Pamela Karner is an endurance rider and an equine veterinarian. She has had quite an eventful time with her endurance gelding, Castlebar Link, or Link for short. Even after several serious accidents, Pam has persevered and continues to ride, train and plan for her next endurance ride with Link, a beautiful chestnut Anglo-Arabian.
Pam travels to Australia every winter, and that is where she found Link. Pam explains, “I picked Castlebar Link out as a three-year-old from a large, very successful endurance stud. They kept him over the winter and sent him to their trainer for four weeks. I picked him up the following year when I was back in Australia. That year he broke my leg, knee, and ankle with an explosive move while I was on the ground! I had never been hurt like that in 30-plus years of my large animal veterinary practice!”
”The following year he broke his splint bone in the pasture and required surgery,” she continues. “So we were even, both broken once. His six-year-old year he dumped me and I refused to let go of the long split reins, as I was alone in the Australian bush. His response was to double barrel the creature scaring him from behind… thus another hospital visit and surgery.
“The next two years I was determined to go back and start over with this affectionate, lovely horse who was fantastic to ride 99% of the time, but when frightened was over the top explosive. My natural horsemanship friend and coach here in the US was very helpful.
“Link has gradually come along. He is still not a horse to take for granted! We have managed to successfully ride multiple 40K rides and 4,80K rides. I am hoping that he will be ready for the Quilty 100-mile ride next year! It is a challenge in many ways. Link gets 7 months off every year. I start him back every December and leave early May!”
Linda Riley’s Arabian gelding is a great example of the versatility of the Arabian breed. She has adjusted her goals and activities to what was best for her horse, and fortunately he was a willing partner to her many fun adventures.
Linda explains, “Squire has been with me since 2001. His registered name is Canterbury’s Squire. He is a purebred Arabian gelding that was born in 2000. I am a young 63 years old and have been riding since I was 6 years old.
“We started out with the intentions of Squire following in the hoof prints of my last half-Arabian and become a Hunter/Jumper. It was not to be. At two years old, Squire ended up having surgery on his hocks from growing too fast. We instead decided to pursue the avenue of parades, drill team, and trail rides.
“The Red Hats and Purple Chaps provided the ideal opportunities for that. Squire was on their original drill team and performed at the Kentucky Horse Park and many other venues during his Drill Team career. He also paraded with the Red Hats and Purple Chaps group in a number of parades including the Pegasus Parade in Kentucky and the Chicago McDonald’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
“In 2009, right before one of the big parades, Squire was diagnosed with Neurosarcoma Cancer. He underwent surgery and chemo treatment for this and has, so far, been a cancer survivor.
“We decided to settle our lives down and joined The American Competitive Trail Horse Association. This was the opportunity to compete on six miles or so of trails with judged obstacles about every mile. We earned points to qualify for certain prizes, but unfortunately, I had an accident with my shoulder that side lined that goal.
“Currently, after a couple of years of surgeries and physical therapy, Squire and I are going to just enjoy some peaceful trail riding. Thanks to Action Rider Tack we have a very comfortable saddle to do this in. Great tack that is a breeze to keep clean, and clothes from them that keep me comfy too. We might change the way we ride, but hopefully we will continue to ride until we cross that rainbow bridge.”
Jody Gular owns two gorgeous Arabians and recently added a rescue Shetland pony to her herd. She lives on three lovely acres with her husband in Houston, Texas.
Jody comments, “I feel like I’m living the dream!”
“My elder Arabian mare, Dallas, a former endurance horse, is now 30 years old, and teaching my grand kids how to ride. I discovered Barefoot Treeless Saddles back in 2008 while trying to find a saddle that would fit her aging top line.
“I ordered the Barefoot Atlanta for its good looks, comfort, and fit. Her top line actually improved with the new anatomically correct fit. We still hit the trails together, and Dallas has a steady stream of young girls in her fan club who love to exercise her for me.
“The Barefoot saddle works on both of my Arabians as I can change out the pommel when my wider, flat backed Arabian, Fancy, uses it.
“I enjoy trail riding, and playing with my horses using the Parelli method of natural horsemanship.”