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    Re: [RC] [Guest] 100 Mile Rides - Joe Long

    On Thu, 17 Oct 2002 16:01:23 -0600, "Heidi Smith"
    <heidi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
    >>Wendy Merendini wendy.merendini@xxxxxxxx
    >In my experience the pace is determined more by the terrain, the
    >conditioning level of your horse, the weather, rider bravery, than the fact
    >that it is dark.  I have done eight and even 10 mph pace in the dark quite
    >easily IF the conditions allow.  I just trust in my horse and they seem to
    >do just fine.
    >Wendy is correct that terrain has a lot to do with determining pace.  But as
    >for riding speed, I'd point out that Wendy is speaking here as a front
    >runner.  I've gone considerably faster in the dark than the 3 or so mph
    >average, too, but I dearly love night riding and learned a long time ago to
    >take advantage of darkness.  
    Ya got that right.  The dark is my friend, I've used it to get away
    from competitors.  More than once Kahlil and I hit a brisk canter down
    a forest trail with no lights at all (so that other riders couldn't
    see us).  I remember once we crossed a little dry creek ... I didn't
    see it coming, of course, he just sort of dropped out from under me
    and came up under me again on the far side (at least that's what it
    felt like).
    >I can vouch for the fact that those who exceed
    >3 mph by very much are the exception rather than the rule, though, in the
    >scores of long nights I've sat at finish lines, knowing full well how long
    >it is in from the last check, and what time the horses left there.  I used
    >to really fret about it, knowing I'd likely go faster myself out there, but
    >after enough years of it, I finally realized that it was normal, and got to
    >the point that once the front runners were through, I could just about peg
    >the times on the other finishers using that 3 mph figure.
    Joe Long
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    [RC] [Guest] 100 Mile Rides, Ridecamp Moderator
    Re: [RC] [Guest] 100 Mile Rides, Heidi Smith