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[RC] re: Why do you do this? - Cindy Collins

However, I believe the majority of riders involved in this sport love and
care for their horses.  Frank S.

It's like describing snow to someone on a desert island...To me if is an
almost "mystical" experience (forgive me, Lauren) to train and ride a
horse on a one day 100 miler over some of the most beautiful country in
the world.  The feeling when I cross that finish line with a horse still
moving forward eagerly with his/her ears pricked forward is just
undescribable.  Of course, they are tired.  They are flesh and blood, but
that doesn't mean that they are being abused.  I've seen horses ridden on
5 mile trail rides that were exhausted because they were not in any shape
as all, that's abuse.  Trotting along in the darkness (when I'm not
puking) with the stars shining (and the company of friends like Frank
Solano, who I quoted above) is rewarding beyond belief.  I've never
competed on a horse who hated the sport for more than a ride or two.  Like
Julie S., I've figured out that some just didn't like the sport and found
them a different career with some one else.  If you think that horses
don't love this sport, then you've never seen horses like Khalil, Rio,
Easter Charm, Crystal Rock, any of the Duck's Bezatal mares, come across
the finish line.  They LOVED what they were doing.  There are many others,
too, but when I shut my eyes I can see these horses moving with all the
"attitude" they possessed. For myself, I have completed several marathons
and an ultra.  I'm very slow, but "to finish is to win".  However, I'm not
such a snob that I think that someone who is unable to run should be
banned from my sport.  At this point in my life, I also take dressage and
jumping lessons on my endurance horses, but that's not possible for
everyone.  Yes, there are always examples of people flopping about on
their horses with no skills that make me grit my teeth and wish they would
go take some lessons, but part of my joy in this sport is that it is so
darn free...and like our country's freedoms, there will always be abuses
to watch out for, but not at the cost of destroying what we love.  I think
you need to hang out with some different endurance riders.   I know I came
late to this discussion, but I just couldn't stop myself from responding. 
Thank you for listening.  Cindy


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