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Re: [RC] Int'l vs domestic - Truman Prevatt

Oh come on. The average AERC rider does a couple rides a year. Many are
are like me - average about 4 to 5 a year. Some years come together when
I could do 10 to 12 some don't where I've managed one. At that rate it
takes about 10 years for 2000 miles. Ten years is a pretty long time to
be riding the same horse - don't you think?

Bottom line is as Karen points out - they are different sports. The AERC
is doing very well supporting the armature sport of endurance riding.
However, the USEF is doing a very poor job representing the US in
international endurance. Make no mistake about it - it is the USEF's
irresponsibly to develop an international program. They are the folks in
charge and the buck stops at their front door. They have produce nothing
but "also runs" in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. The Jamaican Bobsled team
did a better job in the 1996 Winter Olympics than the US has done in the
last 4 WEC's. It's time they recognize it and do something about it.
Getting tighter with the AERC is not the answer because quite frankly
there is no benefit to the average AERC member.

Kim has some interesting observations. I think it's time for the USEF to
stand up to their responsibility for international endurance and develop
a program. I am sure the USEF does not like to have a program that has
no chance of producing a winner - but that is what they have in endurance.

IMO the best thing for all involved is for the USEF to develop a world
class endurance program and spend the money to do it independent of the
AERC and the AERC go on its way supporting the vast majority of its
riders the way it has done for the last 30 years - the riders that may
do two rides or year and the riders that do 20 rides a year.

Truman

terre wrote:
I think it is almost an accepted "truism" in our sport that 'a horse can have a long career or a fast career but not both'. There are, of course, a number of famous exceptions (Rio, Khalil, others). I "sort of" believe this to be true in general--but just for the heck of it, let's examine the proposition. I think our statistics indicate that while a lot of horses achieve their 1000 mile medallion, far far fewer get to 2000 miles. Estimate that it takes 3-4 years to get to 1000 miles (that's 20 50 mile rides, 5-7/year). Doesn't the fact that so many of these horses don't achieve 2000 miles indicate that their "careers" are not lasting 6-8 years? Since we are counting from their very first 50 mile completion, is this really a shorter career than the "racers"? Consider this: probably most people can take a sound, reasonable athletic horse and in a few months train/condition the muscles and cardio system to the point where it can "win" rides. But if everything isn't perfect--the horse properly legged up, shoing, feeding, teeth, worming, living conditions etc--the horse will..in a season or two...break down. OTOH, if someone else rides much more slowly but neglects the same things, those horses will also break down! and possibly as soon. Alternatively, if a really knowledgable and proficient "horseman" trains an animal according to the best protocol available--and this may include detailed feed analysis and bloodwork, treadmill studies for fitness and gait analysis, riding instruction to perfect equitation skills--might not that horse (by virtue of being better prepared) actually enjoy a longer career than the second example above? And when such a horse is "retired" because it can no longer compete at International levels, is it not more likely to be in better shape than a domestic 'completer' that has blown suspensories from poor foot care or a sloppy rider? Is it not possible that Rio and Khalil, rather than being "freaks" were simply extremely talented athletes that also had the good luck to fall into the hands of excellent horsemen(horsewomen?) FEI has no system for recognizing 'longevity'. This allows us to take the superior moral stance that "those people's horses" are expendable, while ours are not. But anyone who has brought a horse to that level of competition has an enormous investment in it--of time, effort, money, dreams, hopes, blood, sweat, and tears. I doubt that any of them consider those horses 'expendable'. It is quite possible that the 'systems' they have for qualifying riders from entry level to the "top" is actually MORE beneficial to the horses than our system of 'show up and ride, learn as you go, the trail is your final exam'--and a failing grade may be paid for by the horse. terre (Kim, I thought your "think outside the box" post was brilliant)


--

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher
esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn



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[RC] Int'l vs domestic, terre