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RE: [RC] Equtation at Cougar Rock - Paul Sidio

I am no expert either, but from what I can see from the photos (hughes photography), the riders have a lot to deal with.  Besides the Rock itself, and the slope and the crowds, and all that, it seems there is that big  "WEB PROOF" sign you have to dodge around.
At a ride in Indiana a few months ago, when the ride photographer brought in the books of the ride photos, some woman , who apparantly gave riding lessons, started yelling about how I ( in the photos there) was the worst balanced rider she had ever seen. She was passing the photos around to her friends exclaiming about how badly I was riding. It turned out she had done the 2 days on two different horses and both days finished well behind me on my one horse. I asked her if I had ridden so poorly, did it mean I had to give back  my completion awards?
One of the many great parts about Endurance Riding is that we are not judged for style, which is subjective, but only whether we finish.  As long as you don't fall off too  many times, and you get a sound horse to the finish line, your riding is good enough. While I do appreciate those who ride more "correctly", I'm glad it is not a required part of our sport.
But when you look at the Cougar Rock photos, it does seem that survival, (of rider and horse) has overridden "good riding form".....Which is as it should be.
Paul Sidio
Spokane MO