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Happiness is hitting the trail

As a fellow equestrian and rookie endurance rider, I wanted to let Ann Herold know how much I enjoyed her article “Fueled by Hay and Horses” [Oct. 21].

It is indeed wonderful to sneak in a midday ride, or, in my case, an early-morning 5-mile trek through the Arroyo Seco trail in Pasadena. With the forest closure, it has been a bit difficult to get the miles of training needed to condition a horse for endurance without doing the same loop over and over again.

At my first distance ride last week, some riders were surprised I was able to do so many miles within the workweek (I total at least 25 miles within five days of riding and two rest days). But, as Ann Herold illustrated in her article, it is doable!

Annie Libby

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Monrovia

Annie Libby is an American Endurance Ride Conference member and rider of Faline, an Arab/Welsh pony.

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Lest people think that horse owning is simply a privilege of the wealthy, I must point out that many of us -- artists, school bus drivers, retirees and tradespeople -- can barely scrape ourselves into the middle class. Driving old cars, we pay our stable bills before we pay our phone bills, happy to live on ramen to sustain our passion for horses.

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As urban development expands, vigilance against being zoned out of existence is a battle for all the equestrian communities. It is of irreplaceable value, in a densely urban environment, to be able to leave the crime, noise, asphalt and traffic, and enjoy the wordless simplicity and peace of the natural world and these great warm beasts, horses.

Lynn Brown

Los Angeles

Lynn Brown is deputy national trail coordinator for the riding club Equestrian Trails Inc.

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