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In a message dated 08/25/1999 9:46:38 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 

 Aside from any question of mileage requirements for any awards
 program, people don't "ruin horses" accumulating miles.  Quite the
 opposite, if you need to complete a lot of miles you *MUST* take good
 care of your horse.  When today's ride is all that counts you can take
 risks you dare not take when you've got to ride again tomorrow, or
 next week.
A big concern I have is that there is a whole different crowd out there now 
(including myself) than there was in the youth of endurance.  Nowadays people 
think they can go out buy a truck and trailer and start competing their horse 
immediately.  The word "endurance" expresses adventure and that's what baby 
boomers (including myself) are looking for today.  I live in an equine 
community which brings in a lot of weekend trail riders every week.  They see 
my wife and myself conditioning and naturally our attire is a little 
different from western trailriders and they always want to know about our 
sport.  Of course we get excited describing endurance and yes, they want to 
start endurance, which is great, but conditioning, conditioning, 
conditioning, what we pound into their head but again most think their 
horses are conditioned because they trailride them every weekend.  I know you 
are thinking that this doesn't have anything to do with the NC but think of 
the (newbie)competitors that will go out and try to put the required 
mileage's on their horses when their horses are not ready.  These are the 
horses we never hear about.  We only hear about the horses that make it to 
the NC.  


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