STEALTH RIDER: You slide into ride camp quietly…you wait fifteen minutes after the start to hit the trail, nobody else has figured out if you were “really” there, even though you might have a mid-pack finish. You ride in camo or navy seal black, you are stealth rider.
THE INTIMIDATOR: You are the person with the rearing, snorting, race has already started (but it hasn’t) horse at the vet-in line. You will leave in front on ride day, and you will finish in front. You might torque up to the tune of Led Zeppelin in the minutes prior to the start.
THE SURVIVALIST: You are up all night hoping the horse hasn’t escaped, you are warming up twenty minutes before the start, your heart races every time a horse gallops up behind you, you always think you are overtime, you never are. You can get lost with a seeing eye dog attached to your hip. You are almost glad when it is over. You survived!
THE SIDELINER: This rider has the worst luck. The horse ties up when it unloads from the trailer, the horse goes lame almost every ride, gets a belly ache, or eats the barn buddy’s bute the day before the competition. The rider gets sun stroke, breaks a leg, has knee surgery, or, or, or…They always show up, but they hardly ever actually start or finish a ride. We love them; they make great ride volunteers and are probably the most valuable people in the sport.
THE PRIMA DONNA: It’s totally about more than matching tack and color coordinated outfit. I’m here! Look at me! My horse is perfect! So am I! I’ve been doing this a hundred years. I’m somebody special! Of course you are, you ride endurance don’t you?
THE TRACKER: This rider has ridden the competition trails so many time that they have a permanent imprint burned into their brain and retinas. They have a natural sense of direction and could be air-dropped to a location and finish the ride without any ribbons. Don’t bother asking them how to get down the trail…they can’t explain it, some kind of internal compass guides them. If you are directionally challenged keep them in sight, the tracker will get you there.
THE ELITIST: Don’t confuse the elitist with the Prima Donna. This rider will fly in and an entourage will drive in the high-tech 60 foot living quarters, semi pulled rig, and race-bred, sheik inspired 16 hand horses…. When the Elitist comes through enjoy the “hush”, or the “rush” … you are about to see a legend, it will not be just another ordinary distance ride (unless you are a survivalist who will only care about surviving!) .
The Fount of Positivity: This rider is positive that things will work out. Somehow their psychic karma leaks into their horse, and things always do. They'd make a blind, three legged horse work out. This is the rider who has a perpetual smile plastered on their face and everyone loves them as their positivity is like a wonderful viral cross contamination that get into your pores. You may have pulled at mile three, but somehow they make you feel good about the day. Everyone loves this person.
THE WHINER: No explanation needed. You know who you are.
The Craggy Old Broad: This person is my personal favorite. They are seriously straight up and painfully honest, but somehow their honesty can be hysterically funny. This rider has so many aches and pains they sound like plastic bubble wrap exploding when they flex in the morning. Skin like leather, knots on their joints. But by damn! They will tell you the painful truth, and they ride like nobody else can, will, or wants to. There is a Craggy Old Broad who was my early mentor into the sport, and I love and miss her so much!
Who are you?
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