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Re: RC: LD, Racing & Dogs in or out of camp

>   It's bad enough that "Ridecampers" bash limited distance riders but why do
>they seem so anti-dog?

Ok...I have to say something.  I tried to keep quiet, but it just is in my
nature to say something, so I will.  I am a beginning endurance rider.  I
fully intend to "graduate" to 50 milers when I feel that Apache and I are
both ready.  I like thinking that we are a team and I liked that somebody
brought that up (don't remember who, way too many posts on this to remember
exactly who said what!).  However, I see why 25 milers are *only* limited
distance.  It's a rule. it's a rule.  Too much b**ching about the
wording.  If I enjoy limited distance and decide to stay with those, fine.
I won't try to antagonize everybody else by inferring that my
accomplishments are in some way better (or WORSE) than those done by
somebody who chooses to do 100 milers or 10 mile CTRs.  Definitely should
learn the lingo, if I want to be in this sport at all.  Every sport, every
occupation, every religion, every culture, has its own lingo.  In this
case, limited distance means below 50 miles (correct me if I'm wrong, I
really am trying to learn the correct lingo); and endurance means 50+ miles
(as defined by AERC).  

The feeling I got before this whole thing blew up into a nasty storm...was
that LD riders were novice riders or novice horses or both that were on
their way to doing endurance.  Rather like freshmen in the sport.  The 50
milers and 100 milers (and however far up it goes) are the "established"
sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  In my high school, upper classmen always
ribbed the freshmen.  Just a fact of life.  And guess what, when those
freshmen became seniors, they did the same thing.  Here is where my analogy
breaks down: freshmen don't usually stay freshmen forever in high school.
Either they drop out of school or move on to higher grade levels.
Apparently, some people stay with limited distance.  I don't have a problem
with it and don't foresee having one, but I do believe that ones who stay
with limited distance shouldn't fool themselves or others into thinking
that they are doing AERC endurance riding.

Dogs.  Anti-dog as a rule?  No, not me.  I own a border collie that loves
to run with me.  Unfortunately, I live in an area that I can't trail ride
with her.  But I am definitely against dogs at such a large event as a
ride.  My Apache is not a jumpy horse.  He rarely spooks, but dogs that
come out of nowhere can scare him every time.  He spooks big (for him) when
that happens.  He's also taken to letting a leg fly out behind him in hopes
of hitting a dog if he's being followed too closely (by dogs that decide to
follow us, they're not my dogs).  He doesn't aim, yet, but he will, I'm
almost sure of that.  There is also a chocolate lab that lives near the
horse pasture that is big trouble.  He gets loose from his owners and drags
a leash with him.  That is dangerous in itself (hate to think of it getting
wrapped around my horse's legs...disaster waiting to happen).  But this
particular dog is also vicious around horses.  He's not content to run
behind.  He runs in circles.  And he'll get way ahead of us, then turn,
snarling and snapping, to run straight at my horse.  When he gets close, he
leaps at my horses jugular!  This is supposedly a nice little chocolate
lab.  Raised by people I know.  They claim he doesn't bite and won't bother
the horses.  Think again.  I believe that my dog ("yeah, some dogs do that,
but not MY dog") would not be vicious or even get close enough to get
stepped on or spook somebody.  But I'm not willing to bet my life or
somebody else's on that belief.  I think she's still a dog and as
unpredictable as my Appaloosa gelding.  At least with Apache, I have a bit
in his mouth to help control him.

My half penny (bought some stuff on ebay...this is getting to be a serious
cash flow problem!)  :)


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