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.
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