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Re: NC qualifications/ AERC in general

> Megan
> I am a new member of the AERC and I do not have very many of your miles.
> This will be my third season of endurance.  Last season I encouraged my
> sister to participate and join AERC and this season, I have convienced my
> father that he is not too old to just crew and he will be rding this year.
> However, I have serious concerns about being a part of an organization who
> has such condisending things to say about it new membership.  Though I
> apparently do not have enough miles to mention, I do not remember the day
> that I did not know how to ride or recoginze when my horse was not fit to
> be ridden, so the term "novice" ridder certainly does not apply.
> Similarly, it does not apply to my father who has over 40 solid years of
> horse experience.

Megan, this is not about being condescending.  It is about wanting riders to
have experience before attempting a head-to-head ride where the competition
can be fierce.  I, too, had many years of horse experience before I started
this sport.  That is NOT the norm!  Many riders enter this sport as
excellent athletes themselves but with very little horse experience.
Furthermore, no matter how much experience you have in other disciplines,
there are things you will learn in your first 1000 miles that you never
dream you might.  I'm glad you are able to discern when your horse is in
trouble.  When you've had many more endurance miles, you will be able to do
it even better.  And no, even as a ride vet myself, and having observed a
great many top ride vets in action, the ride vet can NOT always discern the
subtle changes that indicate a problem is pending, without the rider's
input.  They do the best they can, but even the AERC rules state that the
welfare of the horse is the rider's responsibility.  Ride vetting has
progressed a great deal in the last three decades, but the input of the
rider is still invaluable.

Again, I don't say this to be condescending, but I can remember being a
teenager, and thinking my parents were pretty stupid.  Now that I'm
middle-aged, I realize they weren't so stupid after all.  When you don't
have very many miles, it is difficult to appreciate what it is that the
high-mileage riders say you will learn as you earn your own miles.  But
after you have the miles, you will look back and realize how much you've
learned in the process.


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