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Re: [RC] LD's - Heidi Smith

>My point here is I have to say something about the LD's.  Without a chance to move into this sport doing LD's, we probably would not have started.  Facing a 50 or 100 mile ride for us was not something we could look forward to with confidence, especially with young and mounts unseasoned in the sport. 
Good for you, Max and Lisa, for using the LDs as a way to get into the sport.  I agree that LDs are a wonderful and vital part of our sport, but as I've said time and time again, they are for PEOPLE.  :-)  Your post is just one more that illustrates that point--50 miles is too much for most PEOPLE to start with. 
My background is different--and I've shared before here--I had well over 5000 endurance miles, but took quite a bit of time away from riding, largely due to some serious health issues.  Several pounds heavier, several years older, and considerably less healthy than in my younger years, I also could not face doing 50 again, right off the bat.  I'm back at it now, but thank heavens the LDs were there, for me to ease my way back in.  A lot of different people have need for LD at different times in their lives and for different reasons.  And has been pointed out, it can also be a good learning venue. 
I don't think anyone debates that LDs have value.  The only issue under discussion here is whether they should be required for novice HORSES.  And while they are great for some, they are not so great for others, so we'd hate to see it become a requirement that one had to do them.  But I'm with you--LDs are great for people who need a stepping stone before tackling a longer distance.  I'm not sure I'd be back in the saddle without them, quite frankly.

[RC] LD's, Merlichanderson