ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] Sir Revel (long)

[endurance] Sir Revel (long)

Samm C Bartee (bartesc@mail.auburn.edu)
Mon, 15 Jul 1996 19:06:49 -0500 (CDT)

This is a story, if you don't want to read, delete now.

This weekend, I took my horse Sir Revel to the Ky Summer Breeze ride.
It was a 12 hour drive for us, I was very sick by the time I got there,
and the terrain was very difficult for what we have been conditioning
for. Why did I go? simple. Revel needed only 5 miles to finish out his
1000 mile medallion. I was determined. The only other ride we ever did
in Ky was at Land Between the Lakes, and it was our only 100 finish, so
I thought the finish line gods would be with us.
I got Revel in 1991, he was a very overweight, barn sour, herd bound,
almost rogue Appaloosa, but my wonderful husband Lance saw something in
his eyes, so we bought him. I let Lance do most of the initial
conditioning on him, after all, I had my horse, and we had bought Revel
for Lance. Things being the way they are, Lance convinced me to take
Revel to a 25 miler that fall, and that was that.
When I first started doing endurance and got my first copy of the
Endurance News, I looked at the points, the mileages and things, and thought
I wanted to do that. I wanted to be a part of all of that. Not just
jump from horse to horse, but have a true distance horse, one that I
conditioned and competed on from start to finish. I got all that and
more. Oh, I had no faith that Revel would be the horse to do it though.
I bought a couple of Arabians, because I was told that to do good in this
sport you had to have an arabian. Well, they were right, because as
soon as I bought those Arabians, Revel and I started doing good. We did
a bunch of limited distance, and were happy with that for a while, but I
thought that the pace of the upper distances would be more to his
liking. Boy was I right. In 1993, Revel and I were 2nd place
heavyweight in the southeast. I had achieved one goal, of having my
name and placing in the AERC. Boy what a thrill that was!! In '93, we
also got the Bronze medallion from the ApHC, and won a couple of endurance
horse of the years from the Ara-App people and the Colorado Ranger Horse
people, and the Appaloosa Equisport Assn. What a year!! In 1994,
disaster struck. Revel was diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease.
I was devastated. He was lame and I could not do a thing about it. I
was crushed. I had tons of plans, 100 milers, championship rides, and
that elusive 1000 mile medallion. What a bummer. I retired Revel to
a babysitter gelding position, and although he is a great babysitter, he
was most unhappy about not going anymore. He would always sniff the
other horse when we came back from a ride. Poor guy. My main vet here
at Auburn University, Reid Hanson, told me about a product called
Cosequin--it would work wonders, and he was doing a research project, and
Revel could be a part of it. OK, I figured it would not hurt, and it
just might help.....The rest of the year, I slowly brought him back. We
did some easy 25's, and by the end of the fall of '95, he actually won a
best conditioned at one of the 25's, and got 10's on gait and quality of
movement!!! In 1996, we started doing open. I was a nervous wreck. It
was only 275 miles until the 1000, and boy did I really think we had a
shot. Those rides were fun and scarey. I was just enjoying having my
horse back, but terrified that I would do something to hurt him. Every
Vet check, I would hold my breath, ask very specific questions about his
gait, and then breath a big sigh of relief. Sound!! Terrific.
Then, after the Memorial day weekend, we only needed 5 miles. I didn't
want to wait until Sept, so I set my sights on KY. I was a nervous wreck
all right. I had some sort of bug, drove 12 hours anyway, and then
nearly split when I looked at those hills. We don't have hills like
that here!! Oh well, we took our time, I walked a good bit, and Revel
looked great at the finish. He was a bit sore muscle wise, but so was
I!! Sunday after the ride, he trotted out sound, and I did a major dance
of joy!!!
He is still ill mannered, though not nearly as bad as before,
herd bound worse than ever, and definately has that Appy-tude, but I
would not trade him for all the tea in China!!
I have the greatest respect for Revel. I knew nothing about this sport,
and Revel knew nothing. I did everything wrong, and still he managed to
get us through safe and sound. He follows ribbons better than most
riders, picks his way through any rough terrain, and will argue with me
all day if he thinks he is right--he usually is!!--that is what I love
the most about him. He has true grit and determination, and he is very
capable of winning arguments against me, and lord knows that I can be
stubborn at times!!
Having a 1000 mile medallion winner may not mean much to some people,
but to me it is a big accomplishment. He had no miles, endurance or CTR
on him when I got him, and I have been his only rider during
competition. I am a true heavyweight rider, and have been from the
start of my career. Revel has carried me through some easy and some
tough, but he has done so willingly and gladly. He loves going down the
trail, and hates being passed. He is still difficult in the vet checks,
and I suppose he always will be, but I learned
to accept it long ago, and I don't want him to change ever. I think that
from here we will complete the 2nd Bronze from the ApHC, and the 1000
from the ApHC, he only needs 55 more for those, so it is within reach.
For me, I am just happy to be riding my horse with the spotted butt, and
will be happy to ride him in competition, ride him for pleasure--though
he is no pleasure horse!!, or just watch him teach the babies the way
around the pasture. Revel is only 16, and I am hoping to ride him for
many more years.
Some of the important things that Revel has taught me is to listen to
your horse, pay attention to the trail, and HAVE FUN!!!


Auburn, Al. SE Region
SIR REVEL--1045 miles and........!!!
MOONLIGHT JET--just getting started at 16