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Re: RC: Re: Safe starts at races...

In a message dated 01/22/2000 7:52:30 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< Well, that is good news. I've been told that in LDs, if you linger back 
 long, you're likely never to catch the front runners. Any comments?

Yes.  My comment is that on a LD ride, who cares if you don't catch the front 
runners?  These are not races.  These are learning experiences, or rides for 
horses coming back from injuries, or for horses who are young and/or 
inexperienced, or for riders who just don't need the physical stress of 
longer distances.  My comment as a ride manager is just don't WALK the whole 
way or you will hold up ride personnel at a vet check when they may be needed 
elsewhere at another checkpoint.
My mare's first experience with a LD ride set a bad precedent for her.  Her 
trainer rode her in a 30-miler at the age of 4.  The mare bucked and ran the 
first 10 miles.  I suspect the trainer thought it was hilarious.  I was upset 
and had to deal with this behaviour for several rides until I asked a friend 
who also trains horses, the way I like to see them trained, if she could 
re-train the mare.  She did, and things have gone much better since then.  
Please, DON'T fall into that racing trap on a LD ride.  Once the horse, or 
you, are established in a positive pattern of going down the trail, then you 
can speed it up to your satisfaction.  And besides, some LD rides (including 
ours) do not recognize finishing position, so what's the big deal with speed?


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