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Re: RC: Different milage buckets

In a message dated 11/5/99 10:38:27 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< I don't think this is right.  It bugs me because I think that even people
 who go out and do 50's and 100's sometimes want to drop to a 25 now and
 then because they want to give their horse a rest.  Why should they not
 accumulate milage? >>

Simple.  Because we are not meeting the definition of an "endurance ride", 
which is defined as 50 miles or more.  Anything less we are doing for our own 
reasons, not for accumulating "endurance miles."  

If my horse is able to campaign on 50's and up, if he needs a "rest" he will 
stay home!!  Plain and simple.  At that stage of his career, he does not need 
education about the sport, he does not need a 25-mile conditioning ride, he 
does not need an LD ride, period.  If *I* want to go just to socialize with 
my endurance friends, that is my perogative--but don't confuse that goal with 
the accumulation of endurance miles.  

As for a green horse--he may well benefit from a LD ride for education about 
the whole routine of how to do a ride.  But--if I am an experienced rider, I 
am once again making a conscious choice there to use the LD as a tool in his 
training program, before he is ready to do "endurance miles" by doing a 50.  
(In my experience, most horses don't really need this intro if you've done 
your homework, but I've used LD's this way, and I know many folks who do.)  
Once again, don't confuse two different goals here--training a young horse 
that is not yet ready for 50 is a goal in itself, and one need not get career 
endurance credit for training sessions.

Let me reiterate what I have said in MANY posts in the past--LD rides are 
PRIMARILY for people.  Different people have different reasons for using LD 
rides.  They range from just getting started and not knowing for sure if one 
can ride that far, to being physically incapable of riding that far, to not 
being ready to ride that far and just wanting to go socialize with friends.  
ALL of those things are legitimate reasons to do LD, and are not indications 
of lesser intent, lesser ability, or any such thing.  BUT--none of them 
justify getting career mileage in a sport that is DEFINED as rides 50 miles 
and up!

I have never been able to understand what is so difficult about this concept. 
 LD is a wonderful thing, for all of the above reasons.  It is intended to be 
a stepping stone into endurance, and in many cases is used exactly as that.  
It is no different than training level dressage or walk-trot classes at a 
horse show that don't count toward high-point awards for the show.  Let's ALL 
be grateful (oldies and newbies alike) that such a stepping stone exists so 
that folks CAN come try this sport on for size, or continue to participate if 
they are no longer able to do the distance, or get a public training 
opportunity for a young horse.  Meanwhile, I'm not going to dilute the 
meaning of the word "marathon" by insisting that they call the 10k down the 
street a marathon just to make me think I ran one.


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