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Re: Various thoughts/recent posts

Nancy, your post was pure poetry.  Havent heard it stated better.
        Hope you had a great ride.     gesa n clovis
-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Mitts <>
To: <>;
<>; <>
Date: Thursday, November 04, 1999 7:11 AM
Subject: RC: Various thoughts/recent posts

>Boy this thread sure went downhill fast after the next few posts. I's like
>to make one more stab at this 2nd class thing. What I was getting at is
>it is a label some people have taken onto themselves, not one that is given
>them by the sport. The definition of endurance is 50 miles or more. Just
>like bases are a certain distance apart, hoops are a certain height, &
>marathons are 26. something miles long. Legitimate sports have to set
>defining parameters somewhere. No one would claim that 50 miles is a magic
>number that is so much harder that 49, or 45, whatever. Accept it as an
>arbitrary cutoff if you will. Limited distance rides are held in
>w/endurance rides as an opportunity for people to participate & learn what
>endurance is about. Yes, you can learn so much, maybe more by watching &
>helping at your first ride. But folks you enjoy sports like endurance are
>pretty much hands on people, not spectators. They'd really rather jump in &
>Back to LD. Actually, the idea is if you start someone out at a shorter
>distance that they can successfully complete, they will be encouraged to
>come back & ride again. Maybe they will eventually ride 50's & 100's, or
>not. They're being rewarded for what they have accomplished, even if it
>doesn't fit the definition of Endurance (as this internationally recognized
>sport is defined). Can you believe it is meant to ENCOURAGE people, NOT
>denigrate them?
>So, if you want to be an endurance rider, you have to ride endurance
>distance. If you choose not to do that, that is your choice. It has nothing
>to do with class. At a real ridecamp, who can tell (or care) what distance
>you're in? As someone who rides both LD & Endurance (and as a ride manager)
>these largely self imposed slights are really puzzling.
>I'm leaving for a ride in a few minutes. Do any of you really care what
>distance I'm riding? I really hope not, cause I'm doing what's right for
>right now. And, I know I'll have loads of fun meeting new people, seeing
>sights, most of all riding.
>If you can come up with one size fits all answers to your questions you
>retire a rich man. The best I can say is observe all the different ways you
>can, then take what works for you.
>Respectfully intentioned,
>Nancy Mitts
>Central Region
>Headed to the Southeast, REALLY hope I haven't pissed you people off! ;>
>>From: David LeBlanc <>
>>To: "Nancy Mitts" <>,
>>Subject: RC:   Various thoughts/recent posts
>>Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999 12:12:38 -0800
>>At 09:00 AM 11/2/99 PST, Nancy Mitts wrote:
>> >The posts over the last couple days have left me with these impressions:
>> >Why do some people just insist on wearing the terms "Newbie" &/ "LD
>> >like hair shirts?
>>[snip - essentially, why don't people listen]
>>As a relatively new rider, I think I can answer some of this.
>>First problem is that too much of our 'knowledge' is based on handed down
>>information, and too little of it is based on scientifically valid
>>research.  When I go to ask 3 different experienced riders the same
>>question, I usually come up with 3 very different answers.  How am I to
>>sort out who is right?  It is normally the case that none of the people
>>actually support their answer with anything better than "Works for me".
>>I'm lucky, 2 of them will agree and then I've got some reassurance that it
>>might be right.  Something we really need is more research, so that we've
>>got valid answers.
>>As a case in point, last year I'd been riding a 26-year old quarter horse
>>all summer on very strenuous and long trails.  He was extremely fit, and
>>the person who owned the land we were keeping him on (another endurance
>>rider) suggested that Skipper might be OK to do a 25 if I took it easy.
>>Another friend who keeps up with all sorts of reading insisted that I'd
>>kill him.  End result was we came in about the middle of the pack and
>>passed both vet checks with straight A's.  Which of these old-timers
>>I listen to?  I can also cite instances where the friend who was worried
>>gave better advice.  I also see "old-timers" putting up with nutso horses
>>I'd never go near.
>>You're also dealing with plain human nature - people usually don't listen
>>very well to unsolicited advice of any kind, and they often don't listen
>>you're telling them something they don't want to hear.  Sometimes they
>>to learn for themselves.  It is indeed a shame that sometime people and
>>horses get hurt because of this, but there isn't much we can do about it.
>>Something else I think would help would be a change in the rules - why
>>treat anything less than a 50 as second-class?  The reality is that's
>>people and horses need to start out.  By setting up the rules so that a 50
>>is the minimum to be a "real endurance rider", we're encouraging people to
>>go to the longer distances before they are ready.  Denegrating people
>>less than 50 miles is just plain wrong.  Bad for the sport, and bad for
>>I've also got a suggestion - encourage a new rider to crew at least once
>>a big ride, and set them up where they can watch the horses trotting out.
>>I crewed for Robin Oscar and Jennifer at JD's last year, and got one heck
>>of an education watching who got pulled and who didn't.  I look at it as a
>>course in lameness 101, too - I'm a _lot_ better at being able to spot
>>lameness now, and I also recognize what a too-tired horse looks like.
>>Robin told me I'd learn more by crewing than by riding, and he was
>>absolutely correct.  When you sit there and watch 100 horses trot out, see
>>who gets pulled and who doesn't, you get a really good feel for what "fit
>>to continue" means.  Something I want to do sometime to get versed in
>>lameness 102 is to go be a vet helper at a ride.
>>David (not Jennifer)
>>David LeBlanc
>>Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net,
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