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AERC offers fall introductions to endurance riding

From the Horsetrader sales staff - September 1st, 2017 - Ingate Column

American Endurance Ride Conference Fall Special

When you think of endurance riding, you may conjure up images of 100-mile rides across rocky terrain or multi-day rides across the high desert. In reality, endurance riding careers can begin with a relatively easy 10-mile introductory ride or a 25-mile limited distance ride—not so forbidding for those new to distance riding. The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) is making those first steps to endurance riding a little easier with their 2017 Fall Special promotion. Beginning now, new members can join for the remainder of the 2017 ride season and all of the 2018 ride season, which runs through November 30, 2018, for the discounted price of $88.75. Additional adult family members are $57.50; those 17 or younger are $27.

“Autumn is a great time to get started in endurance riding, with cooler weather and spectacular fall foliage,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel, from AERC’s national office in Auburn, California. “If you’ve been riding regularly, your trail horse may already be ready for a 25-mile ride.” Many endurance rides also offer 10 to 15 mile “intro” rides, just for equine and rider teams to get acquainted with ride procedures and etiquette. Each equine, even at fun rides, will be checked by a veterinarian before and after the ride, with a check that includes heart rate, limb soundness, hydration and gut sounds, to ensure the horse is deemed “fit to continue.”

AERC members receive a monthly magazine, Endurance News, in the mail every month, as well as an endurance riding handbook, rule book and educational materials that come along with their membership card. Fall Special members will receive both 2017 and 2018 AERC ID cards. To sign up, visit https://aerc.org/aerc_fallspecial.

In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, AERC has encouraged the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance, since 1972. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or Tevis Cup, covers 100 miles of the famous Western States and Immigrant Trails over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These rides promote awareness of the importance of trail preservation for future generations and foster an appreciation of our American heritage. The American Endurance Ride Conference, established in 1972, is headquartered in Auburn, California, “The Endurance Capital of the World.” For more information please visit us at www.aerc.org. See ad on page 52

Back Country Horsemen of California Trail Work

Back Country Horsemen of American (BCHA) take very seriously their mission to ensure that public lands remain open to recreational stock use, and they know that their hard work also allows other user groups to enjoy more recreation opportunities. But sometimes BCHA’s on-the-ground trail work makes a difference in other, unexpected ways.

A good example is how eight members of the San Joaquin-Sierra Back Country Horsemen of California joined four US Forest Service workers clearing a two-mile-long trail that connects the Rancheria Trail to Spanish Lake in the John Muir Wilderness of the Sierra National Forest. The trail was so overgrown and neglected that they sometimes had difficulty finding the original path. After several long days of hard labor, the team had removed 64 downed trees and cleared over 1000 feet of trail, making it passable once again for all trail users, including equestrians.

When wildfires burn in wilderness areas, firefighters try to honor the rules in place to protect those lands by using Minimum Impact Suppression Tactics (MIST). This includes using pack stock instead of mechanized transport to deliver supplies to firefighting crews. The USFS called on their packers to relay supplies to four different groups that were fighting the fire.

Because the trail to Spanish Lake was clear, it was used as a fire line for the back burn. Firefighters set backfires to burn up the available fuel and stop the progression of the wildfire, which was heading toward drought-stricken timbered areas that would have allowed the fire to gain strength and speed. The accessible trail gave firefighters an open area to set backfires as well as providing an easy route for pack horses and mules to deliver supplies to various teams along the fire line.

The fire line along the newly re-opened trail proved to be a major factor in containing this massive wildfire. The Back Country Horsemen of the San Joaquin-Sierra Chapter were just doing what they do: keeping trails open for all users to enjoy.

Back Country Horsemen of America is a non-profit corporation made up of state organizations, affiliates, and at-large members. Their efforts have brought about positive changes regarding the use of horses and stock in wilderness and public lands. For more information or to become a member of the BCH of California, visit www.bchcalifornia.org.

The Twin Oaks Valley Equestrian Association (TOVEA) of San Marcos’ mission is dedicated to preserving the rural and equestrian lifestyle of the Twin Oaks Valley and surrounding communities. Supporting equine education and advocacy, their annual Horse Heritage Festival and 11th Annual Ride & Stride will take place Sunday, October 15, 2017 at Walnut Grove Park. Essential funds raised help support the horse park and equestrian trail system, aid and network an equine emergency response team, and build community-business partnerships.

Equine Education and Advocacy – Annual educational events bring people and horses together. These events include the Common Ground Clinic, Horse Sense 101, and the Horse Heritage Festival. We have recently obtained our 501c3 for the non-profit branch of our organization, the Horse Heritage Conservancy.

Horse Park and Trail System – Over $78,000 raised over the last 10 years has been dedicated for the improvement and upkeep of Walnut Grove Horse Park. These funds have provided bleachers, corrals, sprinklers, arena footing, maintenance and trail improvements. The group works with the City of San Marcos and the County of San Diego on Trails Plans.

Equine Emergency Response – TOVEA worked to create a network of individuals to facilitate the quick evacuation of horses in the event of an emergency. They coordinated emergency lodging for 60 horses in 2007 wildfires and provided needed supplies, feed and care until these horses could be reunited with their families.

Community-Business Partnerships – The association offers sponsorship opportunities for local businesses to support and become involved; they coordinate with local organizations, businesses and clubs on mutual endeavors.

You can become a supporting by attending this great family event. Bring the kids, grab that hat, and enjoy a day of fun. For more information, visit www.KeepItEquestrian.org. See ad on page 49

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