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.

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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Holding Space

Without question, it's been a challenging few weeks between Ace's high ringbone diagnosis and my fall off Wynne. While I realize this makes me akin to a unicorn, I've never had a lame horse, at least not one with a diagnosis of something degenerative. Certainly my...

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Sixty Days … But One At A Time.

On Monday, it was May 18th, two months exactly until the Vermont 100, which is the ride I set my entire competition calendar around each season. The day found us taking Ace, the horse I'd had my heart set on taking to Vermont, to see our lameness guru vet, Dr. Ronald...

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One Mile Per Hour and Matters of Matrimony

(Photo by Lyn Gerry) My husband Richard's horse, Sarge, is a rock star.  He's fast and sure-footed on a wide variety of terrain, he's relatively uncomplicated, and he's handily become a Decade Team horse.  He's still going strong, and despite my worry wart anxieties,...

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