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Re: [RC] Points of View - Joe Long

On Sun, 19 Oct 2003 14:24:50 -0600, "E.L. Ashbach"
<samaia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Joe Long wrote:

If the RM sets minimum that is faster than some horses can handle, it
does at best no good at all for that horse:  it is too fast -- and at
worst, harms the horse by encouraging the rider to ride that speed.
The point here is that no one, no vet, no ride manager, can set a
speed that is a safe and proper speed for an unknown horse, even on a
given trail on a given day.

When you a set "maximum time allotted" to complete the a given distance 
( for a rider who by your assessment has no idea how to pace) the 
message we send is "don't be too slow".  That's what we have right now. 
  When you have a "minimum time allowed" for the same rider, the 
message is "but don't go too fast either."  We give no official message 
to the new rider to "slow down, this is a ride, not a race."

We give lots of "messages" to new riders to take it slow until they
learn the ropes and their horses get in condition.  We don't need new
rules and speed limits to do that.

And, endurance rides are races too (for those who choose to race for

So what
happens when someone rides at that speed and their horse ends up on
the jugs, and they say "But I just rode the way you told me to?

I'm very sorry, but I still don't understand we're this is coming from...

If we say (as AERC, to a beginner on any distance ride), "You can't ride 
your horse any faster than _______ today.  That's the max, people.  Go 
slow out there this time 'til you've grad-ji-ated."  How does that make 
people ride *faster*?  (Doesn't that make people stupid or unlistening 
to do the opposite? ;-)  )That seems to me like going to one of Duck's 
rides and having him deliver the message that "this is a ride, not a 
race, act accordingly. "

It the AERC or RM says "rookie riders must take at least 4 hours to
complete this 25 mile ride," the AERC or RM is telling riders that a
4-hour time is safe on that trail for first-time horses.  Otherwise,
why would the minimum time not be 5 hours? 5:30?  5:45?

So what do we do when the rookie (let's assume he's using a GPS) rides
in 4:10 but HIS horse couldn't handle 4:10 and gets in trouble?  We
TOLD him 4:10 was safe!!!

They're gonna watch their watches on the loops, like everyone else.

You know, I'm pretty good at predicting how long it's going to take me
to do a loop -- that I've been over before.  Even after 12,000 miles
I'm not so good at predicting how long it's going to take to do a loop
I've never seen before.  And you expect rookies to do that?  Are you
going to reqire ride managers to post a sign every mile telling riders
how far they have to go, so they can "check their watch" and figure
out if they are going the legal speed?

So how do you think Rookies do it now?  What happens in the absence of 
knowledge about pacing?

All they have to worry about now is not being overtime, which is not
nearly as difficult as keeping within a window.  And you know, some
miss that cutoff because they don't have a feel for pacing yet.

I hear that at CTR's it isn't uncommon for experienced riders to stop
and wait on the trail just before the "no-stopping" point because
they've gone faster than they thought.  And CTR's do often have

I'm being realistic.  The fact that judging ones speed down the trail
is something most folks need to learn, is a reason AGAINST speed
limits for rookies, not in favor of them.  You want to require our
newest and least experienced riders to have to do somehing that takes
most riders a lot of miles to learn.

Yeah, I do, and that thing I want to require them to do is go slow.  :-)

Yeah, and I do not want you or anyone else telling them how slow they
must go.  In our sport we demand that horses be Fit to Continue to
complete a ride, but it is the rider's responsibility to pace and care
for the horse properly to meet that standard.

Let's give the rookies all the advice, help and mentoring we can, but
let's NOT saddle them with arbitrary and counterproductive rules!


Joe Long


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Re: [RC] Points of View, Joe Long
Re: [RC] Points of View, E.L. Ashbach