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Re: RC: 2 questions

1.  We have always hauled in the day before, as early as possible.  By the 
time we get loaded and on the road, we usually get there by 4 or 5 P.M.  The 
advantage is your horse has a chance to see the camp, and all the other 
horses.  also, the Ride meeting is held usually about dark.  Especially for a 
first timer, it's really helpful to go to the ride meeting, to know something 
about the trail and vet criteria.  The most important reason for me, is that 
even if I had EVERYTHING packed the night before, it would still take me 2 
hours to get on the road.  Since lots of LD rides start at 7 or 8, you have 
to start out really early in order to get there in time to register and vet 
check. This can take an hour.  Then you have to saddle up and remember 
everything you need to hang on your saddle and person and get warmed up.  
This usually takes at least an hour, So there you are, four hours plus drive 
time. Just to start at 7 or 8 or even 8:30 you would have to start at 
midnight the night before, and drive in the dark.  You must be a morning 
person.  I'm definitely not.  the later I can lie in bed, even if I'm not 
sleeping, the happier I am.  I pull with a van, it has a fold down bed.  Not 
too cold, and not too uncomfortable.  I cook on a portable propane barbecue 
when I cook at all.  A camper on a truck would also take the primitive out of 
endurance.  Then some people buy a motorhome to pull with, and have all the 
luxuries of home, including a shower.  And others have a living quarters type 
gooseneck horse trailer.  Those are pretty nice.  

2.  I ride in a solstice Arab Saddle Co. endurance saddle.  For the first 
several years, I rode in a Wintec dressage saddle.  It has about 250 LD miles 
on it, plus LOTS of conditioning miles. For conditioning, I use it to switch 
off with the Solstice, hoping the different pressure points will keep my 
mare's back from getting sore.   My advise saddle wise would be to start in 
the saddle you have, and if you like the sport, you can always get an 
endurance saddle of whatever brand later.  A Wintec AP that fits your horse 
would be a good starter saddle.  That way you can spend your money on a more 
comfortable camping arrangement! lol.   jeri

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