Just in time for a weather-induced break.
At the North American Trail Conference event at Kanopolis State Park near Lindsborg, KA on October 26, Half-Arabian Elmer Bandit trotted under the finish line to set a new competitive trail mileage record of 20,720 miles. This just 201 days after his 37th birthday. If you’d like to learn more, TheHorse.com has a detailed database of articles about the surprising Elmer Bandit. For even more entertaining news of Elmer, and all sorts of fascinating equine content, read Equine Ink.
I for one would love to know every minute detail of horse-keeping that goes into making Elmer Bandit so hale and hearty. Never mind competitive trail riding, I’d just like to see Maira stay healthy even as a pasture ornament that long.
Though the details have not been published, there are a few “givens” in his care:
1. Plenty of conditioning
2. Lots of loving contact with his human
3. Careful attention to hoof health
4. Precision in feeding
What I’d like to be able to add to the sure thing list is bodywork. I can just imagine Elmer returning after a long competition, wearing his special blanket. After a nice warm bath and a bucket of bran mash and beet pulp, he enters a small paddock fluffy to the knees with soft clean shavings, only to stand and be admired for the equine hero he is. His human, Mary Anna Wood, rubs him down with a soft chamois to remove trail residue and to dry his gleaming coat. I can’t see the details, but I get the gist of what she’s doing from high up here in the rafters of the barn. She’s slowly rubbing traces of stress and soreness from every inch of Elmer’s body. Elmer stands stock still as her partner in what can only be described as a daily dance of stillness and appreciation. After an hour of communion, Mary Anna retunrs to Elmer’s face. She and Elmer share a little breath, a mutual confirmation of commitment and affection, before Elmer trots out into the field to join his herd, with a nicker of farewell to Mary Anna. See you tomorrow!
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