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>I don't know what the qualifying distance should be but I don't think 
>1,000 miles a season is such a smart thing. Just because it use to be, 
>doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. That is 100 mile ride every 
>month and attempting to top five in at least two, or whatever the criteria 
>was. Is that such a good thing for a horse?? You would really have to push 
>until you got your two top fives or wins or whatever. You could end up 
>racing hard every month for 10 months. It is not impossible, but it isn't 
>brilliant strategy either. But what do I know. I don't have a gazillion miles.

Have you looked at the recent National Mileage standings lately?  (for the 
last few years)

The year Rocky did over 1,300 miles he had 19 top tens, and a good portion 
of those were in the top 5 or better, with some wins and BC's (and he's 
certainly not alone -- there are lots of horses doing a lot more than he 
has)  He has done over 1000 miles a year for the last three years in a row, 
and has 200 miles down into the current ride season and will hopefully do 
it again.  He hasn't been in the National Standings for the last two years, 
he seems to keep ending up 1 ride short of making it there.  So that means 
that there are still always 10 more horses out there, lots of them the same 
ones, year after year....beating us (haha, this year Weaver beat him -- his 
2nd time, he's done 1455 miles and 1350 miles in a single season, oh & 
guess what-- with NO PULLS in both of those seasons).   Anybody that has 
ridden a single horse over a thousand miles in 12 months comes away with a 
whole new perspective.  If you really want to find out what works you'll 
find out this way!  What you don't see, is that there are a lot of horses 
out there racking up a lot of miles who aren't placing in the National 
Standings because it's so difficult to get there.  This year, 1200 miles 
wasn't even enough to place.

In the next year we'll have a few more 10,000 mile horses, and several more 
reaching 5,000 and up.  It is pretty amazing to go to a ride and realize 
how many horses in the ride have over 5,000, 6, 7 or even 8 and 9,000 miles 
and they are going along so well.   A pretty large percentage of the 
highest mileage horses are still competing.   Many of those horses have 
done it all too.  I think the horses are happy because they love it, and 
their riders love to ride.  At least, it's that simple for me. :-)   I like 
having a bigger goal than just one ride, I think it's the best thing I 
could do for my horses.


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