I might be charged with inciting a riot, but I am instigating a take over in endurance. Yes, that's right a take over. Before you tighten up your ropes and drag me behind your distance horse, let me explain (please).
Are you tired of the mumbling, grumbling, infighting over ridiculous things on social networking? So many of us truly are just over it. It's time for an end to the free-for-all that takes the sport down and time for those who have something useful to offer to step up, do something, take over! I'm sure you remember a time when it was all one big happy family? I hear stories about it from long, long ago. If we want the sport to reflect those ideals (most of us do) then the next time you are at a ride make an example of yourself. Smile at every darned person you see ☺ Ask the person who looks a little frazzled if you can help. Offer to hold someone's horse so they can find the port-a-potty. After all it is the little things that make up the big picture. It is great to be passionate about the sport, but not when your passion becomes a weapon of mass destruction in the genre of social networking sites like Facebook. Love your sport? Try really hard to keep it positive so that the face the public sees out there is the same face they see at a ride. Herd 'em up, don't drive them away.
How can you help? Be that standup smiling person. Be positive. Shun social media that hinders the growth of our sport. In the case of the AERC facebook site, report posts to the admin that you feel drive away prospective new membership. Because you know what? AERC belongs to the membership, and AERC needs and wants growth, and they need positive doers (you know, those folks who actually do things for the betterment of the sport at large).
So ask yourself what you can do for endurance. Can you recruit a new member? Can you mentor another rider? Can you haul someone to a ride? Can you assist a new rider in ride camp? Can you turn someone around the right direction on trail? Can you sit down and have a friendly five minute chat with a new face at a ride? Can you offer simple problem solving solutions to a new rider? Can you manage a ride? Photograph a ride and share photos? We can all do "something." Figure out your something, then... Let's do it! Let's make it the friendliest ride venue on the planet. What say 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