Endurance Introspection

"To Finish Is To Win"

Welcome to Endurance Introspection — a website for new, old, aspiring and contemplative endurance riders

About the Site

Authored by Patti Stedman, Endurance Introspection is a website for endurance riders, aspiring endurance riders and other sport horse enthusiasts interested in the cross-training aspect of endurance conditioning and training for horses. Patti Stedman’s vision for the website is to provide a place for endurance riding enthusiasts interested in the philosophies, training, conditioning strategies and life lessons learned during the act of enduring.

Patti Stedman is an AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference) endurance competitor/Ride Manager/former BoD member who truly embraces the sport’s motto of “To Finish Is To Win”.

About Patti

Patti Stedman was raised in rural Western New York. She started riding at the age of seven and eventually showing in various disciplines, until she discovered dressage (the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance.) in her late teens.

While she taught and trained professionally for a few years, it became apparent that a career outside of horses allowed more financial security (and that wackily practical health insurance), so her love of teaching took her in the direction of occupational safety and environmental compliance.

Patti began to crew her husband Richard in endurance rides, and eventually began competing herself. More than a decade and a few thousand miles of competition later, she has acted as a Ride Manager for the Allegany Shut Up and Ride and was formerly a member of the AERC Board of Directors, Ride Managers’ Committee, and Education Committee. She developed materials for and insurance coverage for AERC Endurance 101 Clinics and has taught dozens of clinics, and encourages others to do the same to give riders new to our sport the skills needed to succeed and a sense of community with other local endurance riders and mentors.

Patti loves combining the disciplines of endurance and dressage, and observing and writing about the inside world of endurance riding competition. Patti currently lives on a farm in rural western New York, with her husband Richard, their horses, dogs, cats and various vermin.

Ho-Hum and Hiccups

[Photos by Dawn Hilliard. Thanks, girl! For everything ... ] Iggy has been my test pony for all sorts of theories I've accumulated over the years we've competed and the horses we've brought along. How it is easier to start a horse who is mature and has all of his...

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Top Ten Questions Endurance Green Beans Ask

[Photo by Spectrum Photography. GMHA, 2015] I believe that I shall always miss David Letterman's Top Ten lists. After teaching so many clinics, meeting new riders or prospective riders or riders who have an inkling that they might love our sport "if only ... " -- I...

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Legging Up with Limitations — Iggy’s Story

Three months ago, we bought Iggy, an 11 year old Arabian who had done a couple of 25 mile rides and a moderately paced 50 miler at age 6 or so. He'd been purchased, but life got in the way with his new owner, and he didn't have a full time (or even part-time) job for...

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Influencing Iggy

It's just another one of those "do as I say, not as I do" moments ... Countless times I've told other people with new horses, fretting over this or that, that it takes a year to get to know a horse. It's been two months since we picked up a new horse in South...

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Life, Loss and Stewardship

Damn. This one is tough to write. Ned has been a huge part of my life for nearly twenty years. And tomorrow we will be letting him go. Some creatures -- human or equine or canine -- just have more personality than others. Ned has been mammoth in more than stature....

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I Bought Him For His Brain …

This week I am vacationing with my brother's family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My nieces are almost "up and out" as I like to call it, in their late teens and early twenties, and the youngest two are here, with friends in tow. I turn 50 this year. The...

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Endurance Riding and Einstein

That dainty girl in the photo is my first distance horse, Tess (short for Serendipitous -- she was). She went on to be a rock-solid trail riding partner for my friend, Dr. Barb. That's not me, but a friend of Barb's, whom Tess safely toted around, no doubt, because...

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LDs, 50s, 100s and UGs

No, don’t worry, you haven’t slept through the sanctioning of a new AERC-sanctioned distance. Ultimate Goals, or UGs, are a concept stolen from my friend Kathy Viele, an accomplished combined training (“eventing”) and dressage rider, and a veteran fox hunter. Some...

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Seeking Serenity

A month ago, a week ago, the day before, I was counting down until the election was over. I was doing all I could to limit the inundation of ugliness. DVRing the local news, fast-forwarding through political ads and election coverage, passing quickly by posts on...

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Electrolyte Essentials — A Brain Dump

DISCLAIMER:  There are few topics endurance riders share opposing views on more than electrolytes, electrolyte-ing protocol, and even whether to electrolyte at all. So as I write this blog, please note that this is just our experience from over fifteen years of...

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