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Hunters/Jumpers (was FEI...)

> International/FEI endurance racing bears as much resemblance to AERC >
endurance riding as show hunters does to show jumpers. 

I don't understand your logic at all.  Why do you speak as if the FEI
riders aren't AERC people?  Does the fact that I did one FEI ride
suddenly nullify all my AERC miles and keep me from competing in my
weight division for year end awards? Practically every change that was
supposedly added by FEI at this ride was something I had been asked to do
at an AERC ride of this size before.  I have been asked to turn off all
heart monitors.  I have been asked not to bring buckets of water into the
P&R area.  I have had to deal with 60 pulse criteria.  We started, we
went hard, we pulsed down, we had holds, we raced...what's the big
difference? Good grief, I didn't have to wear an evening gown or was a worn out, nice & soft polo shirt that my kid's coach
gave me as a hand me down.  Hardly qualifies me to show up at the local
fox hunt...and no, nobody inspected my tights which had several tears
from thorns that had been stitched up.  I'll admit I was a little nervous
when they said we had to wear the riding clothes were were going to
compete in for the weigh in and I actually tucked in the shirt...(not
easy when you're short and it reaches to your knees)...but when I got to
the line with the people with more FEI experience than me it was just
another scruffy bunch of riders looking just like usual, except their
t-shirts had a little collar.  Jokes were made that if it got hot some 
might put on one of those little velcro Playboy Bunny collars with their
jog bras. >g<   

I would almost bet that a person would find a greater difference in
proceedure attending an AERC ride out west and an AERC ride here in the
Southeast than in the usual Spring Biltmore ride and the FEI Spring
Biltmore (fall Biltmore is a different animal, no 100 and a benefit run
by non-endurance riders).  It's not as if AERC rides are all identical. 
When I crewed for the North American in Arizona, I checked my horse and
turned to the rider and said, "He's down".  IMMEDIATELY a person stepped
between myself and the horse and took his pulse, then asked for my card. 
I had no idea that out west pulse takers milled through the crowd waiting
to be called.  I'd had no intention of presenting the horse until he was
56 or 52 since there would have been a 30 min. penalty if he hadn't been
down and he was actually right on 60.  This could have been catastrophic
for us and it wasn't an FEI difference, it was a regional difference.

No. I didn't want to wear a polo shirt...but I've gone to other AERC
rides where I've ridden trails I didn't want to ride, crossed bridges
that didn't look safe, had to trust vets who looked like teenagers, etc.
etc.  I'd rate the collar thing far below those problems.  Believe
me...I'm the biggest slob of them all.  Usually ride in a T-shirt with
the sleeves cut off and look like I'd run shine for a living, but if
wearing a collar meant I got to be on the East squad and have some of the
best vets and farrier in the East looking out for me and my horse and
trying to improve us as a team, it was a very small price to pay.  

By the way, saying that wearing that shirt makes us like show people is
FIGHT'N words!  Kind of like laughing at the roughest kid in school when
his mama dresses him up.  You're liable to end up rolling around in the
mud! >g<

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