Elmer Bandit, the 37-year-old Half-Arabian gelding closing in on a lifetime competitive trail mileage record, is under the weather. No, he’s not sick–his competitive trail career is literally under the weather. Specifically, torrential rains in Eastern Kansas have forced ride manager J. R. Kendall of Olathe, Kan., to postpone the competition Elmer was scheduled to attend June 14 and 15.

But he’s not resting on his laurels.

“Elmer did two dressage lessons last weekend,” reported owner Mary Anna Wood of Independence, Mo. Wood said she believes varied riding experiences as well as “not overriding a horse” are critical aspects to ensure a long career.

The North American Trail Conference, sanctioning organization for the sport, stresses the safety and welfare of the equine athletes.

“These trails are not safe for horses or riders,” said Kendall. “We have had 24 inches of rain in the last 40 days. I would rather suffer the inconvenience of rescheduling than jeopardize the horses’ welfare.”

For more on Elmer see “37-Year-Old Competitive Trail Horse Completes Another Ride.”