March started out with the AERC convention in Jacksonville, Florida. Hundreds of endurance junkies were at the Hyatt Riverfront ready to educate themselves further while attending the many seminars offered by veterinarians, experienced distance riders and nutritionists as well as others. They danced the night away Friday, shopped until they dropped throughout the weekend and were presented their awards at the Regional and National ceremonies. We all knew who the horse people were not only by the clothes we wore but by the different limps we sported. It truly was a great weekend. The team from AERC did a bang-up job getting everything ready and SERA/SEDRA were proud to be your local co-hosts. So many people from around the globe stopped by our shared booth.

With all our bright pink adornments, flamingo pens, flamingo drink holder floats, raffles, Bigfoot poster and a giant TV screen with a photo slide show of our riders, there was no way you could miss us!

The membership special brought in 11 new single members and 2 family memberships! Plus, it encouraged several members to renew. We are closing in on my goal of 200!

Welcome to the club!  Traci Cade, Jennifer Sapira, Michelle Grald, Susan Dickinson, Alyssa Byrne, Terri M. Wall, Heather Wilkinson, Brenda Hall-Pern, Sandy Terp, Tonya Rector, Barb Kurti, Curtis and Barbara Kolbert and Jane and Curt Lee.

We look forward to seeing you at rides soon!

AERC Award Winners – Club Members – Whoop! Whoop!

The Ann Parr Preservation Trail Award was presented to Douglas Shearer, DVM. I had the honor of sharing with the group all the many reasons Doug was deserving of this award. We are so fortunate to have him in our club and the SE Region.

Bob and Julie Suhr Husband & Wife Award was presented to Heather & Jeremy Reynolds. I had no idea they were married as long as they have been. They act like newlyweds!

Regional Award Winners:   Madeline O’Connor, Heather Reynolds, Caren Risley, Roxanne Ciccone, Cheryl VanDeusen, Melody Bittersdorf, Jeremy Reynolds, Mya Dossat, Allison Morse, Steve Rojek, Cassandra Roberts, Lindsay Campbell, Patsy Gowen, Vickie Griffis and our Juniors, Lyla Huggins, Aubrey Williams.

Forest Workday – Apalachicola Forest – Tallahassee, FL

185 volunteers participated with 25 of those equestrians.  We were divided into groups to three areas of the forest. We were thrilled to see how clean the horse trails were other than where they connect to the general use roads. The popular beverage of choice was Natural Light, followed by Mountain Dew and Bud Light. Lots of Vienna wiener cans too. We had three SEDRA members participate. They received a SEDRA shirt for their participation. Leatha Flowers’ big find was a light up Christmas penguin keeping watch over a large pile of debris. 12.32 TONS of trash was collected!

Ride Cancellations and what to do now???

Nobody likes to hear that a ride manager cancelled a ride and trust me, the RM isn’t happy about it either. A lot of preparation goes into the ride MONTHS before. They have already invested in awards, reservations, deposits.

While we all wait for the ride calendar to resume, now is a great opportunity to work with your horse to make improvements to help them become better athletes.

A sore horse may be due to not using their body correctly. Trot poles can be used at home. Bending and stretching exercises are good too.

And what about you? What are you doing to build your core, improve your stamina? Have someone work with you to confirm you are riding balanced. The soreness pattern that comes about during or after a ride could be caused by an unbalanced, fatigued rider. Basic dressage lessons can help both of you become a balanced team.

Have your saddle fitted. A poor fitting saddle can cause pain, fatigue and a bad attitude. Trust me on this!

And as my ole’ cowboy friend once told me, “No hoof, no horse.”  A good farrier is a must with keeping all 4 hooves balanced, trimmed and shod correctly.

There is no magic elixir in the making of an athlete other than time, training, a good diet and a desire to be the best you both can be.


Now is the time to think of people and or horses that you believe are worthy of Hall of Fame status or any of the other awards our members or their equine partners can be recognized for. Usually our award nomination deadline is March 31 but this year we are extending to April 30. Why? Because our meeting date has been moved to mid-July so this offers your BOD a little more time to review your nomination requests.

At our last membership meeting it was asked if we would accept nominations from the floor again. Your BOD reviewed your request at our 1st meeting and unanimously agreed to accept floor nominations IF the nominee reads their nomination AND provides the members of the BOD a copy of the nomination along with a copy to all who are attending. It really is easier to nominate ahead of time but for the procrastinators we have settled on this solution.

Here are the nomination links, you may complete on-line, email or mail them:

Board of Directors

We are also accepting nominations for board members. Any adult member is welcome to serve, any position. If you have a desire to make a difference or to be a part of the board to help grow SEDRA, please let us know! You can email me at to nominate yourself. If we don’t receive any nominations the nominating committee, Lindsay Campbell, Carol Thompson and I, will be contacting you personally. Some members refer to this as “stalking.”

There is no special requirement or education to serve on the board. Just a desire to help SEDRA be the best it can be.

The Welfare of the Horse – Something to think about

At the next BOD meeting we will revisit the CTR rules with consideration on proposing changes for the membership to vote on at the upcoming annual meeting/award ceremony.

Currently our CTR rules require that each horse have their temperature taken at the pre-ride veterinarian exam. We heard from a few of our veterinarians that would like us to amend that rule to “as veterinarian sees fit.” This eliminates the temperature taker, handler and vet from possibly getting hurt. The revision of when the vet sees fit permits the vet to ask that a temperature be taken to confirm the horse is healthy to start. The vet may request if they see a horse present themselves with a higher than normal pulse, lethargy, nasal discharge or any other reason. It would be their call.

Next to consider is the use of ice. Currently you cannot use ice in a CTR for cooling purposes. Some of our CTR’s have been unusually hot with temperatures in the high 70’s and up with humidity levels matching. Art King, DVM has asked that we amend our rule to allow the use of ice when the temperature and humidity level are 70/70 and above. We are thinking for cooling the water only, not to ice the legs. RM with input from Vet would announce. Ice to be supplied by user.

Please let me know how you feel about both of the considerations by emailing me at:

Our next BOD meeting will be held in May.

Chris Littlefield on her Shagya gelding, Chiron “Indy” Photo Courtesy of Caren Risley



Happy Trails!

Chris Littlefield

SEDRA President

About the author

Need Somthing?