Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dream Ride in the Kansas Flint Hills

This past week was a great week. I started out in St. Louis for our Horse VIP meeting where I was able to catch up with some of our ambassadors that have been with Purina almost as long as I have. Clint Haverty, very successful reining horse trainer from Krum, TX made his first trip up to see our research farm and he's been feeding Purina Strategy GX for nearly 15 years! It is great to see how much of an impact what we do here at Purina has on those that get to see it first hand. Hearing about the knowledge, research and dedication to the horse that goes into our products from someone else or in an advertisement just doesn't do it justice. Seeing what we do first hand and meeting the people that make it happen, like Mike Jerina, that's impressive, even for a long-time customer and very successful trainer like Clint. Thanks to Clint and all the other attendees for taking time to attend our meeting and reminding us how important what we do is to them and their horses.

Now, to get to the title of my blog....

After the VIP meeting in St. Louis, I went to Kansas for the 11th Anual Dream Ride in the Flint Hills. This event is a wonderful trail ride hosted by Ernie Rodina and his great crew. This year's event was a Purina Pink 50 event, where the emphasis was on breast cancer awareness. There were pink shirts, pink ribbons, pink splint boots on horses, pink saddle pads....it looked like a sea of pink rolling over the Flint Hills. This was special because it was not only a coming together of people who enjoy the outdoors and their horses, it was a coming together for the common cause of helping fight breast cancer and so many people on the ride had been impacted by this terrible disease in one way or another.

Now, if you love to ride and you have never been to the Flint Hills of Kansas, you are missing out. I know because I've been riding for all my life, mostly in competition of one type or another, not as much as a trail rider, but I've seen some beautiful country from the back of a horse. This was my first trip to the Fint Hills and it was absolutely special. You get to see that there are still vast, wide open spaces in this world. And, the folks that come to this trail ride, including the Best of America By Horseback crew, are great people. There's just nothing like spending a weekend horseback amongst the nicest people you'll meet, provided the best food you 'll eat and listening to fabulous campfire music. I so appreciate all the hard work that went into this event for all of us to enjoy, I totally enjoyed my ride.

I have to thank Dr. Katie Young for providing me with a great horse to ride this weekend, Ghus (Celtic spelling for Gus I think?), is a beautiful bay gelding that was just a joy to ride. I spent the weekend riding Ghus in Katie's fabulous dressage saddle, and by the way, I've never ridden a dressage saddle before this weekend and found it to be quite comfortable. I was glad though, that Ghus was smooth and dependable other than one little fun "celebration" he did after we crossed a gully, since there isn't quite as much leather available for grabbing in situations where you'd like to grab a little leather! Katie took pictures and video of the ride and I'm sure she'll find a flattering shot to post on here for me :-)

Katie and I enjoyed visiting with people on the ride about feeding their horses. There was a fabulous gelding there that was long-time Purina Equine Senior guy. You'd never have guessed he was 28 years-old. He was so bright, sound and happy on the trail ride, really cool. It was also neat to see all the people feeding out of Purina Strategy GX and Equine Senior bags at the trail ride, all pink bags for the Purina Pink 50 Campaign for breast cancer awareness month.

Just a great weekend on the Dream Ride in the Flint Hills of Kansas. What a fabulous time!

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