I am currently in my 12th season of endurance riding competition with just over 3000 endurance riding miles with 3 completed 100’s and nearly 700 LD miles. I have raised and trained many horses for endurance riding including my own and for other people. I do not have an extreme amount of miles yet and I had a slow start, but I am your every day person. I work from home as a medical transcriptionist and manage a thoroughbred and quarter horse racing and breeding facility, I have been married and divorced and have had two children in the last 12 years, and I have an extreme passion and respect for the horse and endurance riding competition.
I must have been a horse in my previous life because I was born in love with them… to an annoying, ADD-like way! By the time I could read, I had memorized every bone in the horse’s body – just a little weird, I agree! As a young girl, I wanted to stay short so that I could be a jockey. That didn’t quite work out for me, so I aspired to be a veterinarian. I settled for going to Bel-Rea Institute for Animal Technology in Denver, Colorado to get into the field and go from there. Well, then life happened. Although I never made it to vet school, I have kept an interest in veterinary medicine and appreciate the education I was able to obtain; it has gone a long way in helping me with endurance competition. Working as a medical transcriptionist for the last 22 years has also been beneficial in helping me to understand the information available on a deeper level.
I did not grow up with my own personal horses and my family did not have a lot of money, but my mother was able to put me in English lessons when I was 5 years old for a brief time. I had just gotten up to cantering when we just could not afford it any longer. However, I continued to ride every chance I got. One particularly fond memory was when I was 12 years old. A friend of a friend of my mom’s had polo ponies and they offered to take us riding on the beach in Santa Barbara, California. I was sooo excited. However, when we got there, they thought I was too young to ride… I was absolutely crushed. With a lot of persuasion, my mother was able to talk them into letting me ride… and did we ride!!! It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had; the horses were so light on their feet and so responsive! I was in heaven, galloping along the beach and in the water. And, the owners of the horses were full of compliments on my “natural” riding abilities… “I told you guys I could ride!”
When I was in high school, my dad bought me a horse for $100… a registered yearling quarter horse named Angel. Angel, really? Whoever came up with that name was clearly demented (I did) as she was a pure brat, which really is an understatement. Not a very nice horse at all. She would purposely step on me when being saddled, kick me with her front leg when bitting, and the only time she would break a walk was when she would set her sites on a fence and run straight forward into it. Somehow, I continued to love horses, just not Angel.
I first heard of endurance when I was attending Bel-Rea Institute for Animal Technology. A couple of other students and I went to a farm named Kenlyn Arabians. This trip turned out to be monumental for me and would change my life forever. Kenlyn Arabians is a breeding facility that had offered a volunteer program for students to assist in foaling. So I signed up for a night and was very excited to see this great event take place. The mare was a maiden mare and she didn’t wait for the sun to set. I showed up 45 minutes too late. When I saw the foal, a beautiful bay colt, the love of horses I had when younger absolutely flooded me with intense, raw emotion. How have I lived without horses? I had not been around horses for about eight years at this point. Well, I bought the little colt and named him St. Vincent. Kenlyn Arabians is also active in the sport of endurance competition. I had never heard of endurance but it sure got my attention and I knew I wanted to try it. I very much enjoyed riding trail when younger, but I didn’t like to just walk; I wanted to go far and fast… perfect!
St. Vincent went on to be a great endurance horse, carrying me through my first 100-miler and my first National Championship. He is now 14 years old and still the love of my life! He has taught me so much. And every one of my horses has taught me something. They are all different and all have something different to offer. I have experienced breeding (stallion as well as mare care), injuries (minor to more serious with surgery), rehabilitation, training, and conditioning for 50 and 100-mile races. I look forward to continuing to experience and learn!
Endurance is such a great, great sport to get involved in – it’s the only sport where you and your horse are a true team, spending many, many hours together. There is no other bond like it. I want to share my existing and ever-growing knowledge and hopefully educate more people on what endurance competition is, how to get started, and how to succeed.
Terry Whitman, Farrier
Brett Spencer, DVM, Midpoint Equine Medical Center
Dale Schneider, DVM, Chiropractor and Acupuncturist
- Currently in 12th season of endurance competition
- Approximately 700 LD miles
- Just over 3000 endurance miles (including one 75-miler and three 100-milers)
- Placing in top 5 on regional and national championships
- Farm manager (thoroughbred and quarter horse racing and breeding facility)
- Veterinary technician and medical transcriptionist
- Trainer (foal training, conditioning, rehabilitation, behavioral training)