Re: [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides - Mike & Kathy Kelly
Good for you, Joe. Although I'm sure everyone won't agree, I am behind you
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Long" <jlong@xxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 5:32 PM
Subject: [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides
> A few weeks ago there were some posts here about a five-year-old
> riding a 100 mile ride. I did not reply at the time, for fear that
> any reply I made would step on some toes pretty hard and rile some
> folks up. But this came up on another list, and I feel I must get off
> the dime and try to fix what I regard as a serious problem with AERC
> Here is the text of a letter I just sent to AERC Endurance News:
> Joe Long
> 18230 Appaloosa Road
> Monument, CO 80132
> AERC Endurance News
> P.O. Box 6027
> Auburn, CA 95604-6027
> Dear Director of the AERC,
> I noticed recently that a five-year-old child completed a 100 mile
> endurance ride. A number of people oohed and aahed over this, but my
> reaction was quite different. Frankly, I'm appalled that such a young
> child was subjected to the risks and stresses of a ride.
> The AERC has had a minimum age limit for horses ridden in AERC rides
> since it was founded, for good reason: to protect immature horses
> from stresses that their growing bodies cannot handle safely. Why do
> we not have the same protection for very young riders?
> Sure, I know some young kids are naturally good riders, and would love
> doing a 100-mile ride. But young children will happily do many things
> that are dangerous or can damage their growing bodies simply due to
> over-stress. We adults must protect them; we must use our good
> judgment as to what is reasonable and fitting for them to do.
> Some will say, "It's the parents' decision." Well, we could just as
> easily say, "It's the rider's decision" to ride a two-year-old horse
> in a 100-mile ride. We recognize our responsibility in our sport to
> protect horses from those who would, through ignorance or unconcern,
> abuse them. We have no less responsibility to young children -- in
> fact, I would say we have more.
> I implore the Junior Committee to propose, and the Board of Directors
> to pass, a minimum age for riders participating in AERC rides. I
> recommend at least eight years old for any AERC ride, higher for
> 100-mile rides. Of course, ride managers should continue to be
> allowed to set higher limits if they wish (as some rides do now). I'm
> not a doctor and I don't know the extent of the damage to young bones
> and bodies that come just from the stress of riding that far, but the
> Committee can check with some experts and get information on this, to
> help them choose an appropriate age.
> I understand that the Junior Committee looked at this some time back,
> and felt it was not a problem because only a few children younger than
> eight were being entered in AERC rides. Well, it's happened again,
> and even one time is one too many. How will we feel if a young child
> is seriously injured or killed on a ride, and we had the chance to
> prevent it and failed to do so?
> Thanks for your attention,
> Joe Long
> Joe Long
> Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
> Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
> Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp
> If you are an AERC member - PLEASE VOTE in the upcoming By-Laws
> Election!!!! (it takes 2/3rds to tango!!)
Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
If you are an AERC member - PLEASE VOTE in the upcoming By-Laws
Election!!!! (it takes 2/3rds to tango!!)
- [RC] Very young riders in AERC rides, Joe Long