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RE: [RC] Drafting? - EnduroGal

"It seems to me that all the advantages are to being in front:  You get to
pick the pace that is right for your horse, you can see further down the
trail in order to negotiate or avoid objects, if you maintain it to the
finish line, you will place ahead of them."

Sounds good, but not always true.  As a long distance runner and (former)
long distance cyclist (as well as an endurance horseback rider), I've
experimented many a time and found that in many cases it's easier to sit in
back and let your competition panic and do the "pulling."  The runner,
cyclist, rider or rabbit - whatever - is grimly setting the pace and in most
cases is hoping to shake the tail.  The tail, on the other hand, could be
quite comfortable just sitting behind the rabbit when it may very well be
capable of going faster.  She's just sitting there, conserving energy and
happily obeying the herd instinct, while the rabbit is feeling the pressure
of the pull and worrying whether he's going to keep the lead or lose the
lead (granted, there are naturally talented folks - and horses - out there
who are the exception, but most rabbits do feel the pressure).  From a human
perspective, I've done foot races against other gals who are about my pace
and like to go out faster than they should, and when I do I just let them
sit in the front for a while, with me several paces back.  About halfway
through the course - if I can - I'll do my best to slowly reel 'em in to
where I can almost reach out and touch them, and then all I have to worry
about is matching their pace.  I concentrate on trying to stay relaxed and
focused while they're worried about maintaining their placing and pumping
along just a bit harder than I am.  If I feel I've got it all together and
the finish line is in sight, I dig in, give it a kick, and charge on by -
while the competition, in the meantime, has run outta gas.  (As you can
imagine, it's a good idea to lose that annoying tail at the porta john, the
aid station, or the vet check.)  Alternatively, I've had folks hanging on my
heels before, and if it's early in the race, heyyyyyyyy... no problemo!
Rather than feeling pressurized, I just slow down until they're frustrated
enough to take the lead - so I can get a breather until it's time for a
push.  If you're not a super athlete, all you've got to rely on is a little
strategy - it's all part of the Game.  As the saying goes, all's fair in
love and war!  If the rabbit leaves you in the dust in spite of it all, he
deserves the better finish and more power to him, I say!  ;-))  I've always
thought it would be an interesting experiment for all endurance riders who
are mechanically "sound" to be required to run (or jog - but not walk) at
least one competitive 10K and one marathon.  The perspective would be worth
its weight in gold! ;-))

"I just don't see the problem with letting people ride behind me.  Why do
other people care. "

Those same folks generally have a problem with other cars following right on
their bumper when there's a passing lane on the left.  ;-)

Happy Trails!  :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On
Behalf Of k s swigart
Sent: Monday, April 06, 2009 10:27 PM
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC] Drafting?


I must confess I am having a hard time figuring out why I would care if
somebody were riding behind me at the same pace as I am (I am assuming we
are not talking about tailgating here).

It seems to me that all the advantages are to being in front:? You get to
pick the pace that is right for your horse, you can see further down the
trail in order to negotiate or avoid objects, if you maintain it to the
finish line, you will place ahead of them.

And if you are riding a horse like my hyper reactive mare Marla, you can put
any other horses off their ride by having her spook at every ant hill and
make the horse/s behind into basket cases...and their riders as well after
they get tense and tired from having their horse jump to the side along with
yours.? So then they beg you to let their horse lead.

If the rider behind is using your horse to "pull" it along at a pace that is
faster than the horse would or should?choose for itself, then all the
better, because you can "trick" the competition into over riding their
horses.

Most times when I ride with people that happen to be on the same stretch of
trail as I am at the same time, I have been able to come to an amicable
agreement with the other rider as to which horse would do best to lead
(usually not Marla, as she makes other horses and riders nervous with all
her spooking...me? I mostly got used to it).

I just don't see the problem with letting people ride behind me.? Why do
other people care.? What is better about riding alone than riding in front?
kat
Orange County, Calif.

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Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!

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Replies
[RC] Drafting?, k s swigart