Some enterprising riders in Texas decided that they were not only going to put on a new ride, they were going to make a little documentary film about it!
This video is just the thing I needed to watch on a gloomy December afternoon here in the Swampland: dirty, happy riders, crew, ride management, vets, and oh-so-many lovely horses in the sunshine of an endurance ride.
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· Most (nearly all) of the horses in the video are Arabs or half-arabs. (I did see some lovely appaloosas, though). The folks in the video also said something about “all the pretty Arabians”. In the Pacific NW, we have a lot of Arabs, but there are also a lot of gaited horses, some quarter horses , mustangs and appaloosas, and a growing number of standardbreds--plus a few "I don't know what he is, I got him for $50 at the auction last summer" horses.
· People in the video repeated referred to their event as a "race." Around here, we mostly call them "rides." This may be a cultural difference that can be seen as a contrast between front-running riders (who really are racing) and completion-riders (who mostly aren't).
· That amazing, charming Texas accent. We mostly don't have many of those here. Too bad.
· Sunburned faces and tank tops on Memorial Day weekend are not impossible, but are pretty unusual in the Pacific Northwest.
· EMT’s are not common in my region (unless they’re on the trail competing with us!). As some of the riders in the video mention, the primary focus is on the well-being of the horse—technically, you could strap a dead body to the saddle and still earn a completion as long as the horse vetted through okay.
· Did you notice the fellow running alongside a horse and rider? That wasn’t part of the endurance ride—that was a Ride and Tie team competing in an event that was held at the same time as the endurance event. We have RaT’s here; they are extremely cool, but not very common.
· The heartrate criteria was quoted as “64 beats per minute.” This is the basic criteria used by AERC, but the heartrate criteria is pretty much always 60bpm here.
To all the experienced endurance riders reading this: what similarities did you see between events you attend and this event in Texas? What was different?
Did you notice the name of the ranch and the names of the people who own the ranch? Did you notice the similarity between THAT name and MY surname? Do you suppose they would adopt me? Just for a few weeks each year in late May? Me and my non-Arabian horse, perhaps?