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  • - Heidi Smith

    Re: [RC] [RC] Very young riders in AERC - Heidi Smith

    >here in the Southeast the minimum age is 8 and that might even be too young.  At some of those mountain rides I don't think I'd want a kid younger than 12 on those trails. 
    Good grief.  I rode ALONE on our cattle range from the time I was 10.  The test of whether you could go somewhere by yourself or not was whether or not you could get off your horse, open and close the wire cowboy gate, and get back on, all without help.  I was a tiny little thing, but figured out all by myself that I could use my halter like a block and tackle to close the gates I didn't have the arm strength to close, and I could darn sure get my horse on a sidehill to get back on.  I haven't been to ANY endurance rides that have had trails as treacherous as many I routinely rode out there.  Coming back here as an adult, I've puckered the proverbial sphincter more than once riding the old trails I rode as a kid, and realized that I trotted and cantered those, and even dove off them to chase cows from time to time.  Hey, after spending hours and hours out in the Lemhi Mountains by myself as a kid, endurance riding seemed like a piece of cake, when I finally got the opportunity to do it.  Kids are a lot tougher than many adults give them credit for, and they have the added blessing of not having all that fearful baggage that we accumulate as we age.

    Re: [RC] [RC] Very young riders in AERC, Howard Bramhall