With 45 years of distance competitions in its past, and many miles of future riding ahead, the American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) is giving a special welcome to Northwest riders in 2018.
Special pricing means that those participating in AERC rides, ranging from 25 to 100 miles in one day, will pay a nominal $1 non-member fee to try out a ride, rather than the organization’s usual $15 day member fee.
Each ride begins with a veterinary check-in, to be sure your horse or mule is up to the challenge you choose, and a ride meeting to familiarize riders with the course, the trail markings, and any special rules.
A checkpoint (or more) during the ride gives a veterinarian a chance to see how your horse is doing and to be sure he or she is “fit to continue,” one of the watchwords of the AERC.
Accomplished trail horse-and-rider teams will usually not have any problem completing one of AERC’s 25-mile rides in the allowed six hours. Those participating in 50-mile rides have 12 hours to finish; and those conditioned enough to go for the ultimate 100-mile distance have 24 hours.
AERC’s Northwest Region, which covers Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Western Montana, has more than 30 days of competitions between May and October. Several rides will be offering introductory rides of 10-15 miles, just to give riders and their mounts a taste of how much fun endurance riding can be.
Another feature of AERC riding are Pioneer rides, which cover 155 miles over three days. Often Pioneer rides also include a 25-35 mile option – these shorter rides are termed “limited distance” rides in AERC parlance.
Upcoming AERC Pioneer rides in Idaho are: City of Rocks Ride (June 7-9), the Top O The World Ride (July 27-29) and the Autumn Sun Ride (September 28-30).
Rides in the Northwest are known for their challenging trails, spectacular scenery and friendly riders. The welcoming spirit extends to those brand-new to the sport and to equines of all breeds.
AERC is headquartered in Auburn, California, and has nearly 5,000 members across the U.S. and Canada, who rode more than half a million miles of endurance and limited distance competition in 2017.
Check out the AERC ride calendar tab at AERC.org, and find out more about the “to finish is to win” sport!
About the AERC
The American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) was founded in 1972 as a national governing body for long distance riding. Over the years it has developed a set of rules and guidelines designed to provide a standardized format and strict veterinary controls. The AERC sanctions more than 700 rides each year throughout North America and in 1993 Endurance became the fifth discipline under the United States Equestrian Team.
In addition to promoting the sport of endurance riding, the AERC encourages the use, protection, and development of equestrian trails, especially those with historic significance. Many special events of four to six consecutive days take place over historic trails, such as the Pony Express Trail, the Outlaw Trail, the Chief Joseph Trail, and the Lewis and Clark Trail. The founding ride of endurance riding, the Western States Trail Ride or “Tevis,” 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. For more information please visit us at www.aerc.org.