Mentor Musings & Nuggets
Get the inside scoop on distance riding tips and real life experience learned from our trail veterans.
(February 8, 2018) – The Equine Distance Riding Association is preparing to add mini-clinics to each distance ride in 2018. The concept, tested in 2017, is aimed at expanding riders’ skills in a variety of areas.
The initial mini-clinics in 2017 were informal gatherings the day prior to the main ride but were so well received that they will be expanded to all EDRA rides in 2018. The new mini-clinics will be held the Friday afternoon prior to the distance ride on Saturday.
“The mini-clinics are intended to give EDRA riders proven tools for their toolbox to up their game in a variety of ways,” said Dennis Summers. “There are old dogs ‘hey, I resemble that remark’ that have proven methods to share with interested riders.”
The topics to be covered include; presenting a horse for the vet and trot outs, training for a relaxed start, how to present for best condition (BC), tailing a horse, and more. The clinics will be free to attend and may be audited by volunteers and non-riding attendees.
“Every rider shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel, unless they want to that is,” Summers said. “Giddyup!” Summers will be helping head the new educational component and builds off his educational “nuggets” shared via the EDRA website.
EDRA members will also have an opportunity to offer their input on what topics they’d like to see covered during the Annual General Meeting on March 17.
The mini-clinics build on EDRA’s mission to have a robust mentoring program that supports the development of horses and riders in a fun and friendly environment. More information will be available on the EDRA website and Facebook page as it is finalized.
The Equine Distance Riding Association is set to host their second annual Distance Riding Conference March 16 and 17, 2018. The two-day conference will be held at Grant County Fairgrounds in Moses Lake, Washington.
The two-day conference combines a hands on clinic with EDRA’s Annual General Meeting. The Conference, titled “Get Ready to Start Ready” builds on EDRA’s founding principles of developing and preparing horse and rider teams via mentoring and education opportunities.
“We are thrilled to have such a great, positive response from endurance riders for our second year,” said EDRA President Kathleen Ferguson. “We couldn’t do it without the generosity of the endurance community.”
The two-day conference offers hands on riding clinics with the Northwest’s own Celena Pentrack as well as Robin Ryner. The format will cover small rider improvement lessons as well as opportunities for body work for horse and rider. Equine body work appointments will be available with Jennifer Pillow and human massages with Libby Kalkoske.
Time out of the saddle will be focused on a couple key areas including GPS training, saddle fit, and the Annual General Meeting. Members are encouraged to attend and vote in the annual elections.
Up to fifty horse and rider teams will be accepted for the riding portion of the clinic while all are welcome to audit. Registration will open February 1 at www.equinedistanceriding.com.
Full details on the schedule, fees and registration can be found here.
By Sandy Cheek
I’ve heard the refrain from some newcomers to endurance (and others as well) that there is a clique-ish or clubby vibe they’ve encountered when at ride camp. EDRA has worked hard to counteract that by always providing a
central gathering place at ride camp for everyone to mingle, and developing a robust mentoring program so newcomers have at least one person with whom to connect.
But I’ve been thinking lately about my own endurance friendships, and why, at ride camp, I tend to migrate towards some folks and share an adult beverage and tell lies together. Why them? Why, in particular, are those my ‘enduring’ friendships? (See what I just did there? Pun fully intended).
Most of the faces I see across the campfire I’ve also seen at boring, boring meetings on Sunday mornings after a PNER convention, hammering out the duller aspects of taking care of our sport. I’ve worked on policy with them. Ugh. Budgets. Double ugh. Put together a convention, which, without a village, is impossible. Helped create a new distance organization and got both accolades and arrows slung my direction. Together, we have weathered some storms!
Sure, we ride together too. Those miles late at night on a hundred help forge friendships like none other. But here’s my point.
That closeness that some perceive as elitism, that sense of connection we have with one another doesn’t just come easily. It’s pieced together over years of working together in adverse conditions, without recognition, not just for what’s in it for me, but for a larger purpose—a shared belief in what is important for our beloved sport. When you connect with someone over the management of a ride, or how to mark a trail, or put through a budget proposal—it’s hard. And you learn stuff about that other person you’d never have known about from just riding with them.
So here’s the takeaway. Are you feeling left out? Like you want more endurance friends to hang around with? Then ask yourself: When was the last time you really gave back to the endurance community? If your answer is “well, I helped mark trail once two years ago…” well, maybe it’s time to jump into the mud and do some more work. Believe me; you will discover the meaning of friendship. And respect. And that goes both ways. The next time you’re at a ride camp, there will be faces across the campfire you’ve seen in other contexts. You’ll look each other in the eye, grin, raise a glass, and know—that you are now part of the “club.”
Reciprocity Agreement between Endurance Riders Association of British Columbia (ERABC) and Equine Distance Riders Association (EDRA)
December 2016 (updated February 2017)
ERABC and EDRA share a common goal of providing safe, sane competitive distance riding events for their members. The number of riders who are crossing the US/Canadian border to participate in rides has decreased. We share the additional goal of wanting to reverse this trend.
While there are certain costs of international travel (health certificates, Coggins) that are beyond our control, we believe we can make our respective rides more attractive by developing a reciprocity agreement that would incentivize riders to attend. To that end, we propose the following:
We plan to post pre and post ride news about EDRA events here on the news page and we have some fun ideas on how to do that. Sophia McKee has generously offered her assistance with the webpage while I’m learning the ropes.
She has some FABULOUS ideas; one – to have EDRA reporters who’s job would be to interview people at the rides and report back to us for posting. How fun would that be? Any volunteers?
Right now we are scheduling all our mentors to submit a Nugget of information they think will be helpful. We’ll start posting these on our education page along with other articles that we think could be of interest. Of course, the page will be the place to find ride results and rider/horse mileage and points and award standings.