AERC is a unique organization in that it is able to serve a widely diverse group of riders from juniors on up in age to....I've seen people in their 80's doing it. It is diverse in that the distances offered range from 25-100 miles. It is diverse geographically from desert to mountainous, west coast to east coast. There is truly something in the offering for everyone once you wrap your mind around the fact that the most important AERC distance is the one you are riding. Not the person on social media's distance, not your BFF's distance, and not the "famous" rider's many miles or distance. The most important ride you will do is the one that puts your butt in the saddle, learning to become an accomplished equestrian, building your horse into a solid distance riding companion. That is the golden distance my friends and it ranges from 25-100 miles. Sound familiar?
Embrace the idea that you can set your own very personal goals for this sport, and you can feel pride in your own accomplishments, from the first successful LD to where ever you decide to take it from there. You don't have to ride ten rides a year to be a success (unless that is your ultimate goal), you don't have to top ten a ride (unless that is your ultimate goal), you don't have to win high mileage rider of the year (unless that is your ultimate goal). What makes you a winner, is to be a starter. As soon as the trail is called open you have just embarked on your most important distance ride ever. Set your own goals, your own pace, enjoy the ride. AERC is a sport built for just for you.