Ashley is dead on when she says: "What the ride record doesn't tell you is how many hours I've spent training and conditioning. I believe it was Julie Suhr that said something to the effect of, "If you don't enjoy the training, you're in the wrong sport." Well, if it weren't for the training, I wouldn't end up doing much riding!"
I often access the AERC's horse and rider record when I'm looking at training advice. Especially having tried to fit a square peg into a round hole. I weigh the advice given to me based on several things.
* The rider's pull record.
* How many horse's they have gone through if their record is long.
* And these days I add to that their "nice" quotient. There is constructive advice, and demoralizing advice. I'll give the former some thought, and block you from my email if you get "snarky". I don't have the emotional energy for "snarky." New people will keep the sport alive...don't drive them off by talking them down!
Still, I write about my experiences and thoughts, articles read, books on the topic, and my mental take away on all of those. This horse thing gives me much of my happiness. If you are starting in the sport I can cheer you on, and I can help you with the mechanics of "slow heart rate training." But aside from that, my feet aren't much wetter than yours in this sport. Four years in, three thousand training miles, and I do the best I can with what I have (very limited financial means and time), I may be the cheerleader of try....and the world's biggest wanna be.
The strongest advocate for the sport, with the most impressive ride record (in my opinion based on the longevity of her horses), and most qualified go to source for a newbie out there has to be Karen Chaton. If I could meet and greet and spend a day riding with anyone and learning from, it would be her. Her blog is a great go to site with a lot of good information in the archives.
If I could learn from anyone in the world for a horse that races it would be Chris Martin (as I am a completely insane MONK junky) GO MONK!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the AERC or its membership.. Or anyone else for that matter. Research any advice given by others and always do what is best for YOU and YOUR HORSE. ~ E.G. ☺