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Nasarka
Feb. 21, 2010, 05:41 AM
I haven't done any competing and maybe I missed it in the rules but would like to know....

If you want to change tack on a long ride and re-distribute pressure, could you change saddles and/or fresh pads? Would you start out with the 'lighter' tack? Just a thought I had and might have missed it in the rules, thought I'd ask.

I'm sure you refill your water bottles....

Lieselotte
Feb. 21, 2010, 03:39 PM
Pointing you to the AERC again... Read the whole rule book before you compete, and become a member to be "official."

You sign up with the correct weight for yourself plus your tack when you become a member and that's what it'll be in competition. If you are right on the cusp between weight classes, you may have to change your class the day of the ride depending on your weight and tack that day.

Some weight loss during a hard ride can be expected but even if you changed your saddle pad, it really shouldn't be that much.

Also, you are just starting out so you'll probably be doing limited distance (25 and 30 miles) for a while. There really shouldn't be any need to change your saddle pad - or even your saddle!? - at the one vet check you'll encounter.

From the AERC rule book:
8.5.2.1 Heavyweight, consisting of riders whose combined body weight and tack is 211 pounds or more.
8.5.2.2 Middleweight, consisting of riders whose combined body weight and tack is from 186 to 210 pounds.
8.5.2.3 Lightweight, consisting of riders whose combined body weight and tack is from 161 to 185 pounds.
8.5.2.4 Featherweight, consisting of riders whose combined body weight and tack is 160 pounds or below.
8.5.2.5 For a rider to stay within a weight division he/she must meet the minimum requirement but need not stay under the
maximum parameter.
8.5.3 Each rider riding for weight division points may be weighed at any ride.
8.5.3.1 Any other rider has the right to challenge the weight of a competitor and request a weighing.
8.5.3.2 Management must exercise reasonable discretion in making allowances for normal weight loss of rider during competition
and inaccuracy of ride scales. (A 4% allowance applied evenly to all competitors would be reasonable.)

gothedistance
Feb. 21, 2010, 04:35 PM
If you are right on the cusp between weight classes, you may have to change your class the day of the ride depending on your weight and tack that day.

If you are an AERC member you declare only once a year what weight category you want to be in. You can't change it from ride to ride - that isn't allowed.

The weight divisions are for regional and year end awards for those who plan on going for the points (ie: top ten and BC) or riding in the National Championships. Unless the ride itself has weight division awards, the weight division has little to no influence on the competition. Day riders don't declare a weight division because they are ineligible for AERC division awards.




Also, you are just starting out so you'll probably be doing limited distance (25 and 30 miles) for a while. There really shouldn't be any need to change your saddle pad - or even your saddle!? - at the one vet check you'll encounter.Don't agree. Even in the shorter distances it is a good thing to change to clean, dry equipment at the checks. It is a kindness to your horse, and to yourself. You can change any of your equipment - saddle, bridle, boots, pads, etc etc etc --at any time during the ride - on the side of the road, at a check, ANYWHERE on the trail or in the ridecamp - as many times as you want. There are no restrictions at all regarding equipment changes.


From the AERC rule book:
8.5.2.1 Heavyweight, consisting of riders whose combined body weight and tack is 211 pounds or more.
8.5.2.2 Middleweight, consisting of riders whose combined body weight and tack is from 186 to 210 pounds.
8.5.2.3 Lightweight, consisting of riders whose combined body weight and tack is from 161 to 185 pounds.
8.5.2.4 Featherweight, consisting of riders whose combined body weight and tack is 160 pounds or below.
8.5.2.5 For a rider to stay within a weight division he/she must meet the minimum requirement but need not stay under the
maximum parameter.
8.5.3 Each rider riding for weight division points may be weighed at any ride.
8.5.3.1 Any other rider has the right to challenge the weight of a competitor and request a weighing.
8.5.3.2 Management must exercise reasonable discretion in making allowances for normal weight loss of rider during competition
and inaccuracy of ride scales. (A 4% allowance applied evenly to all competitors would be reasonable.)8.5.3, & etc - This ONLY matters if the rider placed in top ten and has decided to compete for the BC. Otherwise riders are not weighed and the divisions are of no consequence unless the ride chooses to have awards for each division (which most do not). The National Championships (50 & 100 miles in one day) are Division races (you must qualify to ride) which are run as 2 combined races - 1 race for each distance - in which all competitors in every divisions ride at the same time within their distance.

gothedistance
Feb. 21, 2010, 04:57 PM
I haven't done any competing and maybe I missed it in the rules but would like to know....

If you want to change tack on a long ride and re-distribute pressure, could you change saddles and/or fresh pads? Would you start out with the 'lighter' tack? Just a thought I had and might have missed it in the rules, thought I'd ask.

I'm sure you refill your water bottles....

You can do anything you want with your tack at any time before and during the ride. You can ride bareback, bitless and treeless, and shoeless -- even bridleless if you want (unless the ride has stated regulations against the later two)

If you are an AERC member AND are planning to top ten AND stand for BC (please note all three go together) you should (technically) use the same tack (not necessarily pads) throughout the ride so that you are offering a level playing field to others within your (annually stated) weight division. And yes, you can fill your water bottles (or don't include them in the weighing) if you so desire.

As I stated in the above post, the weight division has little to no bearing on the rider that isn't out for the regional or national division points.

Lieselotte
Feb. 21, 2010, 05:29 PM
Yes, yes, everything that GoesTheDistance said... But I believe it's a good idea to conduct yourself/to ride AS IF you are trying for Best Condition... That includes making sure you STILL are in the correct weight class you declared at the beginning of ride year on the day of the ride, among other things. (And I'm fairly sure you can change it the day of if it's not right.)

Also, yes, while you can change the tack during the ride or wear whatever you like (a guy rides the Tevis in cut off jeans!!!), the idea is to have tried all your gear during your conditioning rides and have a "winning combination" that's comfortable for both your horse and yourself. It would be quite inconvenient to have someone find you somewhere on trail to bring you a new saddle ;)

But horses lose shoes all the time, so you want to have a boot with you (unless your horse is barefoot), and also a leatherman tool and string/tape to make a quick temporary repair if necessary.
And yes, of course change your saddle pad if it's dirty and sweaty...

Nasarka
Feb. 22, 2010, 02:31 AM
I guess I didn't explain why I was asking... I thought that if I ever got to long rides it would be a good idea for my horse to change saddles to re-distribute/change pressure (at vet checks, where ever handy) to be kindest to her back.

I was pretty sure changing pads was kosher, especially on humid days and helped prevent chafing.

I would be right at/between feather and lightweight, unless I can loose of of this fat off my butt!

Thanks for the replies.

Goesthedistance, have I seen you post on ABN? I just started on this forum, it has a bit more for endurance riders though I am more familiar with the Arab site.

Katie in Ky

KarenC
Feb. 22, 2010, 10:43 AM
Just an FYI about weight classes, if you are unsure, declare yourself in the LIGHTER weight class, not the heavier. There is no penalty for weighing MORE than your weight class; so, if you hover between 155-165 with tack, then declare yourself a featherweight.

(Note this is a separate issue than actually weighing in for BC judging when you have used different tack throughout the ride. I don't know what the rules are, but in the interest of sportsmanship I would use the lighter pieces of tack)

rmh_rider
Feb. 22, 2010, 10:45 AM
EXACTLY what Gothedistance said. Couldn't have said it any better.

I am one to change pads on the horse during a ride. And, most of all my clothes. Makes me feel better, and my horse as comfortable as possible. Also I can check the pads to make sure the saddle is correct on the horse. I usually change my bridle too, or ride the last loops in a halter. I had a mare I could ride with a rope looped around her neck.

2enduraceriders
Feb. 23, 2010, 09:29 AM
I guess I didn't explain why I was asking... I thought that if I ever got to long rides it would be a good idea for my horse to change saddles to re-distribute/change pressure (at vet checks, where ever handy) to be kindest to her back.
Katie in Ky

If your saddle fits well there will be no reason nor any advantage to changing saddles. A sore back means poor saddle fit or a poor rider. Horses do very well on 100 mile rides witht he same saddle.