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[RC] Gorgeous George, Tevis and I - Cowgirgoof

Hi all, 
for those of you who have followed my Tevis saga, I've had to make the most 
difficult decision I may have ever made in this sport. My horse has been coming 
up with a mysterious grade one lameness on the trot outs, (it was worse at 
Leatherwood). He feels fine under saddle while on trail, but when I trot him in 
hand, he is showing this slight lameness. 

I've had radiographs done, accupressure points test, he's been on on Cosequin 
long-term and he had a Legend injection before his last ride. 
Nothing is showing up other than slightly normal arthritic changes that occur 
in a thirteen year old horse. I believe it's in his shoulder, even though I 
realize that is somewhat un-common. He really dislikes going down what few 
hills we have, and he stiffens up slightly and "points" his leg out from his 
body when the ride is over. His shoulder also "pops" or "cracks" after the ride 

I have used the analogy with human marathoners: many can run marathons again 
and again, but ask those same runners to train for an Ironman or 
ultra-marathon, and their bodies may not hold up to it. 
I guess that's my horse, just past his prime for being a one-day 100 miler. I 
know I'm doing the right thing, because I've spoken to lots of Tevis finishers 
(and a couple of "notorius" veterinarians), who say you must bring a very sound 
horse out there. And most of the horses in question have not even been hauled 
3000 miles to start with!

Wonderful Ed and Kathi Kilpatrick from the panhandle of Florida are going to 
let me take "Gorgeous George", their BLM mustang. George is a tough horse who 
has two solid years of 50's, LD's and even two one-day 75's. He's finished 
everything he's started, and when you look at his completion times, he can be 
ridden at just about any pace.
I'm very excited about this as George is such a nice horse, and I was becoming 
very concerned after not completing on my horse at Leatherwood. (and he had the 
same grade one after a 30 mile CTR this past Saturday)

I have lived, breathed, slept and "ate" Tevis for over a year now, and I just 
have to go. 
I'll be riding George 50 miles at Liberty Run next month, then Ed and Kathi are 
letting me bring him home to get to know him for the last two months before 
Tevis. That way, we can do some night riding, and train for the heat and 
Ed and Kathi are going to fly out and help crew, and that is such a bonus when 
riding someone else's horse.

Wish us luck- Tevis bound - only 93 days and counting!

Becky Siler
There are few places where the horse does not fit in; at least in my world,
as delusional as that one may be.
~  Howard Bramhall

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