To get a better feel for endurance riding I volunteered at a "local" (= 1 hour from the WD) ride. It was being held at the Lucky Pup Ranch, whose owner sold me my new saddle. Rather than being in the foothills of the Dragoon Mountains, where we are, this was in the foothills of the Rincons. The weather was absolutely perfect for the event.
I was given the opportunity to be a pulse-checker, of the horse that is, but declined because I am still slow at detecting a horse pulse and did not want to hold up any competitor. This was a 50 mile and a 25 mile ride, with a 15 mile fun ride thrown in for good measure.
So I was stationed in the outback, at a gate with a watertank and my job was to ensure the cows would not get out. I did have the opportunity to see the 50-milers leave and it was interesting to see the different horses, different tack, different ways of dress, and different attitudes toward the horses. Some people are out for the competition, others just to enjoy the scenery and have fun. After all, the motto of the AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) is "the finish is to win".
More ... http://whoadammit-livingadream.blogspot.com/2010/04/lucky-pup-ranch-ride.html