May 09, 2013

Endurance riding and EquiPak

Meet endurance rider and EquiPak devotee Carey Brock from Delhi, California.  Carey and her 7 year old Arab mare Khandy Kiss have made quite an impact in the sport of Multi-Day Endurance, trail rides that can span up to five days and beyond.  In a sport where few riders log one thousand miles in one year on the same horse, Carey and Khandy have ridden 2,160 miles together in the last two years and are on track to earn the AERC 3K Award by the end of this year.  If she makes it, Khandy will be one of the youngest horses to achieve that distinction. 


Carey has been endurance riding for only the last 8 years or so, but her lifelong passion for horses helped shape her philosophy of always putting the well being of the horse at the top of her priorities.  At a youthful 63, Carey admits to having to think about self-preservation too, especially with a spirited young Arab she calls “an absolute machine.”  “Once you pass 60, you seriously have to consider your safety with a bit more caution than when you were 30.” 


Carey belongs to a group of endurance riders who focus on multi-day 25, 50, and 75 mile rides that require careful management of their mounts.  Speed and winning the race is not the goal; steady pacing and finishing with a sound horse for the next day is the goal.  Endurance rides that last 3 to 5 days and longer require a different strategy than other endurance races.  “My goal is to never use her beyond 50% for multi-day rides, she recovers faster and is 100% at the start of every day.  I don’t want Khandy to ever pay for my ego.”


Most of Carey’s rides are events in the Dave Nicholson XP Endurance Series, multi-day endurance events that are designed around horse safety, scenery, and a focus on preserving and maintaining historic trails across the West.


Every endurance rider seeks out a horse that will be “the one”, a horse they can communicate with, appreciate and grow with, and most of all, control. Carey finally found her horse at Bellesemo Arabians in Caldwell, Idaho, where Kim Johnson and her husband Dirk take time to find horses to fit the style, personality, and goals of their clients.  “Kim really fit me with the right horse for my needs and my style of riding, “ says Carey.


Farrier John Grace is charged with keeping Khandy sound and comfortable, and Carey is very glad to have him taking care of her trail partner.  Along with steel shoes, Khandy has logged almost all of her mileage with the benefit of EquiPak pour-in pad material in all four feet.  Even with a stellar horse like this one, all it takes is one bad step to ruin your day.  “EquiPak gives her the confidence to go over the roughest ground without hesitation.  It gives me the best of everything: protection, support, and comfort.”


So far Carey and Khandy have garnered some impressive awards for such a recently paired rider and mount.


Belesemo Khandy Khiss

2012 XP Gold Medal Award – 1,610 miles in one season

2012 Natl AERC Mileage Champ – 8th

2012 West Region – Ltwt Division – 1stplace – rider plus tack to 161-185 lbs

2012 West Region – 3rdoverall

2012 War Mare Award – 9th

2012 Pioneer Award – 3rd