Contact information:

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

January 13, 2012

Promoting the AERC

I ride a lot of solo rides.  In fact, nearly all solo training.  For the most part, I like it that way except for the safety issue.  I can focus on my horse, and don't have to worry about what the other person is doing, and get to ride my own agenda that day.  This does not allow me a lot of opportunity to share information with others about the AERC.  So I've been thinking of ways that I could get the word out, and perhaps stir some local interest in the sport.  A few of my ideas include:

  • Printing handouts with general local ride information.
  • Posting these handouts where horse feed is sold, and handing out to people who ask about distance riding.
  • Sending the handouts to local saddle club, breed, and trail ride organizations.
  • Including a contact # where I can be reached and including the AERC website link.
So how could new riders in the sport be made to feel more welcome?
  • If they have just joined your club and paid their dues email them a welcome letter.
  • If you receive email from a new member take a moment to answer that email!
  • Make sure that new riders know how to find the rides in their area.
  • Help new riders to find the downloads for entry forms if they are not easily web accessible. Can they download it off the AERC website?  If not, who do they contact?
  • Offer to ride with a newbie, especially over the course where a competition may take place.
  • Be available to answer questions, lead, and guide without judgement, and maintain positiveness.
  • Offer to share a trailer ride to someone new to the sport.
  • If you see a new rider looking "lost" at a ride, introduce them around, and ask if they need assistance.  They probably don't know what is next and just need pointed in the right direction.
  • Take the time to pull up a chair and ask about the new person's goals.  Ask if they are having problems and offer solutions.
  • If you ride turtle offer to ride them through that first ride.  If you are a mid-pack or faster rider, explain that you shouldn't ride with them, and why.
  • Introduce new riders at the awards ceremony and make them feel welcome with a big group hello!
  • Sound like hand-holding?  Yes, a little, but worth it to go just a little further and make a person new to the sport think WOW!  These endurance people are SO NICE!  Nicer still that they enjoy their initial positive experience and return ride, after ride, after ride.

~ E.G.


  1. Through blogs like yours I heard about distance riding. Once I looked up AERC and found the date of a ride in my area I chose to go do the 10 mile fun ride. At that ride I some how found a rider who not only invited me up to ride and train with her but on my first ride pulled me through. My own introduction into the sport was a blessing and I've been reminded time and time again how amazing so many of the riders out there are. I think sometimes we get wrapped up in riding fast but if it wasn't for a rider taking the time to show me how its done I'd not be competing now. Hopefully someday I will have the opportunity to do the same for another newbie. Awesome post. Reminded me of how grateful I was to the people who ride this sport and remember how daunting it is as a newbie. Still daunting sometimes even...

  2. these are great ideas.
    here in our little spot in the Northwest, we have a great group of people who, especially if you are new, and no matter what distance you ride, are very welcoming at the rides and cheer you to death (or maybe embarrassment) at the awards dinners!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond