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[RC] New Incentive - Bruce Weary DC

I thought about this some more last night, and the most obvious problem that occurred to me with the suggestion of partial mileage credits is this: When a rider gets to a point in the ride where he or the vet feels he should pull his horse, and presuming the rider himself is prepared to continue, the pull would often then be because the horse couldn't or shouldn't go on. To get a completion on an endurance ride, the horse must be deemed "fit to continue," as determined by a vet exam. When a rider or vet determines somewhere before the finish line that a horse shouldn't continue, it may indeed not be " fit to continue," and therefore, even the partial mileage would be forfeited. When the primary reason for stopping before the finish line is that the horse is exhausted or incapable of further work, no mileage should be awarded, partial or otherwise. And that is why this idea, while creative, is flawed.
The need this idea was spawned from was regarding stimulating more riders to move up to 100's.It is an intimidating task, and at first glance, it may seem that there are few options for gradually preparing a horse for the longer distance. But the horse can undergo progressively increased physical demands by: taking 15 minutes off each subsequent 50 miler until competitve speeds ar reached, doing multi-days, interval and hill work, doing 50's ever closer together, and doing 75's or elevators.
I know that if I was going to attempt something in life that is as difficult as riding a 100 miler, such as running a marathon or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, I know one of the first things I would do is consult an experienced expert, and pick their brain exhaustively.My wife consulted a very talented and experienced coach while campaigning her horse this season, and it has helped shorten her learning curve tremendously, and improved her horse's performance significantly. We should possibly look at ways of making these people available to the membership, either through email, teleconferences, a speaker's bureau or the convention. A 100 miler is daunting enough to plan and attempt all on our own. The confidence gained by talking it through thoroughly with an expert could go a long way toward helping us really believe we can do it. "If we can believe it, we can achieve it.," as they say. Bruce Weary


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