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Rider Clinic information provided by AERC member Ann Cofield, who has held successful clinics associated with the Oconee Endurance Ride, and by Nick Warhol, a West Region Director who has put on "fun ride" clinics.
You Can Do It
RIDER CLINICS . . . YOU CAN DO IT; WE CAN HELP!
(from Endurance News, November 2004)
By Ann Cofield
You can do it . . . we can help!" was our motto for the Oconee Endurance Ride Clinic, held Friday, June 25. The clinic was hosted by the Georgia Endurance Riders Association, Southeastern Endurance Riders Association, Oconee ride management and AERC.
Having an endurance clinic the day before a ride and inviting the participants to ride the LD or a training loop on Saturday is the ultimate way to educate new riders. Granted, it is a busy time for the ride manager, so it becomes the job of someone else to manage the clinic. In most cases it will be the person who most wants it to happen!
Who will be the participants? Advertising in the areas near the ride site is one way to get the word out, but the best way is to have an endurance rider coming to the ride bring a friend. More than likely, that person has either crewed or listened to his or her friend talk about the sport. Here is a perfect mentor!
Who will speak at the clinic? Experienced riders will be in attendance at the ride. Choose people who have proven ride records and will put the horse's welfare first. We have found it is best to give the person a topic and some lead time to prepare the talk.
At our recent clinic we were fortunate to have speakers with lots of miles and experience to share their knowledge. Angie McGhee, Cindy Young, Suzanne Solis, Jody Rogers Buttram, Susie Schmoll, Julie Cantin, Cleon Akins and Cyndi Platt both informed and entertained us. Topics included goal setting, qualities of a good endurance horse, making a plan, riding your own ride, safety and manners on the trail, getting through the vet check, and ensuring the welfare of the horse comes first. Saddle fit, balanced riding, feeding and shoeing were emphasized as keys to finishing the ride with a sound and happy horse.
In addition, our excellent veterinarians--Ken Marcella, Otis Schmitt and Stacey Montgomery--covered topics including care of the horse at camp and on the trail, the signs of stress, and expected manners of horse and rider. Their presentation was a subtle way to say, "This is how we do it, take note."
We also offered a hands-on opportunity provided by the speakers and others at the ride. Participants learned how to present their horses at the vet check, how to teach their horses to do an effective trot-out and how to use stethoscopes (provided for each person by one of our sponsors). This portion of the clinic was a one-on-one activity. During this time, participants had a chance to ask questions in a more "private" setting.
Each attendee received a packet containing membership information about GERA, SERA, and AERC. In addition, SERA printed relevant articles from Endurance News, GERA provided fold-up hoof picks with handcrafted leather attachments and AERC sent the latest copies of EN for each rider. Kentucky Equine Research sent electrolytes and FRM provided certificates to be redeemed for feed.
We noticed that experienced riders attended portions of the clinic. This led us to believe there is another audience we can reach and in doing so, improve the completion rate in our region.
At the Liberty Run Ride in May, Stagg Newman spoke for over an hour about completing 100 mile rides successfully. This talk had been "advertised" by word of mouth and online. Quite a few riders attended, many of them hoping learn more about how to even complete a 50 successfully! People who do this type of talk are giving back to the sport and are willing to share what they have learned.
You may not be a person who would care to speak, but know someone who would do this if asked. Plan ahead. Ask the person you have in mind and the manager of the ride where this person might be attending. If this is done early enough, the topic and speaker can be included in the ride entry. At our clinic we stated a "disclaimer" and made it clear the clinic was not an arena for a debate!
A day-long clinic separate from a ride can also be successful. This event can take place on a private farm or public lands. This is an excellent time to discuss stewardship of the land and respect for land owners and managers.
You will find that participants want to know two things: Can I use the horse I have? and What is going to happen at the ride? Cover these topics thoroughly. Then they will be able to focus on other topics related to our sport.
Every sanctioned endurance ride should have a first-time riders' meeting. Again, the ride manager can choose someone at the ride to share information with the first time riders. If possible, choose a person who has learned how to ride his own ride. This meeting can be completed within an hour. More information about how to conduct this type of meeting will follow in a future article.
Remember, you can do it--we can help!
SO YOU WANT TO HOST AN ENDURANCE CLINIC
(from Endurance News, October 2002)
By Ann Cofield
Why?Hosting an endurance clinic is an excellent way for you to give back to the sport. This is an opportunity for interested people to begin the sport of endurance riding in a safe and knowledgeable way. Also, it a good way to showcase our sport to people of other horse disciplines.
Who will manage the clinic? The person who most wants this event to happen will be the one. This is the time to ask for support from other endurance riders, veterinarians, land owners and sponsors. In the Southeast we are fortunate to have two organizations, the Southeast Endurance Riders Association and the Georgia Endurance Riders Association, who often volunteer time and effort to produce quality clinics. In addition, experienced endurance veterinarians from our region donate their time, giving valuable information to all of us.
Who will come to the clinic? Advertising ahead of time in your community, putting out flyers at barns and tack stores, writing articles for horse publications in your area and inviting other horse clubs will bring in the majority of participants. Endurance riders always have friends who are interested and sometimes Pony Club or 4-H members attend. Also, local newspapers will possibly do an article about the event. Publicity needs to be handled by a committee who will be prepared to mail out information and take phone calls.
When is a good time to have the clinic? Pick a weekend when there is not an endurance ride nearby so you will have help. Be aware of major horse events in the area, as most of your participants will come from other horse activities. Also, warm, dry weather is a big plus!
There are many possibilities for clinic sites. If this is to be a one-day event, keep in mind most people will trailer in that morning so the site needs to be close to the target area of your prospects. Some people have never camped with their horses and even tying them to the trailer for several hours can be traumatic!
A private farm with at least ten miles of trail is excellent and offers a casual atmosphere. Plan to pay something for the use of the land, although some land owners will not charge. Consider providing a portable toilet instead of using their private bathrooms. Find out ahead of time if people need to bring their own water, or enough will be available. Do not put the land owner's phone number on your brochure unless they agree! Designate someone to be sure the camping area is clean when the clinic is over, even though the participants would have cleaned, too.
It is wise to have day event insurance. Then, the land owner feels that he has some protection. Afterward, let the land owner know you appreciated the use of the farm. A thank you note and restaurant gift certificate is little to pay for the opportunity to return in the future.
Public land can be an ideal place to hold a clinic. On this land the most important person in your life is the land manager or forest ranger. Be patient and courteous. Remember, they have rules that must be followed. Just do what they say! It is helpful if one of the members already has a working relationship with the land manager by doing trail work.
Volunteering in the forest gives creditability to your group and the officials are more willing to help with your efforts. Again, be prepared to get insurance and pay a trail fee. Have participants sign waivers, produce Coggins papers or other required documents. Choose a site with moderate terrain and easy access. Non-endurance riders may never have pulled trailers far off of paved roads. What an adventure awaits them!
Clinics can also be held in two parts. Meet at some public location or restaurant one evening. Present an overview of endurance riding and discuss the most important aspects of our sport, care and conditioning of the horse. Give handouts describing a reasonable conditioning program and other information concerning feeding, shoeing and camping with their horses. Have experienced riders talk about what to expect before, during and after the ride. This is also a good time to talk about ways the family can be involved, crewing or helping with the ride. Have a plan in place to do a training ride at a nearby location on the following weekend. Be sure to stress the use of helmets as an important safety feature of our sport. A question and answer time is always appreciated. The presentation should take about two hours.
At clinics with the horses, have a greeter at the gate when the participants arrive to direct parking and welcome them. It will take a few minutes for people to unload and settle their horses. This is good time for the working members to walk around to the trailers, introduce themselves and point out the registration table. Time is of the essence and people tend to dilly-dally around at their trailers if you don't head them toward the registration area.
Once everyone is gathered, introduce yourself and whoever else is helping. Twenty to 25 people is a reasonable amount to manage for this type event, although it can be larger with an experienced support group. Go over the agenda. Stress keeping to the schedule. Give people a chance to introduce themselves and tell what breed of horse they have brought.
Explain that when the ride goes out they will be divided into small groups for safety purposes. Give information about pacing and trail safety, and give out maps and describe how the trails are marked. Let the vet go over the ride card, explaining what he will look for when the riders return. The participants will be anxious to ride. Get them on the trail and they will be better able to listen upon returning!
An experienced rider should accompany each group and "teach" along the trail. A ten-mile trail is usually enough. Some people would never have trotted even a mile at a time! Stop about halfway to take pulses. Teach it then and each person can try taking their horse's pulse. A designated open area or field is a good stopping place, as other riders will be there, too.
Who will take the riders out? The fastest endurance rider? No. Plan to use members who have well-mannered horses, can maintain a steady pace, are able to use a stethoscope and will recognize if there are problems with the horses. Some people may choose to audit, and not bring a horse. A few members should be in camp to answer questions, or if there is power, show some endurance videos.
As the riders return, start the vet check. The support people can be available to help prepare the horses for the check. The vet's evaluation is more meaningful now that the riders have been on the trail. Most of the horses will do well and the riders will be pleased. This is a good time for the lunch break!
Panel discussions work well in the afternoon, although there needs to be some hands-on experience to vary the information being given. At the end of the day have a question and answer time and possibly follow up with a training ride in the near future. Give the participants a "how-to" packet, as they will not remember all that has been said. A follow-up letter is appreciated, thanking them for their interest in our sport. Also, if some members will volunteer to be available by phone or e-mail, it gives the prospective endurance riders confidence to continue with their training. Don't expect to see the clinic participants at the next ride. Some will be overwhelmed and decide this is not the sport for them; others will take the necessary steps to move forward into the sport and eventually, you will see them on the trail!
There is no better feeling than to see someone you helped at a clinic stand up at their first ride to receive a completion award!
SAMPLE INFORMATION FROM PAST CLINICS. Following are clinic materials from the Oconee Ride clinic.
THE JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES . . .
ENDURANCE RIDING CLINIC
June 25-26 2004 Oconee WMA, Near Eatonton, GA
Friday, June 25 9:00 AM Registration
Cost: $25 for the day Audit - $10
Saturday, June 26 Endurance Ride 30 or 55 miles
Cost for 30 miles: $65 minus $25 for the clinic ($40)
Or, Ride training loop, approx. 15 miles $15
At the end of the day on Friday, riders can decide whether to ride 30 miles or the training loop. All horses will go through the vet checks.
The Oconee Ride Management, Georgia Endurance Riders Association, and Southeastern Endurance Riders Association sponsor this clinic.
For additional information about the sport of endurance riding,
contact Ann Cofield for a starter packet and to register for the clinic:
(phone) or (email address)
American Endurance Ride Conference aerc.org
Southeastern Endurance Riders Association sera.org
Registration forms available April 1, 2004
June 25-26 2004
Oconee WMA Near Eatonton, GA
So you want to be an Endurance Rider!
Or maybe not! How will you ever know unless you explore the possibilities of this exciting sport?
An endurance competition is not just another trail ride. It is a timed event, over a marked and measured trail, governed by rules from the American Endurance Ride Conference. This national organization sanctions endurance rides in all parts of the country, so that no matter where you compete, the rules will be the same.
State or regional organizations, or individuals and their friends usually manage endurance rides. Ride sites are located on large tracts of private or public land. The endurance groups maintain the trails, in addition to doing other trail work throughout the year.
The distances for these rides are usually twenty-five, fifty or one hundred mile one day events. The allowed times for completion is six, twelve or twenty-four hours. The most important part of the ride is the vet checks for the horses. These checks will be every fifteen miles or so, depending on the trail loops. At the vet check the horse has time to eat, drink and rest. It is also important that the rider take care of himself (or herself) eating and drinking plenty of water. Electrolytes are good for both horse and rider. Equine veterinarians check the horses for lameness or metabolic problems that might have developed during the day. If the vets feel that the horse does not need to continue, he is pulled from the ride. The veterinarian's word is final.
The key to being a successful competitor is to bring a well-conditioned horse to the ride and don't get caught up in someone else's plan. Ride your own ride. The distance you chose to go at each ride depends on where you are in your training program, whether your horse does better on flat or mountainous terrain, and how you feel that day. Most people who participate in this sport have families and jobs but still find time to compete successfully.
So, who does endurance riding? A person looking for adventure, challenge and a good time will love this sport! Camping, enjoying the beauty of our fields and forests, and the camaraderie of friends will bring you back again and again!
(Some information will be subject to change.)
Friday, June 25 9:00 AM Designated site at camp
Cost: $25 for day (some people may audit for $10)
At the end of the day on Friday riders may decide to ride the training loop, 15 mi. or enter the 25 mile Limited Distance event. Completion awards for all.
All horses entered in the ride or training loop will go through the vet check in the afternoon.
Cost for 25 mile distance $65 minus $25 for clinic. ( $40) Training loop $15.
We will be fortunate to have experienced riders and vets to speak during the day. There will be question-answer times at the lunch break and at the end of the day at the first time riders meeting. All riders are expected to attend the pre-ride meeting in the early evening.
The clinic will be sponsored by: The Oconee Endurance Ride, Georgia Endurance Riders Association and Southeastern Endurance Riders Association. For further information contact: Ann Cofield, (email), (phone).
What to Bring"What to bring" letter for people interested in attending the clinic.
Hope you are still planning to attend the Endurance Clinic June 25 at the Oconee WMA. Enclosed, you will find a registration form, a list of items to bring, what your horse should know and an entry to the ride. (You will receive a clinic agenda as soon as speakers are confirmed.)
If you think you will ride the Limited Distance instead of the training loop, it will be helpful to the ride management if you will go ahead and send your entry. Clinic registration forms will be sent to me.
What to Bring
Camping. Decide how you will secure your horse. Electric corral, picket line, other. Tying to the trailer is not recommended, but is OK. Whatever your plan, TRY IT AT HOME FIRST!
Feed. Whatever your horse is accustomed to eating. After the clinic you may want to make a change.
Shoeing. Shoe all four.
Water. Usually the fire dept. brings water, but they may not. You will need to bring water for your horse. 5 gallon buckets with lids, or other covered containers will work. You will need a sponge to use for cooling the horse. Car washing sponges are great.
What Your Horse Needs to Know
Even though your horse may be well mannered and quiet at home, don't count on this being the case at the first endurance ride. Lots of activity, strange horses and new environment can scramble their brains!
Safety is a major issue. The vets cannot afford to be kicked or bitten by your horse. Ride participants and volunteers are at risk, also.
PLEASE TELL THE VETS IF THIS IS THE FIRST ENDURANCE RIDE FOR YOU AND YOUR HORSE. The vets will handle your horse with more caution and give you additional help.
DURING THE VET EXAM: Your horse will need to stand still. The vet will look in his mouth at the gums, feel the legs, pick up the feet, feel for muscle tone and do a skin pinch to check for hydration.
Jog for soundness. Horse should trot out 125 feet on a loose rein, neither run ahead of you or have to be chased. You may use halter or bridle.
Sometimes the vet line is long and the horses have to stand quietly. If your horse kicks, bring a red ribbon for his tail.
Remember! You would just have completed a day of learning and practice!
If you have additional questions, call or e-mail me. Ann Cofield (phone), (email).
Registration FormRegistration form for clinic participants
Registration for Oconee Endurance Clinic
Phone and/or e-mail______________________________________________________
Arrival: Thursday, June 24 or Friday June 25 (Clinic will start at 9:00 AM)
Breed of horse you plan to bring____________________________________________
Do you plan to: ___do training loop 30 m
Please list specific questions you might have so we can be sure they are answered. Thanks!
Mail to: Ann Cofield (address)
Cost: Clinic $25, Training Loop $15, Audit $10
(Pay upon arrival.)
Letter for ParticipantsLetter sent to all people inquiring about the clinic
Dear Prospective Endurance Riders,
This letter is to give you up-dated information and be sure you have received:
1. An entry to the Oconee Endurance Ride (you do not need to fill this out if you are riding the 15 mi. training loop) Keep the directions!
2. If you plan to have the meal Friday night, send request and money to Peggy.
3. Registration for the clinic is sent to me. Wait and pay when you arrive. Ann Cofield, (address)
4. For clinic participants riding 30 miles, $65 (+ $10 if you are not a member of the American Endurance Ride Conference, our national organization)
5. Agenda for the clinic (on the back of Journey of a Thousand Miles)
6. I will arrive at camp Thursday AM and set up a table near the ranger's station. Please sign in so I will know you are here.
7. You may camp wherever it suits you. On Sat, the ride day, I would like to have all the clinic people together at the vet check so we can help with your horses. You will need a chair, saddle rack, cooler and water at the vet check. We will set up the vet check crewing area on Friday afternoon. More about this on Friday.
8. Bring as much water as possible. 5 gallon buckets with trash can liners will keep the water from spilling. You might want to stop at a service station near the ride to fill your buckets, as the water is heavy to haul.
9. Please call me between now and then if you have questions! (phone)
10. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
Letter to AERC MembersLetter sent to AERC members at endurance rides well before the clinic
The Long and Winding Road
Clinic at Oconee Endurance Ride June 25-26
How can you help? Please write, or plan to speak (5min.) with helpful tips for prospective riders.
Qualities of a good endurance horse (not breeds)
Tack for horse, clothes for rider
Rider discipline (ride your own ride)
Pacing through the ride
Care at the vet checks
Contact Ann Cofield, (address), (phone), (email)
Clinic AgendaClinic agenda
Agenda: Oconee Endurance Clinic Friday June 25, 2004
8:30 AM Register Pay for clinic and/or Saturday ride
9:00 AM Introductions / Purpose of clinic / Organizations / Thank sponsors, etc.
9:15 AM Goal-setting, qualities of a good endurance horse
9:45 AM Conditioning
10:15 AM Break
10:30 AM Your plan for Saturday morning, what to expect, safety on the trail, pacing through the ride
11:00 AM Stethoscope discussion and training, heart monitors (practice)
12:00 noon Lunch Question & Answer
12:30 PM Balanced riding, saddle fitting
1:30 PM Vet checks: procedure, care of horse, electrolytes, jogging horse
2:30 PM Vets will talk
3:30 PM Break, Observe vet check, with commentary
4:00 PM Horses go through vet check
5:00 PM Question & Answer
5:30 PM End
Follow-up LetterFollow-up letter sent to all clinic participants after the clinic
Congratulations on completing your first steps on " the journey of a thousand miles"! I know you need time to think about the weekend, what you learned, and your adventure on the trail. Please feel free to e-mail or call any of us to answer questions as you continue to train for the next event.
Enclosed, please find a Dawson Forest ride entry. We hope to see you there!
Ann Cofield, (email), (phone)
Angie McGee, (email), (phone)
Suzanne Solis, (email), (phone)
Julie Cantin, (email), (phone)
Susie Schmoll, (email), (phone)
Peggy & Tim Clark. (email), (phone)
Cyndi Platt, (email), (phone)
Cindy Young, (email), (phone)
Jody Buttram, (email), (phone)
Keep in touch!!
Thanks again for your interest and effort in beginning the sport of endurance riding!
Ann Cofield_______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________
Putting On A Fun Ride
By Nick Warhol
The fun ride is a 10 or 15 mile, non-sanctioned sample endurance ride that caters to first time beginners. The ride is held in conjunction with a sanctioned AERC ride. The goal of the fun ride is to provide an easy, safe, and fun way for people who are interested in endurance to try a ride without needing experience. The key is to make the ride as identical to a limited distance ride as possible, except for the distances covered. The key to a successful Fun Ride is ride management taking the time and effort it requires to educate and assist the beginners throughout the day.
The Fun ride should be modeled as closely as possible to a regular ride:
The entry fees should be kept as low as possible to attract the beginners to the ride. We made our entry fee $25, while the 25 and 50 fees were $85. The idea is to cover basic costs, but not make any (much) profit from the fun riders. One thing I learned was to tell them this, since they were surprised a regular ride cost so much. You as ride management are making an investment in educating people.
It is important to introduce the head Vet, and for the vets to do the horse pre-ride exam on Friday, exactly the same as the regular riders. Talk to the head vet about the fun ride, and make sure he or she understands that this is a training experience, and they should be more lenient than they might be on a regular ride, since the distance is only 10 miles. During the ride, the Fun Ride Vets (see below) will be the ones doing the actual vetting. They get to spend much more time with the fun riders explaining what they are looking for, what gut sounds are, etc. The regular vets are under a time crunch to get the regular ride horses through in a hurry and can't spend the time with the beginners they need. This also makes vet check personnel timing easier, since the regular vets do not have to be at the fun rider vet check, since it is likely to be in base camp and not away. If there is any question or issue at all with a fun ride horse, it will be held and passed to a regular vet right away.
It is critical that the fun riders understand that the ride is not a race. Explain that the 50 is a competitive event, but the goal of the fun rides is to learn, not to race. I told them that if there was anyone present who was here to win the fun ride they should not even start. We recommended a 5MPH pace max for the ride. Suggest that they trot slowly on all the flats, walk up and down the hills. Our fun riders did perfectly- the first riders in on the 5 mile loop took 55 minutes, and they were spread out nicely all day. Having two distances on the fun ride also helps spread them out more. You don't want all of the fun riders in the vet check at once. There is no maximum completion time on the fun ride, unless you want to say 8 hours or something.
Special Rider meeting
A second ride meeting is held for the fun riders, (and other beginners) immediately after the regular ride meeting. This meeting is designed for ride management to give specific, detailed instructions to the riders who have never done an endurance ride. The content should be structured around the specific ride. Start by explaining exactly what will happen in the morning. Where the exact start line is, what time they should be there, to give their number to the starter. Speak in great detail about what will happen at the vet check. Explain to them the difference between an in time, the pulse time, and the hold time. Talk about what the vets will do. Explain the finish procedure. Be sure to clearly explain what a pull is, why it happens, and that it is part of the sport. Questions will come up as you go, but remember these riders have zero experience.
Special Rider Instructions - Info sheet
It is very valuable to provide the Fun Riders as much up front information as possible. I wrote a six page supplement to their ride information sheets that goes in to very specific detail about the ride, and endurance riding in general. I mailed it to the fun riders who had signed up in advance about a week before the ride. Some people will not want to read it, but I had very good feedback from several Fun Riders who felt much more at ease about coming after reading it. My information sheet is attached as a sample.
Attach a special fun ride poster to the regular ride entry, and be sure to include it as the first page on your entry mailing. (see attached sample) Put the poster in local tack shops, at local barns, riding arenas, places where the horse people go. Take them to horse shows and other non-endurance events. Advertise in the local free horse magazine calendar sections. Send emails on Ridecamp and the AERC email forum. Word of mouth is probably the most effective form of advertising for the fun ride.
Vet Check Courtesy
It is critical to the success of the endurance ride that the fun riders do not interfere with the regular ride. Tell the fun riders very clearly that the riders on the 25 and 50 are under a strict time schedule, and the fun ride is not, so the regular riders will have priority in the vet checks. Be sure to mention this at the regular ride meeting to all riders, so no one worries about the issue. This is less of an issue when you use special dedicated fun ride vets, but there will be times when there will be a line, so the fun riders should not feel bad when a 25 or a 50 goes ahead of them for pulse or a vet check.
The Trail & Marking
Be sure to give the fun ride the same awards you give to the Limited Distance ride, be it a BC, Horse Excellence, or whatever. The fun riders were very excited that one of them would get the same award as on the LD ride. If you choose to use an LD BC, you don't have to take the time to score it, just have your fun ride vets select a horse and rider they feel did an outstanding job and give them the award. But be sure to call it the same as the LD ride, and announce it at the awards dinner.
The fun ride will be covered by the standard AERC policy for liability, as long as the following conditions are met:
Remember that the Fun riders are not day members of AERC, so they will not be covered by the individual liability policy that the sanctioned riders are. You can collect the $10 day member fees to make the Fun Riders members for a day and be included in the insurance. You should do it one way or another- either have all riders be covered, or not. I would not suggest giving the riders a choice on insurance._______________________________________________________________________________
Fun Ride Flyer
Interested in Endurance Riding?
Want to try an easy 10-mile endurance ride that any fit trail horse can do?
On Saturday, September 25th, the AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) Pacific South International group will be hosting the East Bay 25/50 mile endurance rides in Chabot and Redwood parks in Oakland. We are also offering a special ten mile fun ride that is designed for people who want to learn more about endurance riding and give it a try!
This ride is designed to be a non-competitive event that will operate exactly like a Limited Distance or traditional Endurance ride. Here's what you will do!
This event is not a race. It is a ride where you will get to learn all about endurance riding and get the chance to try it in a nice, safe, local area. There are no AERC miles or points associated with the ride, just the great experience of learning how Endurance rides work. Any fit trail horse can do the event, the speed will be very moderate over an easy trail. (You could walk the entire ride and complete on time.)
For an entry, information, or questions please go to our website: www.pacificsouth.org or contact or contact: Nick Warhol._______________________________________________________________________________
Fun Ride Info Sheet
East Bay Endurance Ride Rider Information Sheet 9/25/04
Welcome to the fourth East Bay Endurance ride, a benefit for the Pacific South International Endurance Squad. Your entry helps send riders from our region to the Pan American Championship and other international rides and events. We thank you for your support! If you are interested in learning more about Pacific South, please feel free to ask any ride worker; they will direct you to one of us who would be glad to answer any questions you might have.
We are holding our first ever Fun Ride in conjunction with the ride this year. This is a non-sanctioned 10 or 15 mile practice endurance ride for beginners; especially for those who want to learn about and try an endurance ride in a safe, fun environment. We are encouraging all our beginners to feel free to ask any experienced riders for help, advice, or information.
The 25 mile ride is an elevator ride this year, meaning you can start the 25, and if you feel your horse is doing well, you can elect to join the 50 mile ride at the conclusion of the 25. Listed below are the basic rules and procedure for the Elevator ride:
Note: You cannot elevate from the Fun Ride to either the 25 or 50 mile ride. The fun ride is not AERC sanctioned.
ELEVATOR RIDE BASIC PROCEDURE:
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Vetting in will begin around 4:00pm on Friday in the south end of the meadow. There will be an area marked off with ribbon, please do not park in this area. If you need to vet in on Saturday morning, please be there at 6:00 am sharp.
Dinner on Friday will begin at 6:00 pm for those who have purchased a ticket. Additional tickets may be purchased at the meal for $7. The Friday night dinner tickets are RED, and are attached to your rider packet.
The Rider meeting is Friday at 7:00 PM. There will be a special meeting following the ride meeting for the Fun Riders and any other beginners who want to learn more about endurance riding. It will last as long as there are questions.
The raffle is at the end of the ride meeting; we make sure it goes quickly. We suggest you attend, and buy a bunch of tickets, since the best prizes go last, and we remove the winning tickets as prizes are won. We have some pretty nice stuff to give away!
Start times: 50 mile ride: 6:30 am. 25 mile ride: 7:00 am Fun Ride: 8:00 am
Ribbons: The 25 and 50 will follow Pink ribbons all day, on the exact same trail. The 25 will end at base camp, the riders who want to elevate will just keep going on pink. The Fun Ride will follow Yellow ribbons all day.
The ride dinner will begin serving at 4:00 pm on Saturday; the awards presentation will begin at 6:30. The Saturday banquet tickets are BLUE, and are attached to your rider packet. We have yet another drawing for a bunch of free prizes after the awards presentation- you must be present to win!
Please bag all manure and hay, (NO TRASH PLEASE!) and put in the flatbed trailer sitting near the entrance. We have to keep this meadow clean, so please give us a hand.
All dogs must be tied or on a leash.
The gate to the driveway must remain locked when the gate tender is not present. The gate tender will be there between 2 pm and 7 pm Friday, and 6am to 8pm on Saturday. The combination to the lock is 2123. The gate has to remain locked if there is no gate tender present. You can come and go, but be sure to close and lock it.
If you need to stay Saturday night, there is an additional camping fee of $4 per horse. Please place the camping permit(s) on the dash of your vehicle. You need to be out of the meadow by 11:00 am on Sunday morning.
Special Fun Ride Supplement:
The fun ride is designed for one purpose- to help people learn about how to ride an endurance ride. THE FUN RIDE IS NOT A RACE! There are no placings based on time in this event. Yes, 50 mile endurance rides are competitive events, but the intent of this Fun Ride is to learn. We as ride management do not want to see anyone on the fun ride riding fast. There is no time limit on the fun ride; it is designed so you and your horse can walk the entire trail and still get a completion. The suggested pace for the fun ride is NO MORE THAN FIVE MILES PER HOUR! Take an hour for the first 5 miles; spend your hour hold in camp for lunch, then go and spend another hour or more on the second leg. You can practice good endurance riding skills: Trot along at a slow pace on the flat trails, and walk up and down the hills. If you ride using this simple rule you can finish endurance rides, and help insure you will have a healthy and sound horse.
Here's what you will be doing at a high level, and when. You can ask all the questions you want at the special ride meeting for the Fun Riders and beginners after the 7:00 pm ride meeting on Friday evening.
The ride management at the East Bay Ride recommends the use of helmets for all riders. This is not a rule, but a very good suggestion for the safety of everyone.
First thing to do: Get your rider packet at signup, near the dinner area. (See? You are already making progress!) The cool neck badges in your packet are for the Fun Riders to wear to make sure our ride staff can easily identify you and make sure you get the help you need. We have several official Fun Ride coordinators to make sure you have someone you can go to for any reason. Maybe we will give them silly hats to help identify them.
Take your yellow rider card with you to the vet in area on Friday afternoon anytime between 4 and 6:30 pm. (Don't forget your horse!) No tack for the pre-ride vet exam- they need to see your horse in the buff. A very friendly vet will give your horse a quick pre-ride exam. (about 5 minutes) They are looking at two major areas: Metabolic parameters and gait. (You will have to trot your horse out and back in a straight line for them) They will write your pre-ride evaluation on the card and make any notes of anything they notice. DON'T lose your rider card! It is highly recommended, and a very good idea, to tell the vet anything about your horse you feel might be of interest. The vets are here to help you through the ride, and will do all they can to keep you going, but please remember the first, and certainly one of the most important rules in Endurance riding:
"The well being of the horse is the rider's responsibility; not the vets, or the ride management, or the crew, or anyone else." Remember this rule always.
If the pre-ride vet exam uncovers any obvious problems, such as a serious lameness issue, they will exclude you from the ride. This is normal procedure, and is solely for the benefit of the horse. (You will receive a full refund, but only if you don't get to start the ride.) Our vet team is very experienced, and our Head Vet, Melissa Ribley, understands this is a learning event, and for that reason her team will be doing all they can to help you have a good time.
When your horse passes the vet exam, the vet will return your card. DON'T lose your rider card! You will now get your rider number put on your horse's rump. Now you are done until the rider's meeting at 7:00 pm. This is a good time to take your horse out for a short warm up ride. It is fine to ride on the marked trail, there are no rules preventing pre-riding of any trails at an endurance ride. (It can be a great idea) The Friday night dinner starts at 6:00 pm, if you purchased a dinner ticket. Additional tickets can be purchased at the dinner for $7.
Endurance camp rule number one- No generators after 9:00 pm, and please be courteous to your fellow riders by keeping the noise down after dark. Riders have to get up early in the morning, and many go to bed early.
Saturday Morning- The Start! The camp will be active starting at 5:30 am, so plan accordingly. The fun ride starts at 8:00 sharp, so have your horse all ready to go at 7:30. At 7:45, please be in the south meadow where the start line is. You will have to give the starter your number- this is critical so that we can make sure you started. If you don't want to go with the group of horses right at the start, you can hang back and start a little later, but make sure you have started by 8:15.
If for some reason you choose not to start the ride, please be SURE to notify ride management; the best person to notify is the starter. We have to know the location of all riders.
You will head down the trail, following yellow ribbons and white arrows on the ground; watch for signs with special instructions, especially at intersections. There will be different color ribbons on the trail, but the Fun Ride follows Yellow all day. The ribbons will usually be on the right hand side of the trail, and if you see three ribbons tied together, it means there is a turn at the intersection coming up. Watch for arrows and the ribbon going on the new trail. Bring your trail maps, and don't be afraid to look at them.
The Vet check- Here is where it can get confusing. Your goal is to get your horse through the vet check and back to your camp so the horse (and you!) can eat and rest for the lunch hold. There are different types of vet checks in endurance rides, but the most popular, and the ones we will be using all day, are called "Gate into a hold" vet checks. This basically means that your hold time, (the amount of mandatory time you will spend in a vet check) starts when your horse has met the required pulse criteria. Here's how it works:
Additional Fun Ride Information:
This is the first time we have held a Fun Ride in conjunction with an AERC endurance ride. Please keep in mind that the riders on the 25 and 50 mile rides will have priority in the vet checks, because some times the vet checks can get backed up a little. Please understand that if we ask you to let a rider on the 50 jump ahead of you in the vet line, for example, it is because they are on a rigid time schedule. We are asking the Fun Riders to be flexible, since they have no time limit to complete.
Some helpful hints to make your ride a success:
Remember: on a Limited Distance ride, your completion time is when your horse's pulse meets the pulse criteria, not when you cross the finish line.
Other endurance-related links:
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