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[RC] riding regardless of sanctioning - Mike Sofen

You know, I'm just so thankful to even be at a ride - given work schedules,
horse health and other logistics - that whatever they want to do is fine
with me (I personally like the vet boxes of FEI-styled events).

I've gotten lost on a perfectly marked trail by zoning out, I've encountered
humongous vet lines, no water, no food, nasty rocky trails, dust in every
conceivable crevice and pore, sheep stampedes...and all of that is worse
than the worst that ride management has affected the ride.

Maybe I've been lucky, but every ride that I've been on where my horse
finished soundly, has been a "remember it forever" event.  And, like Tom
Sites, I hurt VERY badly when my horse has trouble, for whatever reason.  I
remember one ride where I had also hauled in Mike Maul and his horse, my
horse slipped on some gravel on the darn fire roads we were on, got pulled
at the lunch vet check for lameness, and was so depressed I removed Mike's
gear from my trailer, left it in the spot where I'd parked and drove home.
Talk about overreacting...Mike has always been kind and generous to me and I
left him to tie up to some stranger's trailer and find a ride home.  That
was definitely my worst day in the sport: being stupid, rude, self-centered,
and depressed all at once and then being even more depressed because I had
been stupid, rude and self-centered to a really good guy.

Yes, things can always be improved, and the FEI/AERC dual sanctioning dialog
might push that aspect along, AND, I will go to any ride regardless of
sanctioning that is close enough, fits my schedule, that my horse is ready
for, and is one I want to experience.

During the tech boom/bust, I had to work outrageous hours - first for the
money (during the boom) then because of lack of money/security.  I had to
miss many rides, was unable to train consistently, had never-ending horse
health problems.  I see any opportunity to ride - event or not - as a

Mike Sofen


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Re: [RC] FEI/AERC Sanctioned Rides, heidi