ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: Using Your Yearbook

Re: Using Your Yearbook

Wed, 5 Mar 1997 14:08:17 -0500 (EST)

In a way I think it is shame to see so many people wanting a mile by mile
description of a ride before they go to it. Where is the adventure if you
know what is around every corner.?
However, I think most of the concern people have is for the protection of
their animal and not getting him in over his head. Most of the questions
inquiring about trail descriptions can be usually solved by using your AERC
Yearbook as a guide. Unless it is a new ride this year, you will find the
information you want in last year's ride results. First of all, look at the
figure that tells you how many started and how many finished. Then look at
the winning time. If the ride was won in four to five hours, you can figure
it was fairly easy,. If the winner took eight hours, you can figure it was
difficult. If 60 started and 55 finished you can assume that trail
conditions were good or more would have been eliminated for lameness. If 60
started and only 40 finished, I would probably stay away with a new young
horse, but not hesitate to take an experienced animal. Then I would look at
the difference between the 1st place and the 10th place horses times. If
there is a wide variation, you can figure there was a real hot shoe leading
the pack. I would tend to put more emphasis on the 10th place horse's time
assuming there are least 30 horses in the ride (Being 10th out of 10 does
not tell the story) Then I would look through the list of riders for a
familiar name and call that person if I needed more questions answered. More
and more rides entry forms give a trail description, advise if your horse
should be padded or not, if it a really rocky trail, etc.
I think we have people staying away from this sport because they have heard
some horror stories which have grown, magnified and enlarged around the
campfire when in truth it is a sport which has something for everyone. Go
fast and yes, it is riskier. Go slowly, and it is really pretty safe for
both you and your horse. The important thing to remember is that you have fre
e will. You will gain the respect of real endurance riders if you pull your
horse because you are doubtful of his conditon than if you let your pride
push him further than he should have gone. There is always another ride.
The sun is not going to rise or set because you finished or did not finish a

So go feed your horse twice a day, more if he is skinny and less if he is
too fat,
Get him to where he handles three or four hours of work easily, Pay your
entry fee and go to the ride. If you are a sadder but wiser rider at the noon
check, pull him. If he gets a good report card and is eager to trot out, go
for it. Few people start at the top...you start at the bottom, learn and
climb to the top.

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