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Current to Wed Jul 23 17:37:40 GMT 2003
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  • - Charles
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  • - Nancy Mitts

    [RC] Very Young Riders - Rides 2 Far

    >> Say (for example) a junior rider has to have at least 100 miles of LDs
    to be eligible to enter a 50 mile ride? (and) A junior rider has to have
    at least 400 miles to be eligible to enter a 100 mile >>>>ride?Anybody
    have a problem with this idea?
    Yeah, some competitive mom decides that as soon as that kid's out of
    utero it's time to start racking up some qualifying miles. :-P  I've
    sposored lots of jrs and am "campaigning" one now. I'll make a
    confession...SPONSORS ARE COMPETITIVE TOO. I may be out of the points
    race for a certain year...but hey...sponsoring the top dog kid's the next
    best thing...and you get to bring home so much *stuff*! Besides, we're
    talking about people who believe in hereditary attributes passing on from
    the best to the best.  If my kid's good, makes me look like a "good
    producer" >g<
    >>2)    if not, the parent is assumed to be competent of making this
    decisionfor the child.  This happens with AERC when the >>parent signs
    the waiver forthe child.
    Didn't I hear on NPR this summer about a ski accident where it was ruled
    that a parent cannot sign away a minor's right to sue? 
    I doubt anybody's kids started riding sooner than mine. I sat Josie on a
    pony the day I brought her home from the hospital anticipating a time
    like this when I could say I did. >g< She had a tiny little Thelwell pony
    that she dragged and rode everywhere unassisted when she was 2.  When she
    was 4 she could shinny up a 14.2 pony's leg and manage to get on it's
    back bareback (I have proof on video) She counted the days till she could
    do her first ride. Thank goodness SERA made a rule she had to be 8. Saved
    me a LOT of argueing.  Then, guess what? 8 rolled around and I took one
    look at that little kid who could do a jump course, go on trail rides
    with me, all sorts of things and decided there was NO WAY I was ready to
    risk her hide at the start of an endurance ride yet. She did her first
    ride which was a 50 when she was 10. That felt very early to me.
    On the maturity of bones thread. Angle is everything when it comes to
    joint health. I've found a narrow horse is far easier on the knees.  Can
    you imagine having legs the length of a 3-5 year old and doing the
    Chinese splits over the saddle, then trying to bend between the knee and
    ankle to turn the corner down the horse's side...then posting on
    that...for 18 hrs? Scott, Joe has sponsored a lot of juniors and he's
    done a lot of 100's, I think he knows of what he speaks.
     The surgeon who advised SERA said long term repetitive motion on the
    growing joints was dangerous. I believe he came up with the age of 8.  I
    started a very fast growing, tall junior at age 11.  She damaged the
    growth plates in her ankle, and began to have to ride with an air cast.
    I've heard another famous AERC child star had the knees of an old woman
    while in her teens.  One of my students just set a Junior Olympic World
    Record in Weight Lifting. However, he can't play for our high school
    football team because he messed up something in his leg while his joints
    were immature.
    If an adult hurts, they can adjust their pace. A junior is stuck with
    their sponsor. How many sponsors tell their kids they have a "no whining"
    rule?  Can you imagine going down the trail *knowing* you needed to
    change something but having to shut up and prove you were tough?  I
    really hate to let anyone else sponsor my child and one reason is that I
    know she wouldn't complain if she were in trouble.
    Finally, yes Virginia, it is a race.  At Hahira a few years back a woman
    started in the back of the 25's with a string of tiny kids like ducklings
    obediently following her down the trail. It was the *cutest*
    thing....until they were on single track coming in to the finish at the
    same time the leaders for the 50 came racing around the curve for the
    finish.  Scattered them like quail.  Maybe somebody else is vain enough
    to want to say, "My kid did it the youngest" but as my students say, "I
    ain't feelin' that.
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