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[RC] Riding 100 miles (when I've only got 30 miles to my name!) - Susan Favro

I’ve been selling products to endurance riders for a couple of years and decided last year that it was time to do more than sell products and volunteer at rides. I wanted to ride.


My friend Kay Johnston was kind enough to mentor me on how to get going for a limited distance ride and she even hauled my horse for me to ride a 30 at John & Steph Teeters last October. It was fun and confirmed for me that I do want to do more. Training time is the issue for me. I’m on the road sometimes for up to 6 weeks at a time. All that travel means lost time on horseback; lost time training.


But I still hope I can work things out to bump up to a 50 this season. And there’s a little voice inside wanting to do a 100. So as a total newbie (well not total, I do have 30 miles under my belt ;-)), here are my observations on riding a 100 miler:


Someone mentioned a mentoring program specifically for those wanting to do 100s. Great idea. I hear about the hardships, the need to pace yourself and your horse, night riding – a lot of different aspects and challenges. It would be great to have someone to ride with or to just converse with about what I’m observing and experiencing. Great to have someone to tell me I’m getting off track or that I need to consider this as well as this, etc., etc., etc.


I don’t think I would feel as much of a sense of accomplishment if I were to take off on a 100 miler and then, because I or my horse had to pull, I didn’t finish. And regardless of credited miles or de-elevating, I would still in my heart-of-hearts know that I didn’t meet my goal. Anything less than the completion of the 100 would be a consolation prize. It may be a thoughtful consolation prize perhaps, but it’s not a goal completed.


If there is anything “given” for not completing the goal, it should be with a spirit of encouragement that perhaps the next time you’ll make it. Keep working; keep training. If it’s presented or perceived as  “Oh, well, I guess you weren’t good enough to get there so here’s this instead,” then, to me, it would be received as disheartening.


I believe that regardless of the final decision on the issue and trying to cover all the technicalities and address all the issues, it will ultimately boil down to what the endurance riding community’s perception and attitude is toward the solution. That community perception and attitude will dictate if the solution encourages or discourages 100 milers.


Susan Favro
Healthy As A Horse Network
“Innovative effective products for the conscientious horse owner”
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