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[RC] competition vs. training miles - Gary Daniels

Hi Layla:

Well, I'm sorta in the same boat as you.  Many people that look at my
ride-record would clearly call me a newbie, inexperienced, etc.  I
respect their opinion.  In my case, however, I spend an enormous time in
the saddle loggin training miles.  What I mean by that is, I have
certain loops for different work-out purposes, some hilly ones, some
flat ones, different footing type, all measured accurately with this new
GPS monitor that tells you exactly how far you're going.  I ride with a
heart monitor to help me monitor my horse's less obvious signs.  I keep
a riding schedule where NOTHING is allowed to interfere, and at the end
of the day I log my exact mileage into a self-created database/training
log, which I review regularly to point out any inconsistencies, special
notes I may have posted, etc.etc.

Yes, all of this may sound REDICULOUS to many.  In addition to that, my
database logs my personal training program to keep myself fit, to allow
myself to be a better team-member to my horse.  Long story short, at any
given time I can look at my log and know how much time I've put into my
training, and what sorts of workouts exactly I have done.  But I have
done this for about five years with my 9 year old gelding, yet only
logged about 1 or 2 rides per year with him.  I read, I learn, I alter
my training program based on what I learn.  The fact is that when I show
up at a ride, I show up with a horse that is in superb condition and
ready for the task at hand.  Unfortunately I don't have the luxury to
travel all around the state for numerous rides, which I think would be
helpful to teach him to settle down a bit more during the first 10 miles
of a ride.  But other than that, I am confident that my personal
training miles count at least as much as competition miles when it comes
to preparing my horse properly.

In fact, I respect those that are in our shoes.  It takes patience,
discipline and follow through to make yourself get up early in the
morning, sticking to your schedule, and logging down a 30 mile LSD
training ride by yourself.  How much easier and more fun it would be do
log this mileage at an AERC LD ride with the company of other riders.

So you go, Layla.  Perhaps one day you'll have your own trailer.  But
until then, I think it's great of you for having the discipline and
keeping your dreams and goals about 100 milers.  Miles are miles -
whether it's at an endurance ride or by your lonely self.  :-)

DBL Realtors

-----Original Message-----
From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Saatchi
Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2003 9:05 AM
To: "Howard Bramhall"
Cc: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC] the sport?

Hi Howard, 

I'm "on-board" with all your suggestions except the pre-requisite for
attempting a 100 mile competition. ?If I understand you correctly,
you're saying that training miles don't count (obviously because there's
no way of verifying them), and just competitive miles count toward
discerning whether a horse is capable of competing. ?

This is mine and my mare's first year competing in this sport, so I
don't claim to be an amateur let alone an expert, but my mare and I have
been a team across many miles outside of competition for the past 3
years. ?I take education, training and conditioning VERY seriously, but
for a couple of reasons I chose to only enter two competitions in our
first season: ?First, I don't have my own trailer, and second, my mare
is an ex-race horse, and I thought it was more important to get her used
to pacing herself over longer distances without the added stress of
dealing with competition. ?As a result, we successfully completed a 25
mile and a 55 mile this past season and hope to complete our first 100
next year. ?I'll admit the 55 miles was difficult, but my mare and I
pulled through well - with sound mind and body. ?I maintatined
communication with the vets throughout and made sure that my mare was
healthy enough to continue. ?

Although I understand the difficult responsibility the AERC regulatory
body has when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of the horse, I
would feel personally dismayed if my horse's capability were judged
solely on how many miles she has logged in competition. ?The
pre-requisite you have outlined is somewhat subjective and as such, a
tad bit unfair. ?My mare and I will not have 300 miles of 50's under our
belt, but I'm confident that we'll both be up for the challenge based on
miles logged in training. ?

M3053, MW.

"Howard Bramhall" <howard9732@xxxxxxx> wrote:

When the Greenalls get ready, maybe, they'll tell us the entire story.
?Somehow, I don't think they think it was the rider in this situation
who was to blame at all (I really don't know). ?And, my belief is, it
wasn't the rider at all in Maggie's. ?Not to compare the two, since
Malik is alive and well. ?But, if he were not, would any of you be
jumping on Maggie? ?Shame on you if you were to do so. ?It can happen to
anyone and her case proves that to me more than any other I've heard of

Shortening the distance between vet checks and making a few other
changes could turn all of this around. ?What should really be opening
our eyes is when we lose horses at the top lever rides. ?These are our
best horses and riders. ?Our very best. ?And, trust me, there are ways
to get even them to go slower.

There is a really good idea coming down the pike that would slow riders
down. ?I'm not going to bring it up because it's not mine (most of what
I've listed are not mine, btw). ?IN case you missed those ideas I'll
list them again. ?Please read them and consider which are acceptable to
you and which are not. ?Keep in mind if we want things to change, we
really do need to make some changes.

I really feel that if the membership does not get behind this things
will remain the same; 7 deaths per year at our rides and a large number
of severe metabolic incidents where treatment was required to save the
life of the horse. ?Please, really, down deep in the pit of your heart,
the center of your soul, try and put the horse ahead of what your
personal goals in our sport are. ?Mentally, ask yourself what you would
do to make our sport the best, instead of one of the worst, places for a
horse to compete and for you to enjoy. ?I don't think I posted these on
Ridecamp; please, take a serious look at them and try not to make it
personal. ?I don't care if you dislike me for talking like I do about
all of this but when you voice your venom towards me it really takes
away from it all (maybe, that's your intent). Pretend the list below
came from someone you do like, rather than myself. ?Read them
objectively, I really am begging you to do this. Like I said, they're
not really all my ideas anyway.

1) ?Make 60 the standard beats per minute of the horse's heart-rate
across the board. ?Consider reducing it to 56.

2) ?Make the maximum distance a horse can travel between vet checks 15
miles. ?No longer. ?And, actually, make sure via an independent source
that the miles listed by the ride manager between loops is accurate.

3) ?Have a prerequisite for entering 100 mile rides. ?I suggest 300
miles of 50's before a horse is allowed to do it's first 100 miler.

4) ?Longer hold times at the vet checks; 45 minutes minimum and 1 hour
at the half way mark. ?I also suggest we use 11 hours of ride time (does
not include hold time) for the 50 milers and 22 hours of ride time for
the 100 milers as the time limit to obtain a completion. ?That way, if
the Ride Vet wants to add more time at the holds it won't affect the
rider's available "ride time" on the trail.

5) ?All AERC vets most hold a license. ?It doesn't have to be a license
in a state where the ride is held, but, it does have to be a license in
one of the 50 available. ?No unlicensed vets at any AERC rides.

6) ?Log books on horses similar to what they're doing in Australia. ?It
holds the rider accountable (they are) and makes our record keeping more
accurate. ?And, it will save the life of a horse or two along the way.

7) ?The Education Committee needs to explain distance traveling while
going to a ride and returning home. ?I know that Stagg has written an
article where this topic was mentioned, and it was a good one, but, this
needs to be re-emphasized time and time again. ?We must make sure every
rider knows that the distance traveled to a ride along with the distance
traveled back home increases the danger of a horse getting into trouble
during an endurance event. It is part of the event! If a rider travels
out of region to a ride I think we should require them to keep a log
book of their travel to the ride. ?Not for punishment, but, for
educational purposes. ?This form is turned into the Ride Manager prior
to the manager accepting their entry.

If we ever want to get serious about this (and, yes, it really is
happening; it's not some sort of illusion) we need to take action and
make some changes. ?And, this will help to eliminate all those bad
apples from the sport I keep hearing of. ?But, the only way it will
happen is for ya'll to make it happen. ?Otherwise, it's just words, and
I got plenty of those. ?It really is time for some action.


?----- Original Message -----
?From: terre
?To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
?Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 9:07 PM
?Subject: [RC] the sport?

?Greenalls wrote:

?I watched a horse die of heat exhaustion (the autopsy is not
?complete, but nothing else showed up) last weekend. ?I watched
?the whole thing. ?The sport killed the horse. ?Spain...same thing.
?Pan Ams, the same thing.

?Gee, I don't think so. ?Actually, I think the riders killed these
horses. ?The difference between the horses that die and the ones that
don't isn't "the sport"--it's the riders. ?You could have five mile
loops with hour holds--and some people would still manage to ride their
horses to death. ?As long as experienced riders, who know what they are
doing, are prepared to risk the consequences of riding 'on the edge',
there is no place you can put the edge where they won't find it.



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[RC] the sport?, Saatchi