Talking to a few newbie hopefuls over the years I've heard a rather consistent lament concerning their search for a mentor. The search is tough. They go to the webpage and find a mentor in their region, fire off some emails to a person, and do not get a response, or they get a response, but it is in fits and spurts, like trying to squeeze the juice out of a turnip. For you folks who have experienced this it is my understanding that the BOD is working on the issue of mentoring.
But here's the glitch.
Who is vetting the mentors? It seems like becoming and being a mentor should involve a verbal contract to meet certain criteria at the very least. To return a newbie's email within a reasonable length of time, to network that person within firing distance of someone within their general proximity if possible, and to be honest and direct in the case of deficits in the newcomers ride plan.
Mentoring is probably frustrating. No, I'm sure it can be frustrating. I know I've probably asked the same question to half a dozen people, but that is how I'm sure of the answer, consistency. When I don't find that...dig deeper. Perhaps that is the failure in itself is that one person may not necessarily have all the answers for any one person's situation. A mentor that has been racing arabians built for the job may or may not have a handle on cooling out a standardbred, quarter horse, etc. So it may not be a mentoring problem as much as it is a match up problem. But if we sign up for mentoring we have to follow through and help that person connect if at all possible with the rider who can best meet their initial needs.
So why am I not on the mentors list?
Experience...not enough of it. But I will answer emails and I will share what I do know, or what I have figured out. Having only this year completed my second 50 I'd feel good at sharing endurance 101 stepping up from beginner, LD to first 50, but not above that level. I need the next workshop myself!
Any mentors out there? *LOL*
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