All y'all, I saw a notice on Facebook this morning that shocked me: Dennis Summers was handed a 1-year suspension for "unsportsmanlike conduct" by the AERC Protest and Grievance Committee.
I mean, WHAT???!!!
I'm not going to pretend to be neutral and unbiased. I know too many fine things about the Summers to be impartial, and I feel much too strongly to remain silent.
In fact, I am going to post my entire open letter to the AERC Board (it's down below).
This is a timely issue, with only 30 days for an appeal to be submitted, so rather than wait for the next issue of Endurance News to be mailed, I will post the entire text of the findings of the Protest and Grievance committee on this blog in the next few days. Please stay tuned.
If you want to write your own letter, the email addresses for the BOD are on THIS PAGE.
--Aarene Here's my letter: To the AERC Board of Directors and all other AERC members,
There was an incident at a ride in Texas, and some horses died. That's bad.
The official word from AERC: "...[an] incident happened at the Shanghai Trails Ride in Texas, and three horses are deceased after a breakout from a hot wire-type enclosure at the ride. The AERC Board is aware of the incident and will have their next scheduled meeting on April 10 (by phone). If you wish to make any comments to the board, please do so by the "Send an email to AERC Directors link on the AERC Board Page: https://aerc.org/static/Membership_Bod_Board.aspx "
From the safe distance of a few time zones, I see several issues:
The hot-wire fence problem. I've written about my (bad) experience with hot wire HERE. I know people who have used hot wire fences at rides for yonks and there were no problems with their horses, ever. I consider those people lucky.More than one horse was enclosed in a single pen. Some reports say as many as 13 horses in a single enclosure, but that number…
Swamplanders talk--and think--a lot about rain gear.
I've written about staying warm and dry several times.
At the Bare Bones ride in 2011, I underestimated the weather and I was very sad.
At the April Daze ride in 2015, I had a lot of rain gear with me, and I used it all. Finding a decent rain coat isn't easy, and it's been a long search to find something great.
There's a lot of stuff out there that isn't great. Cheap rain gear loses waterproofing fast. Expensive rain gear built in cut-rate Chinese factories isn't much better. I am sad to report most of the raingear sold by REI is built in China.
I've been "making do" for several years with my Muddy Creek coats. (The company is based in Michigan, USA and Australia, but everything is built in China).
I liked the short coat well enough to buy the Muddy Creek long coat, but neither is particularly well-made. The reflective trim on the short coat has come unravelled, the snaps have broke…