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[RC] stupid ideas (and riding in the desert)...LONG - Cindy Collins

I know that all of these ideas about new rules, etc. are being presented
by well-meaning folks who only want to save horses, but I truly think they
are ridiculous.  All the rules in the world cannot legislate common sense
or "feel" for a horse.  As MB and many others have tried to state, we have
years of examples of folks starting out in 100 milers with no ill results.
It's the foundation of the sport. In fact, most of us who started riding
prior to the mid 80s started out in 100 milers.  Tevis, XPs, BH 100 are
just a few of the rides which cannot have vet checks every 15 miles.  In
fact, the XP rides are a perfect example of why these rules are not
needed.  As for pulse requirements, bring them on!  They used to be 72,
now they are 60-68 and you can make them as low as you want and it still
won't do much except penalize those folks out there who are riding
non-Arabs.  If you noticed, many of the horses who got into trouble this
year had great P/R recoveries.  Rather than hurting existing events with
NO problems, why is everyone so afraid to address the events that do have
BIG problems.  The speed and easy terrain of the recent FEI events coupled
with the requirement to ride at fast speeds (rather than off your or your
horse's record/history) to get a certificate of competence (what a joke!)
is the real problem.  This, however, has become a sacred cow that no one
will touch.  These rides have changed all of my jumping/dressage/event
friends opinions of my/our sport.  And, it's not positive.  All of the
work I've done to convinced them that endurance is not just a bunch of
horse killers who have no riding skills is being undermined by the
articles they are now reading in their magazines about FEI events.  The
whole thing makes me sick.  Any 100 mile ride that can be run in 9 hours
is not a championship or world-class event that represents this sport. 
That's just too darn fast and our horses are paying the price for the
laziness and lack of courage people are showing by not selecting tough,
proven trails that are representative of this sport (BH, Tevis, Old
Dominion, Virginia City, etc.).  We are also afraid to look at rider
histories and see if there are patterns that should be of concern.  That's
my two cents, so bring it on...

For the lady who is moving to the desert and is concerned about
conditioning:  You are moving to wonderful conditioning country...you'll
have rocks, sand, mountains, and lots of open space.  Also, you'll have
great rides in Ridgecrest and Death Valley, just a name a few.  Ride at
night during the summer, or just take a break and let your horse have a
rest during the hottest time of year, like we have to do in the Mt. West
during winter.  Have a blast.  Cindy


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