Blogger is giving me issues this morning, the link can found on the right hand side-bar: Consider This (below my favorite blog list) or in the comment section of this post.
What is the sport of Limited Distance? Is it a training ground? Or a race course? It is interesting to consider the difference. Is Limited Distance a legitimate sport in its own right? Or is it a tool for a journeyman endurance rider? None, or all of the above?
As a barely getting it done LD rider I consider the shorter mileages a training ground and a trail of discovery. The fact is though, that not every horse is cut out for Endurance, and not every rider is fit enough to ride Endurance, so LD becomes a venue of its own. Phebes and I may never get there, but does that mean that our efforts are not worthwhile? What if her career is strictly LD? Do I gather up my toys and go home or do I take pride in pushing our limits of accomplishment? Am I a lesser competitor even though I am constantly pushing my own boundaries? Where do we fit within the jigsaw of puzzle of distance riding?
My thoughts on the problems of what makes LD separate from Endurance is that the organization allows racing and placements in LD. If LD is to be a training ground for Endurance shouldn't it truly be "To Finish is to Win"? Wouldn't it make more sense to award riders because they finished within a time window that kept a steady pace of (fill in the blank) mph? That would be a teaching and training tool meant strictly for moving up in distance. When you throw racing into the mix those dynamics factors into everyone's ride. I'm not waving the banner for or against this, but "just saying." And what about accumulation of miles? If LD riders are under the same umbrella as Endurance riders per the ride organization, why is mile accumulation separate? Because LD is not Endurance. It is not the same challenge, not the same distances, not the same risk, not the same ride. In fact it is only 1/4-1/2 the distance of getting there. It is either a training ground for Endurance, a racing course for those who like to ride blazing fast, or a mileage course for those who for whatever reason aren't ready, willing, or able to go that longer distance. It does not make LD a non-sport, just a different sport. Like a runner doing a 5 K vs. a marathon, totally different sport. A great short distance runner may be ill equipped to finish a marathon.
So what do I call myself under the AERC ride umbrella? A novice LD rider, because LD is what I do. If ever we are doing it well I'll still be an LD rider until I move on up...to a higher distance. In the meantime I'll just have to hang my mouth open in awe of those incredible Endurance athletes doing the longer distances so well and aspire to some day get there myself. ~E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association