To Finish Is To Win

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Endurance News -- January 2021


President's Letter
Vice President's Letter
Classified Advertising


President's Letter: Stay healthy, the horse owner way

by Nick Kohut, DVM

As the Covid outbreak continues to impact huge numbers of people across the country and we enter what is classically referred to as "flu season," it is vitally important that we all try to stay healthy. A quick Google search provides a number of health benefits to owning, caring for, and riding horses.

Physically, just the usual chores associated with owning a horse provide a great workout. A British Horse Society study found that 30 minutes spent mucking out a stall is classed as moderate exercise. Moving hay bales, carrying water buckets, saddling up a horse, and even grooming have been shown to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 35%.

Riding acts as an isometric exercise, helping to build core strength. Maintaining balance while riding improves postural strength. The biggest workout involves the inner thighs and pelvic muscles. Adjusting to the horse's gait and posting not only builds muscles, but also increases flexibility and improves balance and coordination.

Mentally, there are myriad benefits. During our current situation, possibly the biggest such benefit is the reduction in stress that comes from interacting with a horse. Communicating and interacting with animals has been shown to have a positive effect on people and is widely used in therapeutic riding programs.

Studies have shown that the bonding that occurs between owners and their pets can reduce high blood pressure. The low-stress physical activities of grooming and washing can provide an almost meditative state that aids in the decrease of your stress levels.

Riding can also provide a meditative state by focusing solely on riding and staying on the horse. The BHS study found that riding stimulated primarily positive psychological feelings with a reduction in depression by 30% and a lowering of the chance of dementia by 30%.

Building confidence is big. While riding is in and of itself a partnership between you and the horse, you are expected to take the lead, and nothing builds self-confidence better than leadership training. You are going to direct a 1,000-pound animal through every single move and step. And when the horse does something out of line, you will be the one in charge of correcting that behavior. This can be very empowering.

Providing for the care and well-being of a horse can also be rewarding (as well as challenging). Horses also help increase your focus, patience, and humility. Working around any large animal safely requires you to focus and maintain awareness of the animal's moods and actions. Lack of attention can lead to being stepped on, kicked, or falling off. Teaching a horse how you want it to move and behave is going to require a lot of patience. And, as we all know, things do not always go the way we expect and that is going to teach you humility. You learn from these situations and get better. You are never done learning.

While this last benefit has been particularly challenging during this past year, it can also be one of the most important for some people. I am speaking of the social benefit of riding and horse ownership. The equestrian industry is a very social community full of people willing to help each other.

We spend a lot of time with other people and our horses. We train together. We compete together. We help care for one another's horses. We reach out to each other on social media, sharing our achievements and asking questions. We build lifelong relationships with other people.



Vice President's Letter: Happy new year 2021!

by Michael Campbell

Of course, we AERC endurance riders began our new year in December, but the drama of 2020 is somewhere on the trail behind us and the anticipation of a new trail is just ahead.

Oh, surely, there will still be drama, but after last year, we can handle it. We can endure anything. This is the time of year, after the demands of the holiday season, when most of us are planning the year to come -- what rides we will attend and which horse will go where. Maybe we are starting a new horse in endurance or getting another ride in on our old reliable so he can become a Decade horse. There are goals to be set and records waiting to be broken.

2021 Convention. Of course, one of our first goals is the AERC convention for 2021. It was originally set for San Antonio, Texas, in March. But, with the pandemic still in progress, it will be virtual.

The AERC office staff has been working hard to make this a successful enterprise for all members. Raffle drawings and awards will be presented during the two-day program between a remarkable program of speakers.

Subjects will include coordinating your body with your horse, exercise routines for riders, thumps and electrolyte problems, anticipating problems before a ride and riding under different climatic conditions. Other segments of the program include selecting an endurance partner, drug testing and wound care on the trail.

Each seminar/session will be available to view live, or at a later time -- whichever is most convenient for you. There are two sessions of the morning exercise seminar each day, depending on how early you want to start your convention activities.

Vendors will be available throughout the day with offers that are sure to be enticing.. You'll be able to visit with the exhibitors and see demos of their products.

No tack swap, but there will be raffles!

National Championships. We missed our national championship in 2020, but the 2021 AERC National Championship is scheduled for June 11-13 at Fort Howes in Montana. Our Young Rider Championship is June 15, also in Fort Howes. Jan and Bill Stevens will host and always have fantastic rides at their beautiful ranch.

Local and regional rides. Before, after and in between these memorable events, we have our own local/regional rides which are sure to be plentiful and fun after the cancellations and limitations of last year. The Sanctioning Committee and our ride managers are working hard to pack the calendar with opportunities to meet our friends and crank out the LD and endurance miles for all of our goals and aspirations.

Planning and anticipation. Now, just a quick reminder that, with or without a pandemic, things go wrong. Plans go awry. And when that happens, we can't allow ourselves to become too discouraged. Every mishap is a learning opportunity. That's what separates the endurance riders from the wannabes.

We chose horses and this sport because it is in our nature to take risks and learn from our misadventures. For example, a few weeks ago Dianne and I were all set to leave for a ride -- trailer packed and horses loaded -- when we found we had a bad tire. It was too late to replace it and still make the ride. I learned, once again, to check all tires days before the ride. For now, let the anticipation build. Make your plans. This year you will learn more than ever about your horse and yourself. Allow the year 2020 to be a springboard for the best year of endurance in your entire career. The bad times make the good times better.



Classified Advertising



HELP WANTED

PERSONAL ASSISTANT/FARM HELP/EXERCISE RIDER. Located in Colorado Springs, CO. Great opportunity for capable rider with experience and interest in endurance riding. Full-time or part-time. $12-$15 per hour; possible salary opportunity. Possible live-on premises. Must send video riding -- walk, trot, canter -- and provide references. jj@carpediemranch.com

HORSES

CEDAR RIDGE RANCH ARABIANS: Endurance and Sporthorse Arabians for sale from young stock to finished. Customized riding lease options for 100 mile one day rides to multi-day rides all over the country. CO. Contact Kerry at 719-207-0121 or ponyxp@msn.com www.crrarabians.com.

CYPRESS TRAILS ENDURANCE HORSES. Well seasoned DJB horses and slow-started prospects available for sale. 40 plus horses to choose from! KM–the human electrolyte for sale. TX. www.horseridingfun.com for sale lists or call 1-800-228-8768.

RIDE BADLANDS-RAISED ENDURANCE/SPORT HORSES. Strong, dependable, sure-footed! www.ccpintabians.com or call Lynn, 701-859-3221, ND.

MISCELLANEOUS

ENDURANCE CONSULTANT. Conditioning, racing, veterinary, sales. Michele Roush Rowe, DVM. 530-292-1902, CA. bcm@gv.net

NEWS FLASH!! These cool vintage events are now yours on DVD: 1986 North American Championship, 1988 N.A. Championship, 1989 N.A. Championship, 1989 ROC, 1991 ROC, 1992 ROC, 1992 AERC Natl. Championship, 1992 World Championship, and Long Distance Riding (training video with Darolyn Butler, vets: Dane Frazier and Matthew Mackay-Smith). Check out the full list of training videos . . . some great sales . . . visit www.horseridingfun.com or call 1-800-228-8768, TX


How far will you ride this year? Join AERC and we'll help you count the miles!



Endurance News is published monthly by American Endurance Ride Conference. Endurance News is sent without charge to AERC members as a benefit of membership in AERC. Subscriptions are also available to non-members for $40 per year within the United States, and $60 in Canada and Mexico. For those in other countries, subscriptions are available for $80. Single issues are $4 U.S.