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

August 9, 2011

Outside the Box: heating up on RIDECAMP

It is always interesting to read the differing viewpoints being bounced around. I'm not sure I agree with the angst over a total miles column that would lump your Endurance Miles with your LD miles. It would not effect awards given, but give the rider a sense of accomplishment that the monetary outlay and time at least means something. Especially to those riders who ride ONLY FOR THE MILES. There are more of those than the folks chasing points.

You have to wonder...what would happen if all those unworthy LD riders insisted on a ride format of their very own, where LD only supported LD rides.  Where LD rides were stand alone rides, unfettered with the longer distance.  How important IS THAT LD REVENUE to the survival of the AERC's bottom line.  Pretty important I bet.

Do I agree that the longer distances are a different degree of difficulty?  OH YEAH.  Every added 5-10 miles torques the difficulty I'm sure.  But nobody is proposing awards for those combined miles, just giving the horse credit for the work already done.  One more column in the data base for total combined miles, an intrinsic recognition of the horse's achievement.  After all it is the horse that does the miles (except for the runners who get off and run along on foot in such events as Tevis).  Give the horse the credit.

If nothing at all happens with thinking Outside the Box, at least there is leadership within the AERC that has an open mind to change, change that many will be afraid of.     It is reminiscent of the hoof boot discussions times past, those evil unfair advantageous protect the pastern hoof boots (which have pretty much nothing to do with this discussion) *wink*.                               ~E.G.


  1. The thing is, you have riders who have thousands, TENS of thousands of miles doing endurance rides, and are proud of those achievements. I think that they feel if all of a sudden you lumped the LD miles in that total ENDURANCE mileage, it would... I dunno, cheapen it to them. Just as some may see what difference does it make to add them together, you have the same say, what difference does it make to keep them separate.

    Dave Rabe has one ride that was shortened due to weather on his record, listing it as an LD of 37 miles. He has actually asked it be taken OFF his record... bugs the heck out of him that he has an LD on there, since he had never entered one in his life.

    The whole "LD Rides support the rides with revenue" has nothing to do with the mileage thing. If it stays as it is, the LD riders will still come to the rides. They are not gonna take their toys and go some place else, tho some like to threaten they will

  2. I don't think they'd leave either, where would they go, CTR (which is an awesome sport)? I do understand the passion of those hard earned miles, but a mile is a mile, and if there are not "awards" attached to it, what does the designation of total miles for the horse matter? Everyone would get the same credit for total miles. Awards would remain in their relative camps (LD, ENDURANCE).

    It is too bad though that LD is so looked down upon that someone would want it removed from their ride record. Maybe the AERC should have considered ride divisions of novice, intermediate, and advanced when the lower distances were added to the venue since LD was considered a training ground. 25-35 Novice, 50 Intermediate, and 100 + Advanced. Then everyone would have their "place." So if LD is then a training ground, why are folks racing LD's? Why aren't they just completion only rides?

    Endurance in the beginning was a 100 miles, right? So shouldn't people under that mindset wave the flag and only count hundred mile rides? That would really sort us out!

    Personally, I feel the HORSE should get credit for those total miles. I don't care if I as a rider get credit for anything,(equally sure my horse gives a rat's petunia) but I am proud of my horse (who as yet has accomplished zip! other than some miles). In the end it will be what it will be. We all pay to play but those who toot the horn the loudest will be heard, and the trumpets are sounding over yonder...

  3. I'm surprised someone would want an LD expunged from their record--surprised is putting it politely I guess. I completely agree that the horse should have the miles recorded on their record, I find it really bizarre to be paying my dues and going to rides, working my way up through LDs to 50s next season I hope, and I am going to rides every month but my horse's mileage still says a big fat ZERO. I am very proud of him starting into endurance with a great attitude at 14 years old and think he and all the other horses packing us around deserve that mileage credit--in his case it should say 100 miles now!
    I would understand if this affected awards, points, etc I know some people ride for that and I respect that but if the only difference is giving the horse's credit where credit is due I say go for it.

  4. I think if I had as many miles as Dave (52,830) I wouldn't want a random 7 cluttering it up. :)

    I honestly cannot figure out what the big deal is. If I look up my horse there's a column for LD and a column for endurance. I can add the two together and see her total miles. Why does it matter if AERC does the math or I do the math? Is it some slippery slope principle of the thing?

  5. What makes the deal big is that it might legitimize the hard work LD riders do to participate in the sport THEY love. If the miles don't "count" then AERC should really just quit sanctioning LD's altogether. Lump them in with "fun rides" and be done with it.

    People are so afraid of change...

    I respect that a 50 mile rider has done more than I have.

    I repect that a 100 mile rider is at the top of the heap.

    I respect that the various distances increase the level of difficulty.

    Why can't an LD rider at least be given the respect of doing what they did? Maybe it is the best they can do?

    Probably the only thing that would change the pervasive attitude attached to LD is to make it completion only, and an escalating prerequisite distance with a requirement to move up at some point to a 50. Bet that would fluff up a new batch of feathers! I propose we all do that just for the ornery-ness of it :)

    But really....what ever.

  6. Miles are miles... shouldn't make a difference if they were ridden in a 25, or in a 100 - as long as you finish.