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[RC] LDs and More - tom noll

Our season starts tomorrow not with the Kentucky Derby, but with the Purple Passion Ride and nearly all distances are offered -- trail ride, 25 mile LD, 50 miles, and 75 miles.  Last season I had the goal of riding all distances that AERC offers -- LD, 50, 75, 100, and multi-day -- which Frank and I were able to do. 
To me, each ride distance has its benefits.  For example, the LDs give you all the fun of 50s but you get done earlier so you can ride around the area and see the sights or just hang out, talk, and cheer your friends.  The LDs also have the advantage of offering your horse a shorter trail event so you and your partner can still get out on the trails between the big events without the stress of 50 or 100 miles.  The 100s have the advantage of being out at night with your partner after doing long miles, and in my mind, nothing beats that experience.  The multi-days give you and your partner the opportunity to be on the trails day after day.
I think the AERC system is very good.  Each ride distance is special and I encourage more people to get out and ride all the distances and to appreciate the benefits of the different distances.  Although there are categories points and awards for various distances -- LD, endurance, 100s, and multi-day rides -- the true points are to ride, have fun, and enjoy your time on the trails with your friend.
Best Regards,
Tom Noll
SW Idaho