>Should the rider RIDE the=20
>horse at all times (can dismount without going forward). I think so.
> Over to all you endurance riders, young, old, crippled, experienced,
>beginners, male, female, sick, sorry, conditioned or just a good rider
>please chew over this and have your say.
Sorry, I disagree completely. I think you're going to get a lot of
Endurance riding is a team sport, the team being horse and rider. Part
of what makes a good rider is taking care of the horse, and part of that
is dismounting for steep climbs and descents, dangerous obstacles on the
trail, etc., as much as the rider's ability allows.
If we made a "level playing field" to the extent of eliminating all the
variables that allow one team to excel over another, we'd have everyone
crossing the finish line in a tie! Providing a level playing field as
far as the rules, trail marking, etc. is concerned is a good thing, but
trying to eliminate the advantages of better athletic ability -- of
either horse or rider -- does not make sense to me.
I've reached an age where I can't do as much groundwork as I used to,
especially not as fast, and I must accept that I give up that advantage
to younger riders who I may be racing. I have other strengths to bring
to the contest -- experience and strategy, for example.
Let's keep it simple, and not have any rules restricting the rider's
ability to dismount at his discretion.
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