I was lucky to have a sit-down (well, actually stand under the awning because of the rain) conversation this weekend with Mollie Krumlaw Smith and a cluster of accomplished endurance riders. You know...those crazy folk who've ridden a hundred miles in one whack. The conversation was the future and longevity of the sport, for the next generation.
It got me to thinking about the promise of "The Green Bean Movement" which was started by Sharalyn Hay from PNER group. A well-spring of new riders have bubbled up to the surface, and we as a group need to embrace them, support them, and encourage them to get their butts in the saddle. It doesn't matter if it is one ride per season, or fourteen. We come from all economic brackets (mine is highly marginal to be in the sport) so what is important is that we all do our best to support our sport, our ride managers, our mother organization (AERC), challenge ourselves, with a dash of fun. Butts in the saddle you say? So how is that such a big deal?
Let me explain it from the Green Bean Endurance (competitive) group's perspective.
*Membership with AERC promotes sanctioning of rides and a permanent record for you and your horse, trails preservation, and research. These all enable you to play the endurance game, to essentially get one's butt in the saddle for sanctioned AERC activity.
*Ride managers are supported every time a member shows up for a ride. This enables managers to stay in the black, which means we continue to have rides to attend. So your butt in the saddle is essential to continuing ride availability.
*Now let's look at the Green Bean Endurance philosophy. Creating a social network for riders new to the sport, creating a TEAMS venue to foster camaraderie and excitement among our new riders. Big deal...some might think. Let me explain it in numbers. 125 members join in January, team members have logged 101 team rides and it is only mid-May. We are putting those butts in the saddle. I am so proud of my opportunity to serve this small group, and so excited at the response of our TEAMS. The season isn't even begun to be started. It is a ground swell of fresh faces, fresh energy, and fun in the sport.
We support AERC, we support our ride managers, we learn the ropes of distance riding, we build teams, and friendly supportive connections. You can too...just get your butt in the saddle and support an AERC sanctioned ride this season. ~ E.G.
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