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[RC] re: why would somebody do this? - Michelle Aquilino

Re Carrie - I don't hold anything against people who just want to do 25s (I may end up doing it, depending on what?my horse tells me), but at this point, I do them to prepare my horse for 50s, to ride places I otherwise wouldn't, and to follow the ribbons (I'm sorry, I love following ribbons, not knowing where I'm going, etc).??So there is a purpose beyond the element of competition.? I'm sure I'm not the only person who can't simply do their own 25 or 30 milers close to home (the trails simply don't exist, and frankly, I like going places and having all the technical stuff dealt with by other people, and I can just go and RIDE =).? Also, I am not saying that any ride above an LD is a "race", but most people who enter 50+ mile rides have some experience in the sport, the horse usually has some experience in the horse, and thus I would more expect them to be prepared to be around the craziness of the "racers", and know more about their horse's abilities.? I'm not trying to make generalizations of EVERYONE...? I would just like to try to encourage more people into the sport by providing a nice, calm environment to get comfortable with the "endurance" ride type setting, and I thought/believe that is the purpose of the LDs (in essence).
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Re Lynn - That is, I suppose, the root of what makes me feel as I do about the LDs.? What are we doing to enforce this thinking?? At some rides (ride managers, don't get on me, ha ha) you don't even have to complete to get your "completion" t-shirt, you get it upon check-in.? Most rides only give out awards for the top 10 and BC (it seems), the turtle award (which I love, hehe) is not even guaranteed to be given out.? My saying that LDs should be more focused on finishing and taking care of your horse, than on "winning", was my thought on something we could do to try to instill the "to finish is to win" mentality.? But anything to decrease the focus on "winning" by coming in first, all across the sport, I am up for.? People like "winning", it doesn't matter what it is for?(in general, I mean, I'd love to win a turtle award, anything, hehe, some people wouldn't want to win the turtle award).? But, what I'm saying, is that if finishing is winning, then why is such a high portion of the focus put on winning 1st place / top 10???I'm not saying NOT to give out top 10 awards, etc, but I love going to rides where there are other prizes given out as well.? Frankly, I'm jealous of the juniors ;-)? they have awesome awards, and I never got to be a junior, ha ha, at that age, I was still staring adoringly at any horse trailer we'd pass on the highway ;-)? and their entries are so cheap, hehe, jealousy ;-)? Anyway, please don't take all that junior talk seriously, I'm mostly kidding around ;-)? But seriously, just saying that it's harder to focus on simply competing when the focus can seem so entirely on who came in first, and as Lynn stated, our mantra is "to finish is to win", and while we may try to change some things to make our sport more open to new members, I don't think that we should stray from the AERC "slogan" in essence.

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