried to sign him but he ultimately decided to pursue another path. He did, however, maintain his friendship with Steve McQueen and they were motorcycle riding buddies until Steve's passing.

His love of animals, particularly horses, is what drove him. When he spoke about horses his eyes would light up. He was kind and gentle and offered a new way of riding that was not typical in the horse world. He proved to everyone that his way, to show love and kindness and respect to the horse, was the winning way. He won the Tevis Cup three times and still holds the record. He was both a kind and gentle man but also a badass. He is a true Legend. I loved him so much and the world will not be the same without him.

Arabian Horse Association Announces 2019 AERC High Point Winners

BETHANY GREYC+// (BEAUDACIOUS BEY X LU-NOIR DAKILA+), a 2008 mare is the Arabian AERC 100 Mile High Point Winner!

Bethany earned a total of 1,447 points for completing six 100 mile rides with owner and rider Gerald Cummings. “She may not be the fastest or the strongest horse in the race, but she has attitude and grit and for that I am extremely thankful for” Gerald says. The pair has completed a total of 2,805 lifetime miles since 2013 with 780 of those miles earned in the 2019 season.

The AERC Middle Distance High Point is an AHA nomination-based annual award given to the Arabian and Half-Arabian/Anglo-Arabian with the highest AERC points accumulated in the year through 50-99 mile Endurance rides.

BETHANY GREYC+// was also the winner of the Arabian AERC 50-99 Mile High Point award earning a total of 410.5 points.

Our 2019 Half Arabian/ Anglo Arabian AERC Mile High Point Winner is GREENBRIAR AL JABAL owned by Suzanne Hayes.

GREENBRIAR AL JABAL, ‘Atlas’ (WW SUN DANCER + X GO TIGER GO) is a 2003 gelding. Atlas has earned a total of 795 points for completing three 100 mile rides with owner and rider Suzanne Hayes. Suzanne states that “Atlas has over 3,000 miles in competition, is a decade horse (10+ years of competition), and has completed fourteen 100 Mile Rides. Hopefully with even more to come!”

We would also like to award an Honorable Mention for a Distance Horse which goes to NPS TANGO!

NPS TANGO (MURKANA MIKE X DOYA JUANA DANCE) owned and ridden by Geneva Soule is a 2003 mare that has completed 7 rides this year totaling 410 miles; since 2008 the pair has completed a total of 1,045 miles. Geneva states “Tango is pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Thanks to her breeder, Sandy Terp, for making our partnership possible! She’s one heck of a horse and our bond is like no other.”

Monday, February 10, 2020

Local Grass Roots Clubs Make the Endurance World Go Round

by Merri
February 10 2020

Saturday night in Boise, a group of some 75 endurance riders from Southwest Idaho Trail & Distance Riders gathered for a banquet and celebration of the previous year's endurance riding accomplishments. Most, dressed in unusual finery, were almost unrecognizable without helmets, helmet hair, dust and grime, or their horses. And nobody had to rush away after dinner to care for their horses after a day on the trail.

While AERC is the overall country-wide main endurance organization, the local, grass roots clubs around the country bring people together for their own closer relationships, awards, and fun. For 41 years, SWITnDR has been in existence for riders in the southern Idaho and eastern Oregon area (and a few from Washington and Wyoming!) who enjoy the sport of distance riding.

Saturday's catered dinner was a gastronomic delight, and the volume in the gathering space was deafening, as endurance riders have a lot to say to each other when they aren't concentrating on steering their mounts down the trails.

The awards for 2019's top mileage horses and riders were fleece coolers with the embroidered SWIT logo. Kim Johnson of Belesemo Arabians annually gives away an award for the high point Belesemo line Arabian; this year's winner was Belesemo Asfaloth, ridden by Veronica and Matthew Stanley.

Lots of swag was handed out to the six horse-and-rider teams who completed all nine days in the Limited Distance division of the first ever Idaho Ironhorse - three days at City of Rocks Pioneer, three days at Top O' the World Pioneer, and three days at Autumn Sun Pioneer. A big thank you goes out to ride managers Steph Teeter, Jessica Cobbley and Jessica Huber, and to sponsors Renegade Hoof Boots, Platinum Performance, Valley Vet, Pure Sole Hoof Products, and Redmond Equine. And as always, thank you to Riding Warehouse, who donated coupons for prizes at the banquet, and who for years has supported many of our rids in the Northwest.

Next year, the new three-day Old Selam Pioneer (formerly a one or two-day ride) will join the Idaho Ironhorse Challenge, opening the door to a Super Duper Ultimate Idaho IronHorse.

At the end of the evening, everybody said goodbye in their finery, knowing that next time we meet, it will be under helmets and aboard horses for the start of the 2020 endurance season in the April Tough Sucker ride.

Ride on!

Photo gallery:

Endurance Horse Podcast: Rider Health - Part Two

Endurancehorsepodcast - Listen

Focused on Rider Health

Created February 4, 2020

Welcome to episode 33 of Endurance Horse Podcast!

This topic has been a popular one, and I am having to expand it to a second part and now a part three putting together soon. We are chatting about everything from overcoming injures, dealing with illnesses, how horses are therapist and yes, some about rider fitness & emotional health. Jim joins me for the intro of the podcast & we try to share a walk down memory lane sharing how horses have affected our lives—- though Itty Bitty Naughty Kitty kept biting my feet, take a listen, you will see…we do love Bitty, even when he’s naughty.

There is a bit more about fitness aspect of rider health, and more about horses as therapy.

Sit back, hold on and enjoy the ride!

Welcome to Episode 33 of Endurance Horse Podcast!

~Christina Hyke~