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Debbie,  Thank you for your post!  Very well said.  I too have done both LD
and 50's and get very upset by all the criticism of LD.  I thought the
Duck's rant was very negative and offered nothing in the way of education
for the LD riders.  It is wise to caution against racing too fast but  he
should have given  some positive points about pacing for your horses
capabilities at the same time.  He was so abrasive that I think any LD rider
who had a question would have been scared to ask him for guidance.  Heck, he
had me scared to go out and ride the 50!

Don't feel bad for coming in first! It sounds like you rode your own ride
and that is the most important thing to do.  What are we supposed to do,
walk as slow as possible so everyone can cross the finish line at the same
time?  That way there will be no "winner"!  I would really like to see a
fact sheet with percentages for horses being treated at the various
distances.  I am so sick of all the rumor, gossip, and innuendo.  Let's hear
the truth of what is happening.

Congratulations on your ride, it was a beautiful day wasn't it?!
Julie Herrera
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, January 21, 2001 10:39 PM

> Debbie Ekhaml
> Hi Ridecampers,
> Just some thoughts-I have recently gone back to LD from Endurance because
I'm starting a new horse (he's almost 7)  I must say I was pretty shocked at
how poorly the LDers are viewed and treated.
> I just returned from the Fire Mt. ride.  I enjoyed the ride; it was well
run and nice weather.  I was dismayed however, to listen to the Duck give a
15 minute diatribe about how bad LD was
> and how "many more horse deaths occurred from LD than Endurance" how LDers
overide their horses etc.  What?  I guess I don't understand how doing a
fast 50 on a 5 year old (which in my opinion is way too young to be doing a
50 since most Arabs don't mature until 6-7)is any different than doing a
fast 25.  You wouldn't run a marathon until you were good at a 10K or 20K.
LD has a place in the AERC for many reasons.  Not all LD front runners are
bad just like not all Endurance riders are good.  It took us 4 hours to do
30 miles (and this was on a very fast course).  I got off my horse and ran
or tailed up some of the hills.  My horse had excellent vet scores, was at
criteria at the finish line, and could not have eaten or
>  drank any better.  Yet I feel like a criminal because we finished first.
I wasn't trying to, it just ended up that way.
> He looks fabulous today also.  But, my feeling is it takes a year or more
to build up bone, tendons, and ligaments and until then, he's not going to
do 50's.  If I do 25 mile training rides at home for a year, he doesn't get
the experience of food and water stops along the trail (there is none of
that in So. Cal.)
> and the commotion of being at a ride.  I pay almost the same entry fees
and do as much work so I am at a loss as to why
> some Endurance riders feel they are so superior as to belittle
> LD.  What if a person (or horse, maybe one with say, a thyroid condition)
is Ok enough for LD, but physically not capable enough for a longer
distance?  What's wrong with that? All this emphasis on slowing down LD
while the 50's bomb away.  Yes,
> there will always be hot shoe LDers, just like 50's.  The key
> is to educate!  The ride results for LD at Fire Mt. were read in
> alphabetical order, not placement finish.  We need to not lose sight that
we are ONE ORGANIZATION!!!!  LDers add countless
> dollars to OUR sport.  We all have to start somewhere.  Let's
> stop dividing ourselves over miles.  The nice thing about riding
> in this sport is we can tailor our riding to not only our
> individual personalities, but to our horses abilities.  Unlike
> some other equestrian sports where they all must do the same thing.  Yes,
I LONG to get back to Endurance, but I enjoyed my
> LD ride this weekend just as much!  Please, Please people, before you
critisize, look in your own backyard.  If we all
> were enjoying our ride as much as I did Saturday, there wouldn't
> be time for this LD/Endurance controversy!  Now, group hug and
> don't forget to include your horse!
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