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The Official Newsletter of the Texas Endurance Riders Association

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www.texasenduranceriders.org

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Volume 12, Issue 2, Spring 2013


Trail Markers is published Quarterly in January, April, July, and October. It is distributed solely to members of the Texas Endurance Riders Association, and is comprised of both their input and the opinion of the editor, neither of which represent the organization’s views or official stance. Of course, if there is no input from members, then you’re pretty much stuck with the editor’s opinions. Which don’t amount to much, really, but they can sometimes make interesting reading. Other times … well, the term “bird cage liner” comes to mind.

TERA Ride Calendar - p2

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We are also offering a classified section free to TERA members. Non-TERA members -.50¢ a word. Deadline for the next issue is July, 8th, 2013.

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Thoughts from the BoD - p3 Unwritten Rules Part II - p4

Look at Our Photographer - p5

Diary of an Endurance Horse Part I - p6 Mortl Challenge - p7

Reminiscing Through the Rides- p8-9 Davey Crockett Work Days - p10

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Advertising rates are as follows (these are for black and white. Call or email for color rates): Full page - $80 Half page - $55 1/4 page - $32 Business Card - $22 These are one time rates. Contact Todd for yearly rates.

Editor’s Musings - p3

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In This Issue:

Ride Managers Clinic - p10

Central Region Championship - p11-12

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Wanna be published? Get it in!

Cover photo: John Nowell

Ma’am, Step Away from the Fly Spray - p15 Trot Out - p16

http://www.remuda.smugmug.com

2013 TERA Sponsored Rides Old Glory May 25-26 2013 C-Bar Stables Valley Mills, TX Nichole Duarte 512-745-5543 jasmin.gammel@gmail.com

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Llano Estacado Challenge June 8-9, 2013 Lake Meredith, Armarillo, TX Doug Blashill 806-622-8583 dblashill@clearwire.net

Unicorn Hunt Sept. 1, 2013 Davey Crockett N.F., Kennard, TX David J. Fant 936-655-4048 dfant2007@hotmail.com 2

Ride the Storm Oct. 5-6, 2013 Storm Ranch, Dripping Springs, TX Scott Godwin 512-659-9719 aggiendurancerider@gmail.com

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Armadillo Oct. 19, 2013 DCNF, Kennard, TX Bo Parrish 936-852-3532 lindapparab@vlornet.com


2013 Board of Directors President Vickie Roden 373 Langston Ln McKinney, TX 75069 972-978-0072 M Vickier_is@yahoo.com

Education Director Valerie Bixler 3598 CR 406 McKinney, TX 75071 214-514-3618 bixlerdvm@gmail.com

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See you on the trail, somewhere Hopefully... Safe Riding, Todd

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Publicity & Awards Vice-President Director Donna Shiffette Khristin Seymore 2400 Yorktown #67 PO Box 559 Houtson, TX 77056 Daingerfield, Texas 75638 713-264-1210 903-563-6639 donna@equinemonitors.com HorizonAggie@aol.com Secretary Membership Director Sylvia Fant Tammy Powell 3901 North Possum Walk Rd. 9011 Latma Ct. Kennard, TX 75847 Houston, TX 77025 936-655-4048 832-689-3820 sfant2008@hotmail.com sterling222@sbcglobal.net Treasurer Ride Manager Director Robin Howze Debbie Linebarger 845 Wilson Road 39748 Chambers Road Waxahachie, TX 75165 Hempstead, TX 77445 214-244-5909 979-826-5301 rhowze@sbcglobal.net ridehappy@hotmail.com

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I honestly don’t have anything to write about. I have been so busy with clients and other things I have found it difficult to even keep my horses in condition, get the newsletter out and even get out to rides, but as those of you who know me, I’ll find a way. I hope it does not appear as if I’m griping. I am actually very thankful that I am as busy as I am and thankful to the people that are keeping me busy for putting their trust in me to work on their horses hooves. I consider myself a very blessed person. So that’s it for the quarter. Told you I didn’t have much to write about. Just remember, we are all equally blessed for the people we have in our lives, the sport we love so much (and are crazy enough to do) and the horses we have to enjoy them with. I’ve rambled enough, gotta go back to work...

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The Editor’s Musings...

Editor, Todd Hezeau 7259 CR 3223 Lone Oak, TX 75453 469.261.8733 maccwall@yahoo.com

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Thoughts from your BoD…. Hello, TERA members! Your Board of Directors thought it might be nice to include a few thoughts from us in each newsletter. And, since I brought up the idea to them, I was assigned the task of taking the first stab at it. You’ll hear from others in future editions. Here goes…. I, first, want to communicate what a terrific group of people it is that you all voted to the Board last Fall. It’s been a privilege to serve a long side them these first few months. I’ve heard many a new President from other organizations say how frustrated or overwhelmed they are because they can’t get their other Board members to do anything. Not so with TERA. I have had frustrations in my new role as President, but not for lack of interest on the part of the BoD’s, but for the abundance of interest! They have brought forth so many new ideas that I’ve had to ask if we can table some until we have the time to implement them well. You have a very energetic Board. Secondly, I wanted to send out a personal “Thank You” for the tremendous support I felt last month, when I attempted my first 100-mile ride. The ride managers and staff were so helpful, the vets so supportive, and some of you riders so CRAZY to meet me at 11:00pm as I came across the finish line. It was a reminder of the remarkable camaraderie we have in our organization. I love being part of a group of people that shows so much encouragement to each other. Finally, I want to let you know about some things to be looking for. You’ll see additional detail on some of these things in the newsletter. • New ride locations • New welcome table staffed by a Board member at each ride • New TERA merchandise for purchase • New approach to the Ride Managers Clinic • New “challenge” for The Mortl Challenge • New “New Members” packet to guide our newbies. So, keep your eyes open. And, let us know how we can serve you better. Vickie Roden 3 President

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The Color Green

Unwritten Rules Part II

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At some point in our endurance adventures, we have all had to introduce a young and/or inexperienced horse to the sport. Whether as a green horse/rider team or as a veteran rider starting a new mount, our horses have to learn to camp, adjust to the confusion at the start of a ride and deal with the energy of other horses while on the trail. New riders must learn to do the same.

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There is so much to learn and this can be overwhelming to both horse and rider, especially if both are newbies. And it is so easy to forget how scary those first experiences were once we get a few rides under our belts and our horses learn their jobs.

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At our last TERA ride, I was riding with a very accomplished endurance rider on a horse who was still learning to deal with fast horses coming up from behind and passing. The rider took responsibility to avoid the crowds and move off trail and out of the way when faster riders wanted to pass. Unfortunately there was a group of reckless riders who would not slow down when coming up behind us. Even after they were asked to slow down, they continued to run past without slowing down or even recognizing that they were passing our group. This happened several times. The horse was never out of control but still learning how to channel her energy.

I am glad to say that the guilty parties are not from our region. Most of the time, these incidences do not occur on purpose although I believe that this was not the case this time.

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For the most part, I feel that I am preaching to the choir and TERA members are considerate and aware of others on the trail. The only thing that we can do in situations similar to this is remind others on the trail to be considerate. It is no fun to be on a horse that may “lose its brain� for a moment or one that gets caught up in the energy of others racing down the trail. 1-Be aware of riders you are approaching and acknowledge their presence. Ask to pass or declare your intentions of passing and which side you will be passing on. 2-Slower riders should move over to side of trail or off trail if possible to allow faster riders to pass safely. 3-All riders be aware that there will be places on trail where passing will be difficult or impossible. Be patient and follow at a safe distance until trail widens and allows for safe passing. 4-If you see a rider stopped or off their horse, slow down and ask if they need assistance. 5-Watch for green tail ribbons and be willing to offer advice or help if needed. 6-Above all, treat others with the same consideration that you would want and be a good ambassador. You may be on that green horse the next ride.

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We want to encourage new riders so that they will become Endurance Addicts just like the rest of us. Thank you for reading, Valerie Bixler TERA Director of Education and Endurance Addict

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LOOK AT OUR PHOTOGRAPHER

For those that don’t John, he is the one you usually see in the bush near a white Dodge pickup truck taking our pictures as we ride along our trails. This time it was the other way around...

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What an amazing experience on Saturday! I was waiting at the tent for some riding companions when Pam and her daughter Jordan came up on their buckskins. I was looking for some slow riders, and Pam said they were planning on doing a lot of trotting; but no one else was around so I decided to go with them, reasoning that I could always wait for some slower riders if their pace was too fast. Shiner was full of energy (as he usually is) and we had no trouble keeping up – far from falling back, Shiner actually took the lead in our little group about one-third way through the loop! He loves to go so I just let him until we encountered the deep sand; and even then it was hard to hold him back. There were moments I just let him loose and two-pointed with him; and he picked his way around that winding trail like he had done it many times! That “Scenic Loop” on the Red was both scenic and challenging, but he didn’t miss a beat. I could not have wanted any more from this terrific horse! He didn’t even feign to spook once (the only thing he spooked at was Vicky Rogers’ folding chair after the ride on Saturday afternoon! HA!); and although I could tell he was tiring towards the end, I think I could have gotten five or six more miles from him had I chosen to. But we had just completed as perfect a ride as I’ll ever have and I didn’t want to push it. I was astonished when we completed the 7.9 miles in just 90 minutes! Shiner pulsed down just fine and graded out A’s (and an A- for gut sounds, which I thought was reasonable) on his vet card. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life!! (And even though I had to give my money to the Booth’s, it was worth every penny!)

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When we crossed the road well into the ride, I knew we were close to camp; and all I could think of the rest of the way was how April had to be looking down on all of us and smiling. I know she would have been delighted for Shiner and I and how far we’ve come in the last few years. I had ridden with her and several of you at Trace a couple of times a few years ago. Now I can’t wait to go back. I got so much encouragement from the other riders! I don’t remember if it was Sue Phillips or Patsy Hoffman, but I thought they were going to fall off their horse when they saw me on Shiner! Several people told me they didn’t even know I had a horse, and almost everyone commented on how big Shiner was and how good he looked. I just haven’t stopped smiling! Thank you for all your support and encouragement. I am truly blessed to be a part of this amazing family! Love ya, John Nowell

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Diary of an Endurance Horse Part I Hi, my name is Dan. I have decided to start a diary. Strange thing for a horse to do I know. But my owner just told me that we are going to start something called “conditioning” so that we can compete in some kind of long horse ride. Beats me. But she is all sorts of excited so I will try and keep track of everything in this diary.

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Day 1 – We went on a nice long trail ride. Doesn’t seem much different than anything we have done before. But she kept hopping off and pressing her ear to my side every mile or so. Strange thing to do. But it wasn’t so bad being out of that boring pasture.

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Day 3- She went out and bought something called a “Stethoscope.” Again she was all sorts of excited. She would have me trot a ways then she would bounce off and press it against my side. Is she scared I’m going to stop breathing on her or something?

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Day 7- Picking up speed on trail now. I’m getting to trot quite often. Thankfully she seems to have toned down the stopping and listening to my heart. Guess I am going to live after all.

Day 9- After quite a bit of trotting today my back was sore. But I think it was in better shape than her butt. Man was she walking funny when she got off me!!

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Day 12- Well she says we did 6 miles today. She went out and bought me a new saddle pad and girth. Boy is it nice! So comfortable. Gotta say this gig is getting me all kinds of stuff. She has even upped my feed to this new stuff. Boy is it tasty!

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Day 20- Not so sure about this distance thing. She says she worked me up to 8 miles today. All at a trot. Man she’s got to learn to ride smoother up there. She’s killing my kidneys! Can I trade her in on a smoother model? They say some horses have smoother gaits. Do they make humans smoother too?

Day 24- She let me canter on the ride today! I was so happy that I gave a little teeny buck. She went sailing off. Oops. Then boy was she mad!! Made me do flexing and circles and figure eights! Gah! Can’t a horse express feelings of joy over speed?

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Day 29- Boy am I tired. Today we went out with some other horses. Someone said it was more of this conditioning. All it sounds like to me is lots of work. But the other horses I spoke with say it’s a lot of fun at these rides and you get all kinds of goodies and everything. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Day 32- After the ride today she put something in front of me that looked like wet brown worms. Then she got mad when I wouldn’t eat it! I took a tiny taste and it really wasn’t so bad- but she kept trying to force feed it to me so I just dashed of into the pasture. I don’t think that made her very happy. Day 33- Ok, so the wet brown worms she calls “beet pulp.” I went back later and had a good taste while she wasn’t watching! Boy was it good! Hope she gives me some more of it. Gotta be careful not to look too interested in it though….don’t want her to think that I really like it or anything. Day 40- Miles are getting longer and either my back is getting used to all her bouncing or she’s getting smoother. We got to go to some different places today. So much better than those same old boring trails we have been on. That was getting old fast.

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Day 48- Back to the old trails again. Tried to liven things up by inventing monsters in the bushes to run from. SHE was NOT happy with me. I think she tried to punish me when we got back because she forced this gooey sticky paste down my throat. Said it was to make me drink. I can drink on my own thank you very much!

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Day 52- Well something’s about to happen. The horse trailer is being loaded with lots of hay and has been moved next to the house. When I went riding with those other horses they said to watch out for this. Said it would happen right before “The Ride.” Guess I’ll try to evasion tactics when she comes for me. Day 53- Evasion tactics failed, though I did give her a run for her money. Tried some trailer evasion tactics too, but now we are loaded up and about to leave. I hope all this hard work I have been doing pays off. I’m in the best shape of my life so far. I will sign off for now and let you know how everything goes. To Be Continued… Next Edition… Part Two: The Ride

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2013 Mortl N E

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Challenge details

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coming soon to a TERA ride near you! AS

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Reminiscing Thr

Texas Tango 7IL Ranch Mar. 16

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Shanghai Trails Pierce Ranch Mar. 30-31

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Photos courtesy: John Nowell http://www.remuda.smugmug.com

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rough the Rides A R N U CE D

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Racing Strips Preifert Ranch Feb. 17-18

Heart of the Hills HCSNA Mar. 2-3

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A Great Success! Davy Crockett Work Days Inspired by Diller Dash and Debbie Linebarger, two work days were scheduled in Davy Crockett National Forest in February and April. A huge thank you is given to everyone who helped organize and/or showed up to work.

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The USFS has been very pleased with the work completed. The orange and yellow trails are completely clearedat least until the next blow down! The yellow trail is clear and partially marked with all diamonds going in a clockwise direction on one side of the trail, while the arrows going in a counter-clockwise direction are on the other side. The blue, white and green trails are all partially cleared. The remaining part of the green is going to be a real challenge due to tornado damage on Christmas Day.

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We thought the February group really worked hard and then had a great potluck lunch (thank you, Bo and Linda, for opening your home to us for meeting and eating! ) after which they headed home or off to rest. The second group issued a real challenge to further groups. They cleared their respective trail sections, had another great potluck and then wanted to know when we were going back out! Soooo, we did. They were all amazing. The Parrish and Fant families meet with the USFS this afternoon to get diamonds and supplies for marking. At the request of our wonderful TERA family, we will be scheduling another work day in May or June.

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We thank everyone who worked and we also thank all of you who have purchased annual permits. That money will purchase diamonds, paint, aluminum nails, and other supplies for the permanent trail system.

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The permits were signed and picked up yesterday afternoon so it looks like both the Unicorn Hunt (September 1) and Armadillo (October 19) rides are going to happen! We will let you know when the next work day is scheduled. In the meantime, use those annual permits to camp at either Piney Creek or White Rock Horse Camps and condition your horses on the Piney Creek Horse Trails.

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Thanks again to the following participants! Greg Agle Kris Anderson Valerie Bixler Judit Dabis David Fant Sylvia Fant Beverly Gentry Mike Maul Amanda Fant-Morris Joe Morris Shirley Nobles Jennifer Noblin Diane O’Connor Bo Parrish Linda Parrish Tammy Powell Al Prescott Joseph Reilly Twyla Robertson Victoria Roden Courtney Wightman

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Texas Endurance Riders Association presents the

Annual Ride Manager’s Clinic July 6, 2013 Parrish Home, Kennard, TX

We will start the day at 7:30 with coffee, tea, Danish, muffins, and fruit. Insofar as possible, this clinic will be run in the manner of an endurance ride. Some components are necessarily “sit down” situations, and will be run similar to ride meetings – focused, informative and concluded cleanly to move to the next component. Some components are field events – these consume the most time. Although they do combine material offered previously in a “classroom” situation, the focus will be on a barebones explanation of the educational goal combined with accurate hands-on problem-solving. So come prepared to be out in the woods most of the day. Bring Chairs – Like You Would for an Endurance Ride!

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Bonus Days July 4, 5, & 7, 2013

The Parrish and Fant Families Invite You to Come Early and Stay over to Enjoy Riding the Piney Creek Horse Trails, Trail Work, BBQ, Camaraderie, Additional Ride Manager Discussion We will Find You a Place to Sleep and We Always Eat! TERA requires Ride Managers attend a Ride Manager Clinic at least once every three years in order to have their ride sponsored by TERA. For more information about this clinic email or call: Sylvia Fant sfant2008@hotmail.com 936-655-4048


AERC Central Region Championship Held in conjunction with the Indian Territory Endurance Rides Located at Lake Carl Blackwell Stillwater, Ok 25 & 100 Mile Championships Sat. Oct. 5, 2013 50 Mile Championships Sun. Oct. 6, 2013

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Concept: To bring Central Region Riders together to compete in a fun environment

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and for riders to experience rides from all areas of the central region. The ride will alternate each year from a southern ride to a northern ride. Qualifications: Must be a member in good standing of the American Endurance Ride Conference Central Region. 25 Mile Qualifications: 150 lifetime AERC Miles Limited Distance or Endurance Miles on rider, 150 lifetime AERC Miles Limited Distance or Endurance Miles on Horse, of the 150 lifetime AERC miles 100 Limited Distance or Endurance Miles as a team. 50 Mile Qualifications: 300 lifetime AERC Endurance Miles on Rider, 300 lifetime AERC Endurance Miles on Horse, of the 300 lifetime AERC Endurance Miles 100 miles as a team. 100 Mile Qualifications: 400 lifetime AERC Endurance Miles on Rider, 400 lifetime AERC Endurance Miles on Horse, of the 400 lifetime AERC Endurance Miles at least one 100 Mile AERC ride as a team. Awards: All entrants will receive a participation T-Shirt, Top Ten Belt Buckles, Trophies for Champion, a horse cooler for Best Condition, and a 1st Place Junior Award for each distance sponsored by the Fants. Entry Fee & Deadline: Entry Form and $25 fee must be postmarked no later than Sept. 7, 2013. A charge of $10 is non-refundable if you don’t start the ride. Rider must be officially entered in and have paid the additional fees for the Indian Territory Endurance Ride. Entry form and release forms for the Indian Territory Endurance Ride must be signed. Ride Rules/Regulations: This ride will be conducted in accordance with AERC rules and regulations, and any additional rules ride management of Indian Territory imposes. For information regarding AERC rules, contact AERC (866) 271-2372 or visit the AERC website: www.aerc.org. Please contact Susan Young ride manager of the Indian Territory Ride for any additional rules. She can be reached at 918 685-0072. Sponsors: Michael Campbell & Monica Chapman - your AERC Central Region Directors, & Mike Maul - your Director At Large from Central Region, Texas Endurance Riders Association (TERA), and Ozark Country Endurance Riders (OCER). Contact Information: Michael Campbell (254 698-1965 or mcampbellintexas@gmail.com ), Monica Chapman (913 530-6913 or monicachapman1987@gmail.com ), Mike Maul (713 725-7776 or mmaul@flash.net ).

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AERC Central Region Championship Ride Entry Form Oct. 5 & 6, 2013 Rider Information:

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Name:_________________________________________ AERC#__________ E-Mail

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Address:_______________________________________________ T-Shirt Size__________ Phone #_________________________ Horse Information:

25 Mile Championship Sat. Oct. 5, 2013

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Horse Information:

50 Mile Championship Sun. Oct. 6, 2013

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Name:__________________________________________________________AERC#______

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Name:__________________________________________________________AERC#______

Horse Information:

100 Mile Championship Sat. Oct. 5, 2013

Fees:

Circle Distance 25 Mile Championship Sat. Oct. 5, 2013

$25

50 Mile Championship Sun. Oct. 6, 2013

$25

100 Mile Championship Sat. Oct. 5, 2013

$25

Total Make Check and Mail Entry to:

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Name:__________________________________________________________AERC#______

TERA Michael Campbell 6746 FM 2484 Salado, TX 76548

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Legal Release:    As  a  participant  in  the  AERC  Central  Region  Championship  and  the  Indian  Territory  Endurance  Ride,   I  agree  to  abide  by  the  rules  of  the  American  Endurance  Ride  Conference  (AERC),  and  the  Indian  Territory     Endurance  Ride.    I  understand  that  Endurance  riding  involves  being  in  remote  areas   for  extended  periods  of  time,   far  from  communications,  transportation,  and  medical  facilities.    I  understand  that  these  areas  have  many  natural   and  man-­‐made  hazards  that  ride  management  cannot  anticipate,  identify,  modify,  or  eliminate.    I  understand  that   horses  can  be  excitable,  unpredictable,  difficult  to  control,  and  that  accidents  can  happen  to  anyone  at  any  time.    I   assume  full  responsibility  for  my  animals  and  myself.      I  will  hold  the  ride  management,  all  ride  personal,  and  all   property  owners  over  whose  land  the  ride  takes  place  or  crosses  blameless  for  any  accident,  injury,  or  loss  that   might  occur  due  to  my  participation  in  the  ride  and  free  from  any  liability  for  such  loss  or  injury.    I  acknowledge  that   I  have  read,  understand,  and  agree  with  the  conditions  of  this  legal  release.   Medical  Release:    I  give  consent  for,  and  will  be  financially  responsible  for,  emergency  medical  treatment  for  myself   if  I’m  unable  to  give  informed  consent.    I  acknowledge  that  I’ve  read  and  agree  with  the  conditions  of  t his  release:  

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Rider Signature:____________________________________________________Date:___________ Parent Signature:___________________________________________________Date:____________ (for Juniors under 18)

Entry Must be Postmarked no later than Sept. 7, 2013


Sp e c ia lize d Sa d d le s Th e L a st Sa d d le Yo u Will Eve r Ne e d ! “T he One with the Adjustable Fit”

Eurolite

International

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Why are Specialized Saddles taking the horse world by storm?

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• Width, arch and angle can be independently adjusted to achieve a perfect fit – the ultimate in comfort for horse and rider • Easy to adjust as horse changes shape or you change horses – no tools required • Lightweight, durable designs begin at 14 lbs complete • Six models cover virtually any riding discipline; trees also available for extra wide horses and mules • High-quality, best value: prices begin at $1349 • T ry before you buy; ask about our demo program

Specialized Saddles www.speci a l i zedsa ddl es.com

Contact John Nowell, Regional Distributor, for more information specsaddles@msn.com (972) 672-8250

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Trailmaster

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ndurance

Gear for the Trail, Competitive Trail and Endurance Rider

Specializing in custom made Beta Biothane® Equine tack and Dog Accessories, plus lots more! Lisa and Paul Douglass, Colorado Springs, CO, USA Phone: 716-439-2472 • Fax: 208-902-0966 www.mossrockendurance.com lisa@mossrockendurance.com

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Is now a dealer of

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I carry the regular strap-on hoof boots, Pro Comp glue-ons and parts. Please visit my website: www.barefootequine.weebly.com/store.html for more information or call me at 469.261.8733 or e-mail me at maccwall@yahoo.com.

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Ma’am, step away from the fly spray... I learned one of life’s lessons twenty years ago through heartbreak and a tear-stained face. Bernie found me when I was a confused twenty year-old and she was a homeless basenji-boxer mix puppy. As my constant companion and friend, I knew her better than anyone or anything. Eight years later, when I took her to the vet, stating something is wrong, they said: Bernie is fine. When I took her back to the vet and said I know something is wrong, they took a biopsy and said: Bernie is fine. I tried twice more. When I finally took Bernie to CSU, they said: Stage 5, if only we had met her sooner. As endurance riders, we are a pretty stoic bunch. After all, we think it is fun to tear through the woods on over-excited horses, in the pouring 40-degree rain and the blazing heat, with branches slapping our faces and an unknown around every corner. We are not given to snivel if our knees hurt or even if our hand is broken (Ann), we suck it up. We do know our horses, our dogs, our children and our mates like no one else ever will. We know when they are off, when they are on fire and we listen to our guts when we know something is wrong. But do we treat our own bodies with the same kindness and generosity? I realize I am as guilty as anyone of hiding the hurts, fears and worries, but something happened last year that I would hope never happens to other women. I am not one to stand up in front of a crowd, but I have told this story to a few of my endurance family and they have encouraged me to share my little story. Last year, as a newlywed in my mid-forties and in great health, my life began to spiral down for one week a month. A very serious “black-hole”. My world was dark, unkind, and scary. And a week later, I was better. And no one really knew. I looked up what I could be and found something called PMDD- a hormonal pms-y disorder where women right there on-line, said what I was feeling: my life is hell for one week a month. I sat in my office with my hands shaking. I was anxious and all of my worst nightmares seemed reality. And then after a week the sun came out and I was better. So I called the female doctor and they prescribed antidepressants – over the phone. I said “don’t you want to see me?” No, this is what is generally prescribed. I demanded hormone tests. After a simple test: “You are fine,” they said. Two more months went by; suffering through the one week to live the other three, the paranoia is beginning to bleed into the rest of my life. I am sitting in dark closets with the door shut and looking around corners. I demanded tests thinking, it must be some sort of pre-menopausal thing I can correct with some hormone replacement thing. “You are normal, you are fine,” they said. I was not fine. I was suffering. There are all kinds of possible links to diet and life choices to this PMDD thing. Hmmmm…..pesiticides….women’s hormones….pesticides…… Reverse a few months back. My friend Lindette needed a dose of horse and went with me for a visit. She loved my good boys but didn’t like the way I was touching the fly spray. Did I mention, I live in south Louisiana? Besides what the wet swampy-ness does to their feet and the challenge of keeping a sound barefoot hoof, do you know what our mosquitoes are like? Huge, horrible beasts. Last year, they were relentless. There was no freeze and the swarms mosquitoes didn’t give the horses a break for the entire year. I was going out and spraying them from head to tail, from nose to foot, every other day, rubbing it in with my hands and breathing it in. I sprayed it in the palm of my hands to rub on their faces. I hum and rub and tickle their noses and scratch their butts. I feed them carrots, I rub, squirt, squirt, squirt, rub, rub, rub. Humming my little horse song, this is the best part of the day after all, and I feel the world is right when I touch my sweet creatures. I know that there is a warning on the label- don’t touch this, don’t breathe in, so as I rubbed, I always wondered about them- this must not be good for my boys. I didn’t really think about myself. So I am suffering and thinking and wondering, and I remember Lindette’s worry. Could….that… would that make me…..crazy? Because crazy is what I was beginning to feel, so, I stopped cold turkey about 6 months ago. And guess what? The symptoms went away just like that. There was no parade. No doctors called to see how I was. My horses are strong, my husband is wonderful, and I am blessed. I haven’t dug into the research of pyrethrin very aggressively (pyrethrin is an insecticide derived from Chrysanthemum and is found in insecticide). I know it is considered toxic to our fish and has been shown to cause abnormalities in amphibians. The first link I found to possible effects on women’s health was in an article by a herpetologist. It makes sense; she loves the little frogs and salamanders whose thin skin can’t protect their insides from insecticides in water systems. She and others that are concerned with effects of pesticides on the earth’s critters often cite the Journal of Pesticide Reform, which is not an accredited journal. They say the Journal warns that pyrethrin caused thyroid tumors in laboratory in vitro tests, farmers who use may have increased risk of leukemia and there may be long term reproductive health effects because “pyrethrin disrupts the endocrine system by mimicking the female hormone, estrogen, thus causing excessive estrogen levels in females. In males, its estrogenizing effects include lowered sperm counts. In both, it can lead to the abnormal growth of breast tissue, leading to development of breasts in males and cancerous breast tissue in both male and females.” In addition, neurotoxic effects may include: tremors, incoordination, elevated body temperature, increased aggressive behavior, and disruption of learning These citations support my personal experience but are not supported by anything official. The USDA for example, who says that there is no clear evidence of a link, and the National Pesticide Information Center reports that “Pyrethrins are highly toxic to fish and tadpoles. They affect their skin touch receptors and balance organ. Pyrethrins are toxic to beneficial insect (such as honeybees) and many aquatic invertebrates. Pyrethrins are low in toxicity to humans, other mammals, and birds.

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I am a featherweight. Maybe this matters. I don’t know. I do know the label says to scrub your hands for 20 minutes if you touch it, don’t breath it in, don’t let it get in your eyes. Luckily, the bugs haven’t been as bad this year, but I know they are coming, so now I need to figure out a better bug-off option for the horses. We look out for our animals and they look out for us. If you know something is wrong, it probably is. Be good to yourself. And by the way, Bernie was no dog, she was an angel. 15


Spring 2013 Texas Endurance Riders Association

Trot Out

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% Tammy Powell 9011 Latma Ct. Houston, TX 77025

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NOW OPEN

Rough Riders’ Retreat Boutique Bed and Barn Vacation Rental Cottage next to miles of riding trails at McKinney Roughs Park between Bastrop and Austin. Minutes from two golf courses,

Our own “Queen” Vickie shares some humor with her stallion “Darwinn”. He obviously thinks it’s funny! Photo by John Nowell

Austin’s entertainment district, Circuit of the Americas, Bastrop dining and shopping. The cottage sleeps 4-6 and the horses have round pen with shelter. Call for rates, reservations (512) 826-3211 www.Facebook.com/RoughRidersRetreat

TERA Spring 2013  
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