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RE: [RC] [RC] Non Arabs - cynthia harmon

I personally would like to know what the author of that email considers "an older rider"...........but most offensive to me is the inference that if you don't ride an Arab - you are "scared", I own 3 Arabs and love them all. I am 43, am I an "older" person? I know a lady in her 70's who still rides an Arab, is she an "older person"? Maybe I'm being hypersensitive, but that original email hit a nerve with me.  C.H.

From: "Faustina Duffy" <kellswaterfarm@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "GaitedEnduranceRiders" <GaitedEnduranceRiders@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"ridecamp" <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: [RC] Non Arabs
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 12:27:58 -0500

I'd like to take a stab at this....
I have, personally, heard OVER and OVER that if I REALLY want to do endurance, I should get an Arab.  Yes, now it feels more like good natured kidding-it did NOT feel that way at first.  I have known an experienced vet to say that "Only Arabs and 1/2 Arabs complete all 5 days of this ride" (He did cheer me on and told me he was very proud of me when we DID do all 5 days, but hearing that comment on day 2 really did hurt, even later realizing that he meant it more as a consolation to a rider whose horse had been pulled that day).  I feel like a freak in a sideshow at times because of the attention my horse has received at times (Of course, I'm not that upset, I've been an oddball most of my life, so I rather enjoy it).  I have had people come try to SELL me an Arab "Since you seem to like this sport you need to buy a real endurance horse (yep, actual words)."  That is a roundabout way of saying "I don't believe your horse will REALLY keep doing this" to a person who is tired but proud of their non-Arab.  Why do you think so many ridecamp newbies ask "Is it POSSIBLE for my horse to DO endurance?" 
I see it at times when I see/speak with folks who are riding an Arab but they tell me that their "Pleasure" horse is <insert gaited breed here> - they never thought to TRY it for endurance because they were told "Only Arabs excel at it."  There IS a breed prejudice there, I'm sorry.  And yes, I KNOW that on average Arabs ARE great at this sport and at the top-and I'm proud for you.  But look at the little things....AERC tracks pedigree of Arabs doing endurance, but no other breed.  Your OWN last comment, if I wanted to feel persecuted, could be translated to "Gaited breeds are great if you CAN'T ride an Arab (meaning, a REAL endurance horse)."  I RARELY top ten with my horse.  I am not asking for speed...not sure if I ever will.  I LOVE being out on the trail with a definite GOAL, and I LOVE knowing that I have the ride vets to help me get a TRUE picture of how my horse is doing.  Endurance is for me, no bones about it...and I personally think my non-Arab does great at it. 
I hope this doesn't sound aggrieved-I love Endurance and the folks I meet out there-I really do.  So many folks have encouraged me when I was tired/scared/confused and, most often, Lost on trail <grin!>.  I have gotten great advice, and I DO feel accepted.  I just think that some of you have been on the "inside" of the Arab bias and have never realized the UNINTENTIONAL slant of what gets said.  The "exceptions" to the "Arab rule" often pop to your mind quite quickly because they are an anomaly in your own mind.  It brings to mind the stereotype of the white family who are so quick to point out their black friend, patting themselves on the back for being "openminded."  I AM proud of how quickly you all tell anyone, "Yes, Endurance is for ALL equines."  I just wish you didn't HAVE to....
Faustina & Romeo
(and yes, I own 5 Arabs...I just don't know if I want to ride any of them 100 miles)

Why do people who ride non Arabs have such a chip on their shoulder? To each his own, no body cares, unless they see a horse that,s skinny & overworked. That tends to get everyones attention. I love gaited horses, I,m seriously considering buying one because I,m getting to old to ride Arabs. I,ve been told gaited horses are perfect for older riders, handicapped folks or those just plain to scared to ride Arabs   jvm

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[RC] Non Arabs, Faustina Duffy