Consider what would happen if AERC did not exist. How different would
the rides be in different regions if the sport hadn't been defined by a
set of standards. How safe would endurance horses be without the work
and educational efforts of the veterinary committee. How many trails
would have been lost that have been saved by the dedicated people who
are so vigilant in this area.
It is not uncommon to go to a ride and hear a lot of bitching about
AERC, too many rules, not enough rules, the dues are too high, the money
is not being managed right, the office is unresponsive, etc, etc. It is
important not to loose sight of the fact that these comments are the
signs of a healthy, active organization. We do have an office with a
paid staff, a good publication in the Endurance News, a multitude of
awards, international representation, trail preservation, horse
protection that makes endurance riding one of the safest sports for the
horse, standards for events, education for new people to the sport, and
on and on. These things far outweigh the fact that an occasional rule
is passed that we don't like, or that a few dollars of our dues are
spent in a way we don't think is wise.
If the people starting out in endurance now want to be able to do it
when they are in their 60's and 70's, it is important to recognize the
overall need for AERC and to keep it healthy.