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Re: [RC] [AERC-Members] Miinutes of the AERC BoD Conf Call Meeting Online - Barbara McCrary

I feel there is a strong distinction between LD rides and endurance rides, and that is: anyone, on any horse, without any training at all, can do a LD ride.  I know....I did it once.  It was my first "endurance" ride and I had no mentor, no one to tell me anything about how to go about preparing for it.  I took a running-type QH out of winter pasture, and with no conditioning whatsoever, and entered a 50 miler.  The horse was exhausted, but the vets then did not know as much as they do now and kept passing him along.  Also, there was no water on the trail and he was severely dehydrated.  Nevertheless, he did 45 miles in 12 hours.  So I know a LD ride can be done with no preparation.  I believe true endurance riding should reflect commitment, training, preparation.  This is why I don't agree with incorporating LDs into endurance.
Thank goodness there is help for the beginning rider nowadays.  I surely needed it back in 1971.
Barbara McCrary
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 10:40 AM
Subject: Re: [AERC-Members] Miinutes of the AERC BoD Conf Call Meeting Online

I would love to see LD really become a direct part of our sport.  Not for it to be separate at all, but, for it to be the first tier in a three tier system.  And, here's a good one:  actually give endurance mileage credit for the LD miles.  I'd even go so far as to say let's get rid of the LD term altogether.  Call it Tier/Level One.
Now I realize this concept will fly over most of the old timers like a lead balloon (hope it doesn't hit you in the head on the way down; if it does blame it on Florida).  But, if you really stop and think about it all, it might make a bit of sense.  LD riders are a big part of our sport already, the fastest growing segment, the biggest amount of income (per mile) for our Ride Managers, the least amount of equine deaths or serious metabolic problems, etc.  Why not make this something we all do?  Hey, it's only 3 times for a brand new horse.  Why is this idea so bloody awful?  Of course all of those horses who have already completed 50's or 100's could be grandfather'd in.  I'm not completely crazy (that's debatable).
I would really like to see the lower distance become an integral part of our sport.  Doesn't this follow the concept of LSD training?  Wouldn't it stop those who sometimes rush their horse's into longer distances asking too much too soon from them?  And, to the one lady who mentioned that successful riders don't ever do LD's I beg to differ.  I've been watching my gal, Val, for quite some time now, and she does start out her younger horses in LD's.  She doesn't ride them in that distance herself, she has someone who works for her do this (I've applied for that job, btw), but, her horses do start out on LD's.
The thing is, it should be all about the horse.  This tier system idea is the horse's tier system, not the rider's.  I only ask that you think it over for a minute or two before you jump all over this one.  It's quite doable and would eliminate completely any negative type stigma attached to LD (Tier One), because all horses would be required to go through this level, making us all LD Riders.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: [AERC-Members] Miinutes of the AERC BoD Conf Call Meeting Online

This sentence of Howard's message jumped out at me and I felt the urge to give my opinion on LDs.
Personally, I'm grateful for the opportunity to ride LDs.  I started one young horse (age 6, his first ride) on an LD and he performed successfully.  He was in good health afterwards and I realized he could do a 50.  I have a new horse who is now 7.  It has taken me nearly 1-1/2 years to smooth out the kinks, have him bond with me, and lead him to understand the direction of his life in the future.  I plan to start him on 4 consecutive LDs in December.  If he handles these well, then I will try an easy 50 miler in spring.  The first horse I mentioned is coming back from an injury and his first ride will also be the 4 consecutive LDs.  I am grateful for the opportunity to compete without undue stress to each horse.
I'm not sure why people feel they are being treated as "second-class" citizens.  No one has the right to make you feel inferior without your permission.  If you feel inferior, or second-class, it's because you are allowing that to happen.  Why not be able to finish an LD and feel like you have just conquered the world?  And placement should not be an issue.  When my 6 year old finished, I felt wonderful about it, and still treasure a green bungee cord that was his award.
There are some of us out here in the endurance world that have been at the sport for a long time.  For me, it's been 32 years.  I have not ridden every year of that 32 years, but sometimes things just don't work out the way we want.  An LD ride is just what I need right now.  My body is protesting activities that I used to take for granted.  I do not suppose I will ever ride 100 miles again;  I just plan to see if I can ride 50s again, after a two-year hiatus.  Then maybe some multi-day rides.  Time will tell.
My suggestion to riders of LD rides is just take it easy, don't fret about how someone else perceives LD rides; go out and do what YOU feel you want or need to do, and ignore public opinion.  I don't buy this "ride managers treat LD riders like second-class citizens".  The one thing I do emphasize is that AERC defines "endurance" as 50 miles or greater.  You can't fight the By-Laws, and why bother anyway.  Just get out there, have fun and stop trying to use LDs as a race track.
Barbara McCrary
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 7:16 AM
Subject: Re: [AERC-Members] Miinutes of the AERC BoD Conf Call Meeting Online

The thing is, the LD level will be difficult because quite a few members have such a negative opinion of this distance.  I really don't understand why they feel this way but, it is obvious that quite a few of them do, especially on Ridecamp. 

Re: [RC] [AERC-Members] Miinutes of the AERC BoD Conf Call Meeting Online, Howard Bramhall