(To help poor frazzled ride managers to remember what they need to explain at ride meetings!)
This list encompasses both Endurance, LD and CTR. You may need to adapt some of these itemso to your own organiztion`s rules.
# Thank everyone for coming.
# Give ride time (for competitive), start time(s) and whether or not there will be a wake- up call. policy for start (endurance and LD, shotgun or controlled; competitive, what intervals and if you are letting groups go as we have been doing).
# Introduce vets and any other judges, and have them give parameters and any other info they feel is needed.
# Policy for disposal of manure. some places want it piled, some scattered, some picked up. riders need to know what policy is for that location. also policy for trash, whether there are dumpsters ( and what to do if they are full) or if it`s pack-in- pack-out.
# If a rider decides to pull for any reason, please notify someone in management so that they are not sending out a search party.
# On competitive rides, there are NO PIT CREWS allowed. you may have someone hold your horse for you but that is it. no sponging, no walking, no saddling, etc. the committee realizes that carrying a muck tub alone is not feasible, so you may have someone help with that (riders frequently double up on this duty to help each other out) but not do it for you. juniors may have their tack checked by adults to ensure safety but still need to be responsible for their own mounts. also, on competitive rides there is no forward motion allowed while off the horse (you may get off to rest but must not progress. some rides/ vets require forward motion for the last mile or two; if so notify the riders of this.
# Trail: markings, signs, landmarks (especially what to look for if there is vandalism), hazards.
# Location of P/R areas and any special problems, regulations etc.
# Ask if there are any new riders and invite them to stay after for further explanations.
# Explain emergency proceedures. point out horse ambulance and remind people to make sure its path out stays clear. if 911 works in your area remind people that if they need to call their home phone will appear to the dispatcher so it`s especially necessary to be as specific as possible with your location.
# Encourage people to fill out their surveys, whether AHAO members or not. these are very helpful to management, giving them ideas on things to keep or improve in future years. NOVICES (in AHAO rules "novice" is first or 2nd year horse or rider; so this is more for a "newbie" clasification)
# Ask how many first-time riders are present and encourage them again to please ask questions if there`s anything you don`t cover or that they don`t understand.
# Explain the process for pulse checks, coming into set hold for competitive or gate-into-a-hold for LD. explain that each rider has the right to ask for an immediate recheck but that the second one counts.
# If you will be using monitors at any checks explain that AHAO rules state we may use either monitors or stethoscopes as long as it`s the same for everyone at a check. rechecks will be done by stethoscope.
# Rules state that riders have "any reasonable time" for completion. reasonable is determined by the ride management. this clause is in the rules to allow for extra time taken due to vandalism, weather setbacks, or other problems that may legitimately arise. we do not want you to hurt your horse, but we also do not want you to be having a picnic and have all of the staff waiting on you (this is CTR only; endurance has times set by AERC).
# For LD rides, make sure the riders know that finish is determined by when the horse pulses down to 60 (which must be done within 30 minutes of arrival), NOT by being first across the line. remind new riders of the signs of overriding and what to watch out for. if they are unfamiliar with taking pulses, explain the procedure and encourage them to try it. Even if they do not own a stethoscope, most experienced riders, pit crews or P/R staff (providing they are not occupied with duties at the time) are usually glad to give a demo. Explain (or have the vet do so) what metabolic parameters are looked at and why.
# Ride staff are volunteers. if there are any problems we of course do not want you to hesitate to bring them to our attention. but please remember that these people are doing this for very little compensation (usually just food and a completion award). be nice to them!