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RE: exhausted horses CTR versus LD

<< I had planned two years minimally of NATRC with my young horses (coming 5
 and 6) before trying an AERC ride, just to learn what the horses are like
 under stress and out on the trail in a more controlled setting.  Then I'd
 like to try slow 25's under AERC when the horses are fitter & seasoned on
 the trail.  Does this sound like a reasonable progression?

What makes you think that AERC LD's are so much tougher?? Actually, you have
more time to finish a 25 LD (6 hours) versus a 25 CTR (somewhere in the 4
1/2 to 5 hour range) The vets go over your horse very thoroughly for what
really counts, will actually be listening for gut sounds, perform a CRI
which I've yet to see at an ECTRA ride. If you want to get off and walk
up/down a steep hill or across bad footing you are allowed to do so. If your
horse interfere's you are allowed to use boots to protect their legs. Don't
get me wrong, I'm an ECTRA member and attend/support their rides but I'd
rather go to an AERC sanctioned ride, and I'm still doing LD's. I personally
feel their rules are to my horses's advantage. And as for racing and riding
too fast there are lot's of horses that are run thru a CTR then hidden out
of sight for a while before being walked into the final check with this nice
low pulse rate. 

Go try an AERC LD and see what you think. Ride your own pace and have fun.

Bonnie Snodgrass

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