Written by: Darice Whyte, President of DRM

I recently read a comment on Facebook where a person was of the belief she couldn’t come out to our endurance rides unless she was riding an Arabian. The person didn’t feel she would be accepted or welcomed by the rest of us otherwise. The comment horrified me but it also made me sad. You cannot however dispute how a person feels. The only thing you can do is assure them that our club is inclusive to all regardless of what breed they choose to ride.
Not all Arabians excel at endurance just like not all Quarter Horses can be excellent barrel horses or all Thoroughbreds are race horses. Each horse has its own unique abilities. A sound fit horse that eats and drinks well can generally do quite well at endurance.
We cannot grow our club by catering to Arabian riders only. That just limits our numbers and, trust me, this isn’t an exclusive club. We want to grow and involve as many riders as we can in our challenging and rewarding sport.
For me, it is interesting to see how the other breeds can do. While I do ride an Arabian or a Partbred, I have ridden with a Paint and a Canadian who pulsed down better than my Arab mare did that day. Over the years I’ve been beaten by a variety of breeds including a Tennessee Walking Horse, a Mustang and a mule. There is a Morgan mare in our club that has amazing recoveries. I’m sure she will beat me one of these fine days as well. And that’s just fine by me!
As there are many options of what people can participate in with their horse we want new people (and returning riders) to have an excellent time while in our company. We want them to come back! AND even better -with friends!
While I am usually out on trail on ride day I do try to welcome all new riders. Ride days can be hectic allowing limited time to chit chat with others. As such, we have a pot luck at least one evening to allow us all a chance to visit and get to know each other.
I looked at our numbers to determine what people were riding this season. 54% of our membership are riding something other than an Arabian or Partbred Arab. The 54% is a wide range of breeds including Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walkers, Welsh Cross, Icelandics, Rocky Mountain etc.
My goal is to find someone with a Standardbred and entice them to join our rides. I can visualize that trot just eating up the trail!
We are a grassroots club who, hopefully, have something to offer to all regardless of what you ride. Come ride with us. Bet you have fun!

Wendy Nagtegaal on her Tennessee Walker, Belle

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