In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

The Best Laid Plans

Endurance! Just thinking about the 2009 season makes my pulse jump.

I’ve renewed my AERC membership and added Consolation as a second mount. I’ve created new and improved templates for my conditioning logs. And, I’ve formulated my goals for 2009.

One of my favorite things about this sport is the endless challenge it offers. Riders like me, who are just starting out, can set goals for number of miles to complete or new (but reasonable!) speeds to achieve. Experienced riders whose horses have several years of conditioning under their girths can think about actually racing, or riding all five days of a pioneer ride, or attempting a first 100.

Me, I’m going for miles next year — sound, steady miles that will build my horses’ bodies and minds in preparation for faster efforts in the future. I hope to attend every ride in Idaho, but even if I don’t, I should be able to achieve the following:

Aaruba: Reach the 500 AERC endurance mile mark. He currently has 105 miles, so we have just 395 to go. I think this is quite attainable; we might even manage 500 miles next year alone. I’d also like to increase our speed a little, from end-of-the-line to mid-pack. Of course, all this depends on our ability to keep his ulcer-prone tummy content. More on that in an upcoming post.

Consolation: Earn 200 AERC miles, LD and endurance combined. This is a touch ambitious as it might require her to do two 50’s with one rest day between them at the last ride of the season, but if all goes well, I think we can do it. Obviously, training is more important than conditioning at this point in her career, and I’ll gladly sacrifice this mileage goal in favor of spending more time on the basics if necessary.

Myself: Expand my understanding of equine nutrition and exercise physiology. Learn to trim hooves so I can touch them up when Travis is unavailable. Be less shy, so I can make more friends at rides.

By spring, you can bet I’ll have a much longer list of goals. Acey will be on it, as will Sandstorm and Tuetano and Insider and Ripple and CJ.

By fall, I will be very tired. And content. And busy planning for 2010. _________________________________________________________

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4 responses

  1. Thanks for the making-goals inspiration. Setting intention is a powerful force.

    November 18, 2008 at 4:02 am

  2. With very few AERC sanctioned rides anywhere nearby and still being unsure if JB is going to cut it as an endurance horse,I have been trying to decide if I should join the AERC. Any suggestions?

    November 18, 2008 at 2:24 pm

  3. Red Horse — I agree! No point wandering aimlessly through life, saying “I always wanted to…” I’d rather say “I’m going to…” and go out and do it! :-)Jonna — Good question. I guess it depends how serious you want to be about the sport, and how far/often you’re willing to travel. If you want to use JB’s future endurance accomplishments as part of your marketing, I think you’d do better if you can show AERC miles. Membership isn’t terribly expensive ($65-85 for an individual and one horse, depending on an option or two) and I would pay it even if I was going to attend a couple rides per year. They keep track of lifetime miles for both horse and rider, you get a subscription to Endurance News, etc. It’s worth the money, in my opinion.

    November 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm

  4. Thanks Tamara, that helps to make the decision easier. I was leaning towards joining but I was just wavering on whether it was worth it. The cost is not horrible, and even if I only do 1 or 2 rides, as a member, I will atleast have something to show for it. To add, the local riding club that puts on the distance rides I attended this season is having attendance issues.At the last meeting, they discussed hosting an AERC ride to try to attact a larger crowd.It seems the endurance crowd is more willing to travel. I would like to try to get to one of the Idaho rides. It seems like endurance is much more popular in your neck of the woods and the rides seem well attended. Are you also a member of the PNER ?

    November 19, 2008 at 4:10 pm

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