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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

December 19, 2010

The Taboo's of Distance Riding

It is amazing how some topics can really ruffle feathers in distance riding circles.   I myself am not immune, but try to look at things pragmatically when I can.  There are just some topics that always create a stir among distance riders.

Taboo Topic #1.      LD is not Endurance.  Even though I'm inclined to agree with this on most levels,  I must admit for  some horses and some riders with certain limitations, disabilities, it surely "seems" like endurance when they are riding it.  Speaking even from my own perspective of hitting a physical wall at about mile 20 or so, it feels like endurance to me, but however, I logically know it is not, and I just don't care!

Taboo Topic #2.      This would be the booted vs. shod debate.  It is less of a hot issue than it used to be with booted horses successfully completing many high level rides successfully.  It is even more pointless as an argument now that NATRC has legalized the use of gaiters and straps above the coronet, but below the pastern. 

Taboo Topic #3.  A real hot button these days seems to be this boot vs. that boot, and sometimes where the boot is manufactured.  People get just all fussy, hold their breath, and why?  Who cares what boot I use.  You use your boot, I'm sure it is working well for you or you wouldn't be using it.  I'm gonna use mine, so there!

Taboo Topic #4.   If you really want to flamingly light up a message forum just rattle the saber called "rule change." OMG!  People get so upset over a rule change.  This is one area that doesn't really bother me at all because if the rule changes we are ALL STILL PLAYING BY THE SAME RULES.    If the rules benefit the welfare of the horse especially I'm all for it.  Want me to pulse down in ten minutes?  I'll figure out how to do it.  It just adds another layer of challenge.  Endurance is about challenge, yes?

Taboo Topic # 5.  LD is for training, not racing.  The folks who race don't get the whole concept of the mileage thing.  People who are dead set on slow mileage don't think the horses that race will have longevity.   For goodness sake, just ride your horse!

Taboo Topic #6.  The use of electrolytes.  There seem to be two camps on this one, those who do, and those who don't.  Those who don't think that my horse shouldn't  My horse sweats heavily, she needs them.  Just drink a V-8 and email me in the morning.

Taboo Topic #7.  Treating a horse so that it can continue competing.  Well...if my mare is uncomfortable and has a treatable ailment, that's my call.  I might have to skip a ride to stay "legal", but I'll do what I feel is right by her. 

Taboo Topic #8.  You are a newbie.  You ask a question in the wrong circles.  Be banished thee knave!!!  Back to your lowly abode crawling on your knees.  But this only happens if you run across a "queen" of endurance.  Interestingly, the "kings" never do this!  Must be hormones *wicked evil grin*.  I have hormones too, OH!  I better go take them so I'll be good!!!  Take heart oh lowly ones...there are REAL endurance Queens out there,   They will lift you up and tell you right, because they have THOUSANDS of endurance miles, and I love them all.  Long live the Queen!

I'm sure there are other taboo topics, I just haven't been around long enough to step in that particular cow patty yet. Give me enough time and I'll be wading into another one sans hipboots, yes,  I will... isn't  it strange how passions run so deep about a sport that has zero monetary return.  You would think some were competing for a huge payoff at the end of the day rather than our 100% Cotton T-Shirt.
☺ ~E.G.


  1. Thankfully, I've managed to avoid many of these topics. I do what is best for my horse and mind my own business. It works for him. He completes and stays sound and happy. That's all I need. I've found endurance riders who are helpful and offer good advice and have avoided ones who seem to have a snotty attitude and know it all.

  2. *LOL* I have way of stepping right in accidently, but have found the forums a "spectator" sport of sorts. I watch, I listen, but avoid interaction, and have learned at least some of the topics to not bring up.

    The people I've met at rides have varied from very nice and helpful, to endearingly eccentric (in a nice sort of way). I've only actually encountered a couple of folks with their drawers in a twist and they were probably having a bad ride day! That is one thing I can say for sure is I've met some really NICE people so far in this sport. The last awards dinner I went to I laughed until I thought my face would crack.

  3. EG, sounds like there are a lot of topics of controversy. But you seem to have a good handle on your perspective on them! Sometimes the nice people we meet make up for a lot of the you-know-what that comes with it! (That, and good, hearty laughter :))