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

June 26, 2016

A Nurturing Place

People ask me now and then about Green Bean Endurance (the competition not to be confused with the larger Green Bean Movement).  I've seen a lot of folks dreams trampled on over the past several years.  Maybe their goals weren't "lofty" enough.  Perhaps they ride a non-arabian breed.  Maybe the rider just isn't competitive and could care less.   New endurance riders are the backbone of longevity for AERC regardless of if certain riders care to accept that fact.  Yet again, and again I've seen personal attacks by longstanding members in the sport (always via the bully network of social media).   All the excitement drains away from that new rider, and they decide they will spend their limited dollars at a "friendlier" venue.  You know, at the end of the day who wants to be around folks they perceive as having a hot poker up their keisters for some reason or other?   N-O-B-O-D-Y.

The irony in all that is that you can go to and muddle through a couple of actual distance rides and begin to relax and look around, and see that the physical world of ride-camp does have a good census of pretty darned nice people.   But first that new rider has to feel encouraged enough to attend a few rides.

Hence the competition.   The first goal is to establish a network (even if it is far flung regionally) of riders in TEAMS of five riders.   Second is to encourage a mentor.   I stress encourage, not mandate.  Because honestly the group is made up mostly of adults that have some previous background in other equestrian pursuits.  Third is to encourage camaraderie among the group at large.  Because the overall goal is to get each persons horse from the start, to the finish.  That's it!   The points the riders acquire are based on that simple principle.  Go the distance, get your completion, take satisfaction in your growth.  

In short, Green Bean Endurance encompasses a nurturing place to get people started.   We will have a good number of riders who started just a year and a half ago...mileage out (hit the 1000 combined competition miles) by the end of this season.  I'm so gratified by all of them.

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