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[RC] 100 miles rides and more - Carey Brock

I am new to endurance. In fact, so new that I’ve only ridden LDs so far. The discussion about declining numbers and conflict about how to increase participation are concerning to me. I aspire to do 100 miles. However, my horse has only had one year of NATRC to fix his mind and this current season of LDs. I think he will be ready for some slow 50s next year. It takes time to build a great distance horse. I will not move mine up to the next distance until he finishes as perfect as I think he should be. Up to this point he has finished well, but I can still see the signs of wear and tear – so no way I am moving up. I don’t have enough hill work so I know his shoulders are a little tired at the end of 25. I am also starting a three year old for distance. (Read as lots more time!) Now the rest of the story – I am already 56 (raised kids, etc.) It is possible that by the time I get the horse(s) ready, I may not be able to ride the distance. I hope I can still do it, but. . . . . I believe it is critical to encourage people at any distance. As long as the LDs are paying the say entry as the 50s and up, you can keep the rides alive financially. I understand that I am not considered a “real endurance” rider yet; however, I believe anything that encourages folks at all levels to continue to pay their entry fees will insure that the rides are available for everyone at every distance. I know that I am happy to pay my entry fee and ride for fun. Lots of other folks want some kind of “feel good” recognition. For them, little prizes and acknowledgements are helpful. So, if that is what it takes to keep the ride financial solvent for everyone – so be it. Just my opinion – from a less then real endurance rider who hopes the rides are still around when I get my horse ready. Riding the Tevis and other 100s has been a live long dream – I not dead yet, so I still have a chance to achieve (smile). And, I hope the organization does not fracture beyond repair – ‘cuz this sport is fun.