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.

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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Broken Things: A Love Letter

It has been a year of broken things. Cars and horses and dogs and relationships, both professional and personal. Stuff and non-stuff. Trust and health and faith in the fact that Right should prevail over Wrong. The gradual realization comes. Life is a series of broken...

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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 confined...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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