Contact information:

Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Email: jackereynolds@yahoo.com


September 26, 2014

DEAR RIDE MANAGER

DEAR RIDE MANAGER:

First I'd like to thank you for putting on the ride I go to.   You are an incredible and special kind of person, and I can only partially fathom your pain and expense organizing a ride.  You are the reason we have a ride to go to as AERC sanctions but does not actually put on rides.  Without a ride manger there is no sport, no weekend of fun, no endurance.  Thank you for the hard work you put into each and every event so that I may partake and enjoy the sport I love.

Are you waiting for a but?

But please don't criticize us (riders) for only partially filling out our form when we send it in.  You see, maybe in order to get the form to you timely we send it on, and we do not mark which horse we will ride because we don't know which horse will be ready.  We riders really are not trying to make your job harder.  We just don't know clearly until the weekend which horse will have been kicked by a pasture mate, blown out an abscess, or had a colic from chewing like a chain saw on a tree the night before.   We figure you'd rather have a clean form with our intent to arrive rather than have to do it all over when we get there.  We appreciate you, we really do....

Please don't give us the blank and hateful stare when we ask what time the ride meeting is.  Or worse say something like we have it posted on the wall, did you read it?   This happened to me, and no, it was not posted ANYWHERE on the wall.  But I zipped my lip and hoped I could get the time from another rider who perhaps can read invisible marker better than I. 

When I ask directions to the away check, please don't tell me to get it at the ride meeting.  My crew is leaving and won't return until time for the away check.  They need to know how to find it, and I need to be able to give them directions while they are present, not while I'm out on the trail with a cell phone that has no signal.  I am not trying to ruin your day.   I just really need to know.  That is why I asked.

If it is my first LD, first 50, or first 100 please understand that I may have some trepidation.  I've read the stories of first-timers killing their horses.   Please put up with me and understand that I do not have your experience in this sport.  I just wish to make it successfully through the day.

When you recieve my late entry please understand that I have a life at home that may involve aging parents, kids who break their arm or contract the flu virus just before I come to the ride.  Life happens.  I figure you'd rather hear from me late than have to give me a refund after you get the email that Johnny just broke his other femur.  I swear I do not mean to grieve you, I am only trying to balance my life with this time consuming sport, and carve out a little piece of enjoyment for myself without driving you crazy.

No I did not mark the distance I am riding on the form because I don't know if my horse is ready for the distance and may not be able to make that decision until the week before, or perhaps we are waiting on weather reports to gauge the condition of the trail before we make the decision on distance.  For the rider the horse's best interests trumps the frustration of my filling in those check off boxes when I get there.

Please don't hate us because "we" do not put on a ride.   We realize that the cash outlay is very large for staging a ride.  Many of us do not have those up front cash resources to put on a ride.  Many of us do not have the ride social network to man a ride in volunteers etc.  Hell...we are lucky to put gas in the tank to get to your ride.   So please don't dislike us for feeling unable to do what you do.

We appreciate you, we really DO.   Please appreciate us too...that we live for your ride.  It may be our vacation for the year.  We may only have the resources for one or two a year.  Please like us on your social networks and make us feel welcome.

~distance rider

5 comments:

  1. Nice post and I agree with a lot of it, however (you knew that was coming ;) ) in regards to blanks on the forms (horse name, distance, etc) if you're not sure please put a post-it or other note on there with "Undecided" or something so we know you left it blank ON PURPOSE. Otherwise we feel like we need to either try to guess, or take the time to contact you and ask, when you still may be undecided. Small things.

    And yes, even as a RM I myself have shown up to register the day before the ride. Life happens and with the late fee vs refund policy, sometimes I'm better off financially to wait until the horse is in and the truck is rolling to know for sure I'm going to that ride.

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  2. Somewhat related, today in the German endurance forum, a new ride was posted for our region. They are offering a 28 mile, a 50 mile, and a 52 mile (?!) distance. And immediately come the complaints. "Oh, too bad there is no limited distance, I'm not ready to go 28 miles!"

    Anyway, I think you must live in a very difficult region (kind of like me).
    What's up on the CMO front?

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  3. Lytha I love it when different distances are offered and 28 is still LD at least here. I made this point as I am always reading how we riders make managers lives so difficult. I use social media but feel it turns away more folks than it draws in. I do love CMO, just not the expense of the four to five hour drive times to get there. I am hoping Marti will have one at her place again.

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  4. As a ps the ladies in the MW put on a great ride and probably treat usbetter than we deserve. I was only making a counter point to a ranting RM on social media. It is overlooked sometimes we are all dealing with our own issues just getting there...findig the time to condition, money for gas and entry, unexpected crap and family pressures. Most people are very grateful for these ride venues....so please understand the reason we enter late, don't pick a day, or a horse is we are trying to give an early heads up we are coming but may not have seen the weather or chosen the horse. I personally will do what I feel works to my best shot at completion. Nothing personal.

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  5. Crysta, I rarely fill out which day I am riding as I like to factor in the best footing I can for the Spotted Wonder. I do fill out mine and my horses ID, address, vehicle plate number, all the demographic stuff. Even if I plan to ride 2 days, I pay for one...I have eaten a few entry fees deciding against day two with Journey...I would rather pay the late fee if we do than eat the entry fee or percentage if we don't.

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