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.

Fighters, Fixers, Spectators and Eye-Rollers

For a long time, I've been an Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) consultant and trainer. Employers come to me to help them solve issues in their workplaces related to risks to their employees that they cannot handle on their own -- dangerous chemicals or...

read more

An Open Letter to the AERC Board of Directors

They say that when you’re a hammer, everything is a nail, and perhaps that is true. I teach for a living, my mom was a teacher, and so when I look at the issues facing AERC and its future success (and yes, survival) of course I think that the answer is EDUCATION. For...

read more

Nowhere but here, Marv

Before we had horses at home, and I was a single girl, I had season tickets to the Buffalo Bills. This was in the days before my time was consumed with horse-keeping, riding stupidly far and sometimes stupidly fast, shoveling horse poop, running my own business,...

read more

The Struggle of When

It would be foolish for me to lament this difficult time in my life by suggesting that it is unique, or that I am somehow special. We've been blessed with dogs in our pack who have had long and healthy lives, but it also leaves us with heart-wrenching decisions as...

read more

Detours, Diversions and Transitions

(Featured image by Wanda Clowater, Clowater Arts and Photography. clowaterart.com) Life is a journey with almost limitless detours. (Ken Poirot) This has been an unusual endurance season for me. It started with a fairly abrupt end to any official involvement with the...

read more

Denouement, Decades and Diverting Disappointment

As I type this, I'm at home rather than at the Moonlight in Vermont ride. This is the first time in many years that I've not been there, riding or crewing, but mostly riding. Tomorrow is also my birthday, an event that I typically prefer be ignored but it is strange...

read more

In Praise of Honest Horses

[Photo by Wendy Webb] I've often said to riders in my Endurance 101 Clinics "beware the horse with more heart than brain." Horses with more heart than brain do not slow or stop when they are tired, they do not limp when they are sore, they do not say "no" when the...

read more

Holding Space for Ace

The individual who suggested the Yoda quote as I started to verbally wring my hands with worry will surely recognize himself. Ace was diagnosed with high ringbone on May 18th. There are approximately 73 medical, nutritional, homeopathic, biomechanical and voodoo-esque...

read more

An Old Wife’s Tale — OD 100

[Disclaimer: As I write this post, I do so knowing that my husband may veto its publication. While he grudgingly tolerates my it-sounds-over-the-top-to-say "public" persona, he's a pretty private guy, and while I might be okay sharing with the world where I peed...

read more

Breezewood Nevarre6: Longshot Schoolmaster

A dressage schoolmaster was something I thought 'Other Riders' had. Other riders, much more "serious" than me, with more funds, more aspirations, and did I mention more funds? Schoolmaster. A slightly creaky, noble beast who could be a curmudgeon but knew what was...

read more

CREWING 100s! The Next Best Thing to Riding …

  (Photo by Deanna Ramsey.) There is no question that the best part of 100s is riding them. Or more honestly, the BEST thing is talking about having ridden a hundred a few days after having successfully done so, when you've caught up on sleep and have triumphed...

read more