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Re: [RC] when can you call yourself an endurance rider - Sharon Levasseur

My experience is a little different than Erick's but the meat is the same.  Here
in Maine we only have 1-2 endurance rides during the entire year, so I started
out in CTR, not LD.  My first year I did a few CTRs and then tackled the Pine
Tree 50, finished last but caught the endurance bug.

Three years later, here I am with only two endurance 50s under my belt (both of
them the Pine Tree) and I'm managing my own brand new endurance ride, being
held this weekend!  I'm doing my part to keep endurance alive in Maine now that
the Northeast Challenge is gone (dropping us to only the Pine Tree and now my
own Hot Toddy Hustle).  By the way... looks like I'm gonna lose my shirt on
this one despite keeping costs as low as possible... but do I really care?  Not
as long as I can still pay the electric bill when all is said and done.

Someday when we are ready, we too will join the ranks of 100-mile horses and
riders but we won't be able to get there by relying on 50-mile endurance rides
to get ready, not even by doing LDs.  They just aren't available.  My horse and
I will get most of our preparatory competition in CTRs.

Despite this, I am an endurance rider.  My horse is an endurance horse, it's in
his heart just like it is in mine.  Do I ever tell people that I am an
"experienced endurance rider"?  NO!!!  I'm a neophyte and I tell people so.

And no, I have no interest in FEI despite my determination to do a 100 when we
are ready.

-Sharon L. & Zephyr, in Maine

Quoting Erick Larson <paradigm@xxxxxxxxxxx>:

Cindy said:  It's bad enough to have people running
around saying they are endurance riders or advertising their horses as
endurance horses when they've done a couple of LD rides!  Cindy

I don't know Cindy; I have never met her or even heard of her.  But it is
statements like those above that are keeping new people away from the sport.
Perhaps Cindy, with her 8,000+ miles, has forgotten what is like to be new
and enthused about doing something they previously thought unobtainable.
LD's are a "vehicle" to entice newbie's into the sport.  It worked for my
wife and me.  We did a few, liked them, and this year have moved up to the
50's.  I don't know Truman either, but from the discussion so far I surmise
that the SEDRA program is also designed to excite and encourage new people
to take the next step.  Perhaps his system is not yet perfected, but the
intent is there and it seems to be a step in the right direction.  Instead
of trashing the idea why not work to change it for the better?

I do not intend to start the whole LD is not endurance discussion.  That
horse has been beaten to death.  I just don't appreciate the "holier than
thou" attitude that some long time riders hold.  Some bemoan the decline of
the 100 while at the same time making fun of and belittling those who are
just starting out in the sport with the LD's.  HELLO.. Those LD riders are
the next crop of 100 riders!

I hate posts that are only negative without offering solutions.  So I would
like to encourage those who have been around a while and have done many
rides in many years to become mentors.  I truly appreciate the support and
advice that my wife and I received from Jane Cloud (West) when we first
started.  She graciously allowed us to train with her and I even volunteered
at her ride: the DelValle Vulture Venture, while my wife rode the LD and top

When we moved to Tennessee last year we knew no one here.  After a chance
encounter on the Natchez Trace with Angie Fura, my wife and I found another
group of riders willing to help newcomers and share their experiences.  Many
thanks to Angie, Eva, Jackie, Wendy, and Clay for their fellowship and
advice.  They let us ride with them and have extended future invitations.
Their encouragement has helped my wife to be more confident in her ability
to continue to do the 50's.  I pestered them continuously with questions and
they answered every one.

This sport needs the experienced riders, ALL of them, to act like those
above who helped me.  I challenge each of you to recruit one new person to
the sport next year.  Whether they ride a 50 or an LD or even a 10 mile fun
run is not important.  The introduction to the sport and the excitement and
enthusiasm you can impart will be infectious.  I have already picked out a
new recruit and hope to drag them to a ride next year.

I'm done..  You can all go back to discussing the politics of the WEG and
FEI now.  That's much more important to the long term health of the sport,



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[RC] [RC] ridecamp reaction to Truman's comments - Cindy Collins, Erick Larson