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[RC] 100 milers and LD's - GENTRY YOST

OK I am going to venture into this discussion which is very rare for me because I usually am sooo glad that I am not in the middle of the "muck" that sometimes surrounds this topic.  Now I will say that I qualify to be in this discussion because I am fairly new to this sport (started in 2003) and have now done 3 100 milers including this last Tevis (YEH!!) I have 710 "endurance miles" and 130 LD miles.  I feel that for me and my family LD's were important because they taught us how to do this thing called Endurance and taught us a lot about our horses.  I quickly realized that this is not where I would want to stop and soon tried 50 milers, then 65 milers, and then 100 milers.  I have started 3 and finished 3 and really enjoy them. I will admit that after riding 50's and up I feel 25-35 milers are just a "training" ride for US. That being said we also have a horse that is just before 5 years old that my husband is riding and a 10 year old daughter that is just starting to ride her horse and LD's will play a very big role in teaching them how to do this sport.  Can you learn it on 50 milers.... Absolutely, will LD's ever diminish ... NO Way! Too many people use them for different reasons.  I really think that 100 milers will not diminish either. There are too many people like me and my family that have the goals of 100 milers because of the challenge, they are not easy, and not something that just anyone can go and do without real sweat, time, and energy. 
I really respect Cindy and Stephs opinions on this subject, why would anyone want to agree on this subject? That is what makes this sport what it is and that is something different to everyone.  I can honestly say that I am secure enough in what and why I am doing  and will never get my feelings hurt over others opinions on whether or not a  certain distance is "endurance" or not.  There are many different generation of riders in this group and you bet the "old timers" have a much different view on things than the newbies. 
This is just like life, my parents were stumped because all the jeans in the store looked old and worn before you have even worn them, now I think the pants below the hips are just crazy and wonder to myself how these kids hold them up.  It is just a different experiences and time that makes things interesting.
Just a thought from a "lurker" "LD rider" "Endurance rider" and just recently a "Tevis finisher"
Laura Yost AERC # M32532