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Re: [RC] LDs as Endurance - Cynthia Eyler

It sounds as though that guy would have written off any advice from you as coming from a 'jealous-competitor-just-trying-to-slow-me-down-so-he-can-beat-me' -- no way you could have made a useful impact on his behavior.  In situations like that, we can only rely on the vets to help the horse and perhaps get through to the rider.
This makes me think of a particular vet (also a competitor) in our part of the country who really pisses off some riders.  [I have very limited experience myself as a competitor, but I have worked as a vet recorder at many rides in the mid-Atlantic area.]  My observation has been that if this vet believes you are trying to take good care of your horse, she will happily work with you, advise you, etc., to help you get your completion.  But if she thinks your ego (or stupidity) are working to the detriment of your horse, she will cut you absolutely no slack at all.  And she's not necessarily sweet about it.  [We volunteers are cheering inwardly, and trying not to show it, when this happens.]  My kinda vet!  If I need a kick in the pants, she'll give it to me.
----- Original Message -----
I've only ridden three LD's in my life.  All in Colorado.  At my last, I was dumbfounded by a man, riding his first "endurance" ride, trying to win, then, after his horse (a 1300 pound cold-blood cross) was having difficulty recovering at his vet check.  Recovering?....I mean "breathing"...dripping sweat standing at a watertank, where the rider was busy "impressing" me with how much faster he was moving along than I was (and I was riding a 50/100 mile horse).  I was there "mentoring" a never-before-rode-at-an-organized-AERC-function-rider-on-his-own-horse guy, who was loving his twenty-five miles in the beautiful autumnal day.
    I have to admit, I ground my teeth and told the guy that he had a beautiful horse who looked like he might prefer to go a bit slower in the deep sand and unusually warm day (the horse had his heavy winter coat already).  I really wanted to "help" this rider, but he was having none of it.  What do you do in this situation?  Do you just allow this guy to learn on his own, or do you step in and really talk to him, even though he wasn't open to any of it?
    "Well," he said, "we're almost done."
    "Yeah, you are," I told him and walked away.
    I'm not an elitist, I don't think I was there "judging" him....I really wanted to help him...
    It's disheartening to see this.
    I know this horse was suffering its rider and YES, I KNOW IT HAPPENS AT GREATER DISTANCES.  
    What do we do, just walk away from it and hope we don't have to see the horse collapse?
     Yeah, it all starts with RESPECT.

Re: [RC] LDs as Endurance, DVeritas