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Re: [RC] Passing of endurance greats and diagonals - Mary Howell

Title: Re: Passing of endurance greats and diagonals
Debi Gordon's Redman and Patti Pizzo's Savaq were giants of the sport who inspired me when my young, also “chestnut with a white blaze,” horse and I started endurance in the late 90s. I'm grateful I got to meet both horses in person and witness that "look of eagles" firsthand. Endurance is the coolest sport because you can meet your heroes in person and sometimes even compete against them!

As a self taught "hick" rider who had virtually no formal instruction, I only learned about diagonals by accident while reading a equitation book. That got me worried about messing up my then 4-year old horse by not alternating diagonals!

In on our early years of competing, I vividly recall how much Shiloh disliking me posted on the right diagonal. He was really good at popping me back to the other lead without me even realizing it. At our first 2-day 100 back in March 2000, he must have done 90% of the miles on his left lead, both canter and trot – but still ended up getting BC of all things!

A few years later, when I switched to a treeless saddle, my riding quickly improved and Shioh's been much better about using both sides equally and feeling the same no matter which diagonal or lead we’re on.

I've found posting a horse’s less favorite diagonal is another ways of rating (slowing) that horse when I'm riding with another horse who has a slower trot. On a long tedious loop, you can play games with making lead and diagonal changes at given intervals (like the next oak tree on the left).

Mary Howell/Shiloh