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Re: RC: Pony Power, Little Big Horses? -- SAY WHAT?

>In a message dated 5/27/99 1:09:40 PM Pacific Daylight Time, 
> writes:
><< >OK, here we go.  I have a problem with a horse/pony (whatever) top 
>tenning a 
> >25 miler on his first outing.  What were you thinking? >>
Heidi wrote:
>Well, I didn't read the original post, but two things are factors here--how 
>much prep did the horse (pony) have and what was the competition?  

I can't answer your questions since I didn't write the sentence quoted.  My
post was a comment on the statement that if a horse Top Tens their first
time out, they're subjects of "plain and simple abuse"...followed by a
description of what we've done here and why it would not be totally out of
the question that one or more of us might be in the first ten to finish
after our first LD -- I'm not going to use the term "Top Ten" since it
denotes importance of your finish spot...supposedly not an issue in LD
rides.  And the only way any one of us would end up finishing amongst the
first few finishers would be if we rode how we normally ride and it just

Marci wrote:
>Sue, I think you are to commended for your approach to training for your
>first endurance ride.  However, my suggestion to all LD riders out there is
>that they drop the reference to "Top 10" in writing about their LD
>experience.  A more meaningful comment would be to state the time it took to
>ride the course ie 3 hours for a 25 or 4 hours for a 30 with a brief comment
>on the type of terrain such as hilly or flat.  "Top 10" has speed
>connotations associated with it and we all know that racing in LD is not the
>way to bring along your endurance prospect.

First of all...I was commenting on the abuse comment, not on whether I was
caught up with the Top Ten LD business.  I'm not...I could care less.  But
we've been training for 18+ months now without competing except for one Fun
Run and I would NOT want to be accused of horse abuse if I or any of my
cohorts came in at the top of the pack at our first LD.  We're ready for
50s but want a shorter distance our first time out and will go with the LD.
 None of us care what position we will be in...our horses are very valuable
to us and we wouldn't push for the sake of a non-existent and
not-sought-after distinction. 
>Without a time reference or number of starting riders, stating that you top
>tenned a LD ride doesn't mean much.  I've actually topped tenned a few
>endurance rides but they all started less that 20 riders and my pace didn't
>change from my normal middle of the pack speed.  

PRECISELY!!  How many would have thought that you were guilty of abuse?
That's my point.  And times are a better way of assessment, without
argument...but if you happen to be towards the front of the pack your first
time out because you've been training for quite a while and everything
clicks, it doesn't necessarily make you an abuser.  I was surprised by a
couple of comments at the ride we were at last year -- one from a long time
rider and one from a vet..."Did you know that you are in 2nd and 3rd (or
3rd & 4th...I don't remember exactly) position?"  (Info when we were
leaving -- from a ride volunteer.)  And..."What do you mean you stopped to
pick blackberries...didn't you know this is a timed competition?"  (Comment
from a vet during our vet check.)  My response?  "Yea...we had xxxx time to
finish and we came in in plenty of time...and the blackberries were
reeeallly good!"

Lynne wrote:
>I think this thread hit a tender issue for a lot of us.  We've worked
>really  hard to get it across to riders (in this region anyway) that LD is
>NOT a race and therefore top ten is BC, OTOH, is what
>riders should strive for besides achieving their individual goals with
>their mounts.

Now THAT's the award I would want!  No matter what the distance!! ;-)

Tyee Farm
Marysville, Wa.

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