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XP/Experienced riders/Condition of the horses

Cindy Collins
I only rode with the 2001 XP for 250 miles through Wyoming (had planned
more, but some health problems and surgery got in the way!).  However, I
am shocked by the negative comments about the riders and horses.  I,
personally, saw some of the best horsemanship and finest horses our sport
has to offer. I am sure there were exceptions within the group, but if so,
that's what they were...exceptions.  Like lots of endurance riders with
many miles, I've made lots of mistakes and learned lots of lessons the
hard way.  If you haven't made mistakes, you probably haven't ridden much.
I certainly do not think that miles alone make you a horseman, but I do
think that longevity in this sport gives a person some credibility.  I,
too, have some problems with folks with a few hundred miles lecturing
someone who has many thousands of miles.  I, too, thank "the Duck" (and,
yes, he and Ann are personal friends of my husband and I, so I suppose
that disqualifies me from having any opinion) for once again bringing the
sport back closer to its origins.  I hope to be able to participate in the
next great adventure he and his team create.  In a time where people are
using their energy to look at International riding and Olympic endurance
("It will have to be a shorter distance because it's just too long to keep
the sponsors happy"...someone save us!), the XPs and other multiday rides
are a refreshing breath of air for us "old timers".  Anyhow, my point is,
please don't assume that the negative comments about the 2001 XP represent
the truth.  Congratulations to all of the riders and horses of the 2001
XP. You are my heroes.  Keep riding and hold your heads high.  Cindy
Collins, AERC #176, 6,955 miles since 1979.

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