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RE: [RC] [RC] In the top ten - Howard Bramhall

Well, Kat, as per usual, I'm grateful to learn so much from your "holier than thou" attitude. It's nice to meet someone who could care less what position they're in, and most riders, including myself, feel this way at most rides. The horse has to come ahead of one's ego.

But, I do believe that when a rider has a horse that is doing very well, one that has been trained to compete at the higher levels, one that is in the top 5 at a well attended ride, those riders do know who is ahead of them and by how far. The time difference, down here, between 1st and 5th place usually runs less than 30 minutes. You can't help but know. You see them ahead of you, or behind, in line at the vet checks.

Throw in a timer who knows exactly when those ahead of you left, and, it doesn't take much effort at all to know what's going on during the ride. In fact I'd go so far as to say the only way to not know is to wear ear plugs and not listen to anyone speaking to you during the ride (it wouldn't surprise me at all if you actually did this, Kat). The point I was trying to make is I can't see someone cutting trail and getting away with it in this group of front runners. And, if someone was three riders behind you at the last vet check and ends up winning the ride at the finish line without ever passing you, I think there's a few riders who would recognize something's up (of course you wouldn't notice a thing).

Thanks for your response, Kat. It's always a pleasure to learn how to do endurance the "correct" way from one such as yourself.

Howard (cool pic of you in Endurance News, btw)

From: "k s swigart" <katswig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC]   In the top ten
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2004 07:14:00 -0700

Howard said:

> Look, I've ridden in the top ten, did it several times last year on
> "EL Whacko," and, I'm telling you, those who do this know who
> is in front of them, by how much, what weight class that person
> is in, and what they need to do to pass them.

Look, I've ridden the top ten too.  And I can't speak for any of the
other people in the top ten, but I can unequivocably tell you that I
rarely have a clue as to exactly who is in front of me, by how much, I
certainly neither know nor care what weight class those people are in,
and I will do EVERYTHING in my power to avoid letting any information I
might have about them affect how I ride my horse so I will try to AVOID
knowing what I need to do to pass somebody in front of me (nor do I let
myself worry about who behind me might pass me).

I consider it absolutely essential to "ride my horse, not the position I
am in" and to always remember that the real competition is the trail and
not let myself be distracted by the other people/horses on the course.

And I will be so bold as to say that people who cannot successfully do
this have no business riding their horses "in the top ten" (assuming
that they aren't in the top ten because there are only 8 horses in the
ride :)).

Personally, I shouldn't give a shit where the other people on the course
are, and if I find myself starting to concern myself over this, I remind
myself that this is the first step on the road to overriding my horse
and tell myself to "knock it off!"  :).

Orange County, Calif.

============================================================ We are talking about all the tools we can use to keep our horses safe and alive at the rides. Training/conditioning is one of the best tools available. It makes us better horseman and women, it benefits our horses and could quite possibly be the key to preventing most crashes. ~ Lisa Salas - The Odd Farm

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