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Re: [RC] Malik: (now distance requirements) - sharp penny

 Hummmmm Howard, I strongly disagree with
this....sometimes it's not in the horses best interest to
be *forced* into doing a year of a distance that is just
not his cup of tea and in actuality stresses him out more
than a higher distance does. I happen to own such a beast.

Tried 1 LD and it was enough to convince me that this
short of a distance was making him a basket case, wasn't
teaching him anything except to fight me and really stress
himself out in the process. Yes I'm one of those control
freaks that insist on good manners and listening to me at
all times. Stepping up to a fifty was the best thing I
could have done for him..helped his mind, he learned to use
himself and stayed relatively relaxed. The first 50 we
tried, his brain didn't kick in 'til mile 45..the next 50
he started listening at mile 30..then next one happened at
mile 25 and now halfway into the first loop he engages
brain cells. I honestly don't think this would hav happened
with a year of LD's under his girth as he would have never
gotten a chance to experience what tired was. Same goes for
eating and drinking along the trail each time he gets a
little better at this and starts doing it sooner. Stepping
up to a 100 after half a dozen 50's also did him a world of
good. My personal goal is to do 100's and I needed to get
somekind of feel if this was gonna be a horse I could do
100's on... I could really see a big improvement in his
next 50 that we did afterward our very slow 100. I also
think that horses get used to a certain milage and the
sooner you can step up to the distance you want to do the
better. As I said, I needed to know pretty soon in the game
if Reno would enjoy 100's or if I needed to find him a home
with someone who only wanted to do 50's and look for
another horse for me. At mile 51 on our first 100 he was
convinced he was done and really shuffled out of camp with
alot of head turning and longingly looking back at camp.
That whole loop was torture as we didn't have anyone to
draft off of and in the end was what cost us to go over
time. The next loop after that (mile 65) he was rarein' to
go again and eagerly ran out of camp looking for horses to
pass (his favorite activity!)

 The beauty of endurance is anyone can do any milage and
can taylor their milage to their current goals and
capabilities of the horse they are riding. Had I been
forced to stay and ride LD's for x amount of time or x
amount of miles I would have probably just stopped doing
endurance altogether as it was no fun for either me or my
horse. As many in endurance have expressed, I hate to see
rules that hinder a majority of the members and in
actuality only help that 2-5 % at best.


The point I'm trying to make is we need to do something
here. Dane Frazier has suggested that a horse spend a
year doing LD's before doing their first 50 miler.  And,
he adds that the horse should do a year of 50 milers
before doing their first 100.  I can hear the moans and
groans over this idea but, if you stop and think about
the best interests of the horse and the fact that things
aren't really getting much better along the lines of
horse deaths at endurance rides the way things are
currently, you may decide it might be time for a change
in this direction.  We need to step up to the plate.

Howard (go Marlins)

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Re: [RC] Malik:, Howard Bramhall