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[RC] newbie and responses to discussions - apachepetra

My name is Beth and I currently do CTR's.  This is my first year doing CTR's,
last year I did 3 novice rides and then 2-30 mile rides.  I have done 3-25 mile
rides, 1-30 mile ride and in July I did 2-25 mile rides back to back in the
same weekend.  A couple of weeks ago I did a 40 mile ride.  Last year when I
first started doing CTR's I couldn't imagined riding 50 miles in one day much
less 100.  This spring after I had done a few more 25 mile rides, I began to
think that maybe 50 miles wasn't so out of reach.  Now that I have been riding
more and also looked at some old EN magazines I am thinking that late in
2008 a 100 might be possible for me and my mare if nothing bad happens between
now and then.

When I first started going to these rides I was just looking to be able to get
out and ride more and meet more horse people than just normal trail riding.
This has benefited my mare and I alot.  Also doing these rides has given me
more confidence in myself and allowed me to further develop my independence (I
am 25 and still live at home with my parents).

Not everyone has the same goals and resources to be able or even want to do
different distances of endurance riding.  Not all people can or want to do a
100 mile ride.  For some people it is the time/money issue with getting to a
100 mile ride because they aren't as prevalent as LD's or 50's.  I don't and
won't look down on people who ride LD's long term, not just as a stepping stone
to longer distances, because I am not in their shoes and don't know or care the
reason they do this.  It's their choice and I feel that if LD's are considered
endurance by the main organization than that is what they should be until or
unless there is a change.

When I describe to someone what kind of riding I do I tell them that I am a
distance rider and I do CTR's.  I then ask them if they have heard of endurance
riding and if they have then I tell them that CTR's are kinda like endurance
but are judged differently and are shorter in length.  If the person didn't know
anything about endurance riding then I would have to give a much more in depth
answer.  I would explain LD's in the same type of context because most people
don't know what LD's are.  I don't think it makes any difference what the
length of the endurance ride is the goal is still the same whether the distance
is 25 miles or 100, and that is to ride the trail, finish with a happy, healthy
horse, and to hopefully place according to the pre-ride plans/goals.

I have plans to do LD's next year and then hopefully a 50 or 2 at the end of the

I think it would be very helpful for those up and coming riders to have more
information about the differences and similarities between 50's and 100's so
that these riders could see if they were ready to more up or what they might
need to do differently for the best chance to complete there first 100.

If I didn't know differently I would be a little hesitant to try and get into
this sport based on the image portrayed be some of these ridecamp discussions.
However I know that most distance riders are very willing to help other riders
out in most any way possible.  I am a very sensitive person so I might be
feeling some of these discussions differently than most people.

I hope to someday see you on the trail :)


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