August 8, 2013

Ride and Tie? What's That?

"Happiness is not the belief that we don't need to change. It's the realization that we can"

- Shawn Achor

Ah, the Ride and Tie. A truly amazing combination of two seemingly unrelated sports. It actually fits the hubs and I perfectly and if we didn't have our son and didn't need to do it on Gem, I believe we would do a ton of them. Someday I would love to get back into them and someday we will. Who knows? Maybe someday our son will want to do one.

A Ride and Tie (R&T) requires two people and one horse. The actual rules can be very specific depending on the ride, but in general one person starts with feet on the ground and the other starts on the horse. Events are of various lengths, but to be sanctioned a 20 mile event has to be offered. We did a 12 mile which was plenty long enough and ours was not sanctioned so the rules were pretty loose.

Off you go down the marked trail. You have to do a pre determined minimum number of swaps where the rider becomes the runner and visa versa before crossing the finish line. Sanctioned rides state 6 swaps in 20 miles. Ours was a minimum of 3. For longer events, the same hold rules as in endurance are in effect and to make it more confusing a swap must take place at the hold. There are a ton of different techniques out there. I had read that the longest most people go is about a quarter of a mile before switching. There are some rules about how to switch as well. Most rides will not allow the two people to be together at the switch and will require the horse be tied to a natural object and not a pole or stake the team brought. You can cross the finish line separately, but the clock doesn't stop ticking and the horse can't get vetted in until both people finish.

Here is an example:

The runner and rider take off at the start. The rider is faster and goes down let's say 1/4 mile. The rider then dismounts from the horse, ties the horse to a tree or bush etc..then takes off running. The runner eventually catches up to the tied horse, gets on and takes off. They pass the runner and go another 1/4 mile then tie the horse and run. They do this until they reach the hold and then again until they reach the finish line.

Sounds like a ton of fun, right? We thought so!



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