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[RC] CSHA Endurance Clinic - Richard Theodore

The following was writtent by Bill Parker for the CSHA and Mariposa Mountain
Riders Newsletters.  Thought you all might enjoy it.

Submitted by Bill Parker

It could have been billed as ?everything you ever wanted to know about
endurance riding?, because that is exactly what it was.  CSHA State
Endurance Chaiperson, Rich Theodore did an outstanding job of obtaining
well-known endurance riding experts to share their knowledge.  I would like
to interject that the speakers are considered experts not because someone
has given them this title, but because they have earned it after spending
hours and hours and miles and miles on the back of a horse.  They know what
they are talking about.

Julie Suhr, as always, was outstanding as she shared with us the necessary
changes in ?mind set?, horses, and equipment that will help us continue to
ride as the birthdays accumulate.  Her theories obviously work since Julie
continues to inspire all of us as she continues down the trail.

Maryben Stover, the mother hen of endurance riding, gave us tips on how to
successfully get juniors through a ride.  She has introduced many juniors to
endurance and has taught them to care for their horses before, during and
after a ride.  Some of her protégés have gone on to become AERC national
champions, international competitors and at least one, a vet.  All will tell
you that they have the utmost respect for Maryben?s knowledge and that they
are grateful for her commitment.

Keeping people?s attention after a delicious 4-H lunch would be a major
challenge for most speakers, but it certainly wasn?t a problem for Michele
Roush Shaw, DVM.  Michele vets many rides and she is a top endurance
competitor. (Tevis 6th place 2002, AERC best condition award winner 2002).
She gave us valuable tips on caring for and observing our horse?s behavior
and movements.  I think that her main message was---observe your horse and
communicate what you see to the ride vets so that we can help both you and
your horse successfully complete the ride.  Excellent job Michele.

Subtle changes in posture, reactions, and breathing techniques can translate
into enhanced performance by your horse.  These were some of the topics
discussed and demonstrated by the talented Becky Hart, who among other
things is a level 3 Centered Riding Instructor.  Becky got us out of our
chairs and led us in practicing some of the techniques she was talking
about.  She certainly had a willing audience as most of us are looking for
ways to reduce the ?tired factor? on our bodies after a ride, and of course,
we all want to help our horse get along the trail.  It was great
information, professionally presented.  Thank you Becky.

Teresa Cross concluded the clinic with an interesting and informative
presentation on FEI rides.  She has ridden more than 10,000 miles in
competition and is a current Pacific South FEI official.  She has served in
an official capacity on several international events.  Teresa is an
excellent speaker and she is well qualified to compare and contrast AERC and
FEI policies and procedures.  Her comparison of the rules and prerequisites
was a major part of her excellent presentation.  She encouraged all to
complete the necessary prerequisites and to compete in an FEI ride.  Thanks
again Teresa for the information and for the time you spend promoting this
segment of our sport.

Thanks to Leisa, Gary, Lucas and Belser for hosting this event at their
beautiful Chowchilla ranch.  We appreciate your efforts and your
hospitality.  Thanks also to Becky Crafts, Lorna Webb and the 4-H crew for
the delicious lunch and to Mary Darlene Theodore for ?ram rodding? the whole

Excellent speakers, gracious hostess and hosts, and delicious food---it don?
t get no better no how!  See ya at the next one.

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