Saturday, April 21, 2012

Raging*



Saturday April 21 2012

That's about the only way to describe the hot debates, or, as Patty S put it, 'verbal passion', on a wide variety of subjects on the AERC forums, and Ridecamp this past week.

I tried to put together all the arguments in a short one-page summary, so you don't have to go through the hundreds and hundreds of fervent comments. In essence:

• some rides are too short for their posted length
• some rides are too long for their posted length
• they all even out in the end
• my gps says…
• your gps doesn't work right anyway
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• the size of the Board of Directors is too large for our small organization, nothing gets done
• the size of the Board of Directors is just right for our small organization, there are other more pressing matters
• the size of the Board of Directors is too small for our small organization, nothing gets done
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• we offer far too many year-end awards to riders - we didn't do that in the old days
• we need to offer more awards, as more incentives to riders
• year-end awards are fine, but riders should buy them from AERC
• I already won these awards, and paid for them through AERC dues, training my horse, gas to rides, entry fees, etc, so why should I pay again?
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• our organization is losing members but so what, that's to be expected
• our organization is losing members so we should try to recruit new ones
• we don't need new AERC members, we should tighten our budget
• we shouldn't tighten our budget, we need to recruit more members
• our organization has a surplus in cash, so we don't need more money
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• to cut the budget, we should start at the top $ stuff and work down
• to cut the budget, we should start at the bottom $ stuff and work up
• eliminate a weight division and the year-end awards
• eliminate 2 weight divisions and the year-end awards
• eliminate all weight divisions and the year-end awards - I just want to ride
• stop advertising in national media to recruit more endurance riders, it's a waste of money
• increase advertising in national media to recruit more endurance riders
• just go recruit more endurance riders
• get rid the print magazine - it costs too much
• keep the print magazine - it attracts readers and endurance riders, and not everybody has proper internet for electronic only (remember, AERC riders as a whole are aging)
• increase dues - it brings in more money
• decrease dues - more members would join
• add a fun ride division - it brings in more money and people
• eliminate Limited Distance - it is not endurance
• look to Europe to see why it is they have so many endurance members and so many riders at rides
• Europeans are stupid, all they do is race


• we need to bring more kids into the sport
• kids should not be allowed to ride unless they are 6 (8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18) years old
• kids should not be allowed of the house, period, unless they are 21 years of age
• kids should be expected to start in 50 mile rides, because we should get rid of Limited Distance
• kids are our only hope for growing up in endurance and replacing us old folks in the sport
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• endurance is about fun, not just endurance
• endurance is not about fun, endurance is about endurance - fun is maybe an added perk
• make it easier for people to want to come try endurance by offering shorter fun rides
• make it harder for random hootenannies to want to come try endurance unless they can suck it up and jump right into a 50-mile ride, like the old days
• we need to expand our vision of endurance to coincide with the times
• we need to tighten up our vision of endurance to remain true to the original intent
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• FEI rides do not belong in endurance
• use the FEI riders to our advantage
• Limited Distance rides do not belong in endurance
• use the Limited Distance riders to our advantage
• fun rides? - Holy cow! Are you guys going to share the drugs?
• use fun rides to our advantage
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• try new things, try tapping new markets, like other horse disciplines and marathon runners, to interest people in endurance
• stick to the old, pure, endurance traditions no matter what
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• endurance purists are elitist snobs
• newbies are snobby wimps
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• we want you! welcome to our organization! we hope you one day work up to riding 100 miles!
• we don't want you here. go away. you are not like us
• huh? I'm just out there riding
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


• :  )
• :  /
• > :  (
• problem? what problem? everything is fine
• we're doomed


I *think* that about sums everything up for now.

These raging debates in our tiny (in the scheme of things) endurance riding organization exactly reflect the raging debates over issues in our country at large:

1/4 of the people want to fix the problems one way and are sure theirs is the right way,
1/4 of the people want to fix the problems another way and are sure theirs is the right way,
1/4 of the people want to fix the problems another way and are sure theirs is the right way,
1/4 of the people are talking about the price of tea in China while the rest talk about endurance,
1/4 of the people don't think we have any problems in the first place,
and the math doesn't add up anyway!

One thing I am sure we all can agree on, is that we at least love the riding part of endurance riding, or to be politically correct, endurance riding and non-endurance riding.

But then, I might be quite wrong about that, too! So, please excuse me while I go Hug My Horse.

*By the way, while all these issues have actually come up for discussion this last week, this piece is supposed to be humorous, but 
1/4 of the people will think it's hilarious
1/4 of the people will think it's offensive
1/4 of the people will find it inapplicable to their lives
1/4 of the people will find it stupid
1/4 of the people who matter will be thinking only of the next Game of Thrones episode,
and the math doesn't add up anyway and…

I'm still going out to Hug My Horse Stormy, who is the Most Beautiful Horse On The Planet.**


**I am well aware this could start a whole new raging controversy, but in this case, I know I am 100% right with this indisputable fact, and the rest of you claiming that you own such a horse will be 100% wrong. But no offense taken!

13 comments:

morgan reed said...

LMAO perfect. that was a lot of work. LOL I love my horses too. I just hadt to sell one of my best ones ($) and your article made me cry. I love this sport and I hope we all get thru these tough times. Lets love our horses and keep alive Endurance Riding and AERC!

Laura said...

Mary, that was the best one yet. Bravo! But my horse is the prettiest and best!! xoxo Laura

chasingthestorm said...

Stormy is quite handsome is'nt he! My life is just too stressfull to worry about all of this, I am just gratefull that I have the chance to ride her 50 miles, soon to be 100. I do not anticipate getting an award, my reward is just being horseman enough to bring her to the finish in condition to continue...

~Endurance Granny said...

HILARIOUS!

Allenspark Lodge said...

I am one of the 1/4 of the trail riders that does not ride endurance, but is interested in the sport and its' people in a purely clinical way.

I don't see the problem.

You're doomed.

(Great post, by the way!)

Bill

kevin w said...

Stormy- the second most beautiful horse...

Renie said...

Great Summary, Merri! I have noticed it's the almost the same folks, over and over on RC; But wow, I've really been hitting the "delete" key. So, I very much appreciate your condensed version. Says it all. Renie

Funder said...

Hahahah fantastic summary.

Silver said...

I so needed a laugh today and this did it! Thanks Merri for an accurate summation; even it the math doesn't add up--does it ever? ;-)

Bird said...

HAHA!! Genius, love it. Everyone and their uncle is referencing this raging debate on their blogs and it just makes me want to swear off the computer and go saddle up instead of reading the endless drivel. The inflated egos and anti-LD ranting: the complete opposite of what I love about endurance in ALL it's forms. I've done LDs and 50s now and they are both valuable. Let's all just ride and enjoy life and the opportunity to participate in such neat activities!

Or, alternatively, rage against the machine and send others looking for light in hilarious posts like this.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful stuff--my takeaway is that we are (NOT) doomed.....
Mary K who rode a happy horse in the rain today.

Anonymous said...

looking at this "battleground" list who would want to be a member???

methinks that the bottom and top of it all is that most of this hullabaloo is so inconsequential... and in the grand scheme of things makes little or no difference... As the song goes.. it's not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it's what you leave behind you when you go

And to borrow a quote i've heard some of ya'll 'd be best be served if you "shutup and ride"

Merri said...

the last comment says it best:
SHUT UP AND RIDE!!!
Amen.