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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

May 17, 2015

Butts in the Saddle

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.


  1. That said... Have you all considered offering some sort of points to the folks who showed up but got pulled for one reason or another? It would help track the TOTAL number of rides GBs are attending. It doesn't have to be much (0.5? 1?).

  2. Michelle, the rules are set for this year. Can't see changing them half-way into the season. I darn near "lost" my points last weekend, just part of the game, frustrating, but completion is the name of the game, and sometimes the trail is against you!

    That said...there may possibly be a reason to actually do this next year and I will have some discussion with our other admins about allotting points to rides attempted. Can't say we will or won't, but it would give us better data on how the GB's are doing, how many pulls, and why. That alone would be a good reason so I'll put that on the table for discussion for 2016's ride. Thank you for the suggestion.