Tales from the trail.
I have a question. At a sanctioned ride who is in charge of making sure that all the rules of an Endurance Ride / LD are followed? I've picked up on a couple of conversations lately where someone has been at a ride and it "seemed" that the rules were being bent if not downright broken. In two cases it was in the actual pulsing in or vetting in process. (No it did not involve me in any way, just responding on hear-say which is worthless until "proven" as valid) In one instance horses weren't pulsing down (likely over-ridden due to the ride conditions) and given their "time" when they really weren't down. Another instance was a case where an obviously (per observer) lame front running horse was allowed to finish for a top placement. These days I'm so far in the back at any particular ride that placement for me at this point is a real non-issue anyway, I just don't care about that ... but I know some riders do ride for that top ten placement, and accumulation of points really matters to them. So for them, a bending of the rules could mean they are shoved down further in placement when perhaps they rode and managed their horse better than someone who maybe got a pass on their pulse down or trot out. I know that some of what happens during your vet check is open to conjecture anyway, that you are receiving an educated opinion, but I personally really value the vet checks as my "fail safe" in case I miss something. I would NEVER want a free pass on a pulse down....I want to see that number go to 60 and drop like a stone. Let us hope that these situations are the exception to the rule.
I've heard tales of folks who know a trail well enough, taking short cuts to knock five or seven miles off their ride. Why? Why would a rider do this? If I did not ride the actual course, then what did I prove to myself? If I cut trail I didn't actually ride the ride! My entire goal when I'm out there is to follow the ribbons/course as set by ride management, and see if we can beat the trail that day and finish with a sound horse that is ready to go again tomorrow.
Just sayin'... what say you? ~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