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On Mon, 1 Nov 2004 18:01:58 -0600, "Rae Callaway" <tallcarabians@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

But the saddle weight DOES matter, regardless of whether 
someone chooses a heavy saddle, light saddle or no saddle
- the horse is still carrying the weight.  What are we judging 
here - the what the horse is carrying or how fat or thin the 
rider is?  I feel it's what the horse is carrying that's important 
because he's (she's) the one that's lugging everything, saddle, 
bottles, hardware store & rider, over the course, so it's ALL 
that weight that wears on the horse, not just the rider's weight.

Tall C Arabians - Central Region

This is true, but the problem with weighing "everything" is that "everything"
isn't consistent through a ride.  Even not counting "consumables" like the water
in bottles, gear gets added and removed during the course of a ride.  Sometimes
riders change to a different saddle at a vet check.  Which one "counts?"

The other problem, as we're seeing in this discussion, is that it isn't clear
what is the acceptable way to "make your weight" at the weigh-in.  Can you
refill that water bottle, or not? Can you dunk your pad in the water trough
(it's been done)?  So we can write some more rules to clarify what is allowed
and what is not, or we can simply our lives.

When I'm hiking up a "fourteener" one of the things that I count on is that the
higher I go, the lighter my Camelback gets, because I'm drinking the water out
of it.  Sure, it goes into my body and I'm still actually carrying it at that
moment, but I drink it because I'm sweating water out ... so I still get lighter
as I climb.  If I were to refill after reaching my destination, I haven't simply
"replaced what I started with," I've added weight that I never carried.

On matters like this I believe in the KISS principle -- "Keep it simple."  The
one parameter that most riders cannot change much is their body weight, so place
people in weight divisions based on that, and then they can choose their tack
and gear  and fill their bottles (or not) without any concern about how it
affects their division.

There are some riders whose weight fluctuates, all they have to do is begin the
year in the division that they anticipate they will always make.


Joe Long


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