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[RC] [RC] LDs as Endurance/qualifications - sherman

I don't think it's necessary to have Ld's required to do 50s. My 12 year old daughter & myself regularly did 20 & 30 mile training rides before attempting our first 50. Why should we have been required to do LDs as well?  We asked experienced endurance riders all the dumb questions we could think of, read all we could in the Ridecamp archive "Stories", learned to check heart rates, & do trot outs at the end of our rides, so what good would it have done to do an LD ride? It would NOT have helped our horses' minds at all, however, they were completely changed after their first 50, now they even conserve on our training rides. There are good vet's to make sure the horses are cared for on all distances. Angie's idea of a voluntary written test is interesting though. It might show where more education is needed.
What do you think about the requirements of the Tevis ride. Like Cindy mentioned, many horses & riders experienced their first endurance ride on the Tevis trail. Would riding 3 flatland 50's help get a horse or rider through the Granite Chief Wilderness, the steep, narrow, dusty, hot canyon trails of the Western States Trail, or the daunting Black Hole of Calcutta?  On the other hand, isn't  a rider who regularly rides these canyon trails, but doesn't have 150 miles of AERC sanctioned miles completed, more qualified to attempt the Tevis? Tara & I rode through the Black Hole of Calcutta at night a couple of weeks ago, it was awesome, and, the horses knew exactly where to turn to keep us on the trail and not over the cliffs.
Doesn't seem to me that adding requirements is any way to protect the horse or rider. Education is the key, and, of course, good, watchful vets.
It's raining & I'm bored, excuse my rambling.
Grass Valley, CA