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RE: [RC] [RC] LD's - heidi

Well, at the last 50 mile ride I did, the winner did the 50 miles in UNDER 3 
1/2 hrs. How much faster do you really think any LD riders is going to go 
then that? It it is safe to ride 50 miles at that speed, why all the frowing 
at riding just as fast on a shorter distance? You cheered and praised the 50 
miler for running her horse an avarage of 14+ mph for 50 MILES. But do the 
same for a 30 mile LD ......... It sometimes blows my mind at the speeds the 
50 mile (and sometimes even 100 mile) races are run in.. 

I know this seems counter-intuitive, but it truly is scarier to see
faster speeds on the shorter distances.  The big difference is that a
horse can maintain high speeds for 25 miles without taking care of
himself, and can finish the ride and still be in big trouble.  (Yeah,
yeah, I know this can happen at longer distances, too--but we're talking
likelihoods here.)  This was the big problem "back in the day" when 25s
and 30s were actually sanctioned as endurance rides--horses could breeze
through without eating or drinking, and tended to get in really BIG
trouble.  Also, the vets only have a couple of opportunities to see the
LD horses, as opposed to (usually) more checks on the 50s.  

Bottom line--the horse that doesn't take care of itself on a 50 will be
pulled at those speeds, and won't make the distance.  A horse that is
capable of taking care of himself at those speeds can just as easily do
50 as 25--but the horse that doesn't take care of himself can do 25 at
those speeds and get into big trouble.


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