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Re: RC: You just can't legislate everything . . . !

In a message dated Mon, 25 Jun 2001 11:50:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

<< My libertarian tendencies are showing, but there are so many things that just   
can't be legislated or programmed or policied.  >>

Yours too, huh?  <g>  And this is so true.  People have a fundamental right to be stupid, and the best approach to it is to simply make sure that stupidity is not rewarded.  

There are a great number of people who start out in this sport and do their homework.  They attend rides prior to entering.  They talk to people who ride.  They read.  They go to conventions and listen to lectures.  And they go home and apply what they've garnered to their horses.  And they tend to start out sanely and for the most part, trouble-free.  Then there are those who are an accident waiting to happen.  Rules don't help.  Years don't help.  They are just as dangerous 10 years down the road as they are when they start--although the blessing is that most of these don't LAST 10 years, thank heavens.  My first boss had a description for people like this--I can remember a really nutty lady claiming she had 30 years' experience in the horse business, and he said to me quietly later, "Yep, one year's experience, 30 times..."  It is for these sorts of people that we have to have strict veterinary parameters and enforcement of rules.  When they exceed sensible behavior, one ci!
tes rule number such-and-such, a
nd takes away the reward.  And we already have plenty of rules in place to do so--as Bob said, we just have to use them.

One of the things that bothers me about all the "requirements" for "moving up" in some systems is that there are a fair number of riders who come in from other disciplines who are capable of starting quite happily and safely at longer distances.  In my own case, I grew up riding daily for cattle, caring for my horse was drilled into me just like getting dressed in the morning, and it was no big deal for me to do my first ride at the Virginia City 100.  Yep, I was a tired puppy, and I didn't Top Ten or anything, but I made it with a horse in good shape, and me in acceptable shape.  There would have been utterly no point for me to work my way up through LD's, mentors, etc.  OTOH, I can fully appreciate why LD's are a much-needed entry point for the many folks who did not grow up the way I did.  Furthermore, we now see a great many experienced riders who are out campaigning their top 100-mile horses, but who are starting their younger horses at home.  They can give those horses j!
ust as much education and base a
t home as they could working up through LD's--and they have the experience to start those horses right out on 50's.  So what is wrong with that?  One of the great things about this sport is that one can compete (or complete) at whatever level is appropriate for one's confidence, capability, and experience, and that should include where one starts out as well.

Just my nickel's worth...


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