XP Endurance Pads ARE NOT affiliated with nor endorsed by XP Rides.

Idaho Saddle Company is marketing endurance saddles and other endurance equipment.  They are selling a product called JenX XP Endurance Pad.  No one from that company has called to ask permission to use our name.  We have asked them to stop but they do not reply and they have not removed our name from their website.  We do not sponsor them nor do we know anything about their product.  The continued use of our name in selling endurance related products is an indication of the ethics of this company.


Updated 11/20/2020. CA now has a quarantine order in place that would require us to self quarantine for 14 days before the ride.  This definitely is a problem for us coming from Utah.  I know many of you, as well as Ann and I are confused about why we can’t seem to put on AERC rides while others throughout the state get by.  I have letters from every California county in which we have rides about meeting Covid restrictions.  This includes Santa Barbara County where we have the SA ride.  Santa Barbara replied we could not have a gathering/event due to Covid.  However John Parke is quite familiar with the political process and has found a loop hole.   Another problem with the desert rides is our new permit has eleven pages filled with some draconian additional stipulations.  Things like separate Tortoise and Ground Squirrel Monitors,  Wild Horse and Burro Monitors.  Pre ride course sweeps looking for Tortoises (they are hibernating at ride time) and Mojave Ground Squirrels (like they are going to be lounging along the trail and let a horse step on them)  Then post ride sweeps within an hour.  How about everyone feeding their horses nothing but certified weed free hay for four days before the ride?  No more drinking out of natural water because the wild horses might catch a disease from your horses.  No more loose hay unless its in a windproof container.  It goes on and on.  Between the AERC Covid restrictions, the CA Covid mandates, the BLM new stipulations, the declining interest in the sport of endurance things don’t look too bright.  The Forest Service has been less restrictive and it may be possible to change venues to either FS lands or private ranches.  We have no problem in other states as we are able to at least meet the WDRA requirements and those fit into most area mandates as we can have less than fifty.  This site and XP Facebook will be the place to look for updates as we try to move forward.

A BIT OF GOOD NEWS, at least for now

The one CA ride besides SA that looks solid is the Bar H Ranch Ride.  We don’t need permits for that one and with a WDRA only ride and no permits we can deal with a low turnout.  The Bar H ranch has a huge camping area and the area around the ranch has been cleaned up and the illegal shooting has been cut back.  Bar H now also owns a large piece on the south side of Lake Matthews Drive that is available for new trails.   I am hopeful there will be a relaxation of Covid restrictions and possibly a vaccine by the time of Eastern Mojave.  The permit for that area is often a PITR but I’ve almost always received permission to ride.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

The 2020 Lonesome Duck riders will be doing a 60 day traveling horse camp on trails between the North Rim of the Grand Canyon into Wyoming during the summer of 2021.  Its a WDRA only event, so no AERC members or directors need to get their panties in a wad. It will have little structure, so its certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. We were scheduled to do the ride in 2020 but we had to cancel due to Covid.  


I just finished getting the AERC and XP results on our results web page. WDRA has made it clear to me they do not sanction rides, they only recognize them.  I’m not sure how that is going to work.   It has taken a bit of work to make the XP results fit a database that can work with all the WDRA results in the future. I know many are wondering if the WDRA is going to publish cumulative results and I believe the answer is yes.  For now you can look at the XP Results page for both the AERC results and the XP results for WDRA members in the 2020 ride season.  

Saturday, 7/18/20  The 2021 XP Calendar has been sent to the AERC and is published below.  I am confident we will be able to hold the events as scheduled with WDRA recognition. I am unsure we will be able to meet the AERC covid restrictions but we will try.  You may notice we have made some big changes in our traditional scheduling.  We have eliminated ending our events on Sundays.  This is especially important for those in California so they can travel home late Saturday or very early on Sunday to avoid the traffic.  In addition we have moved the dates of Coso Junction and Death Valley so Annie and our XP families can now spend their holidays at home.  Might not hurt to spend those Sundays and Holidays meditating with the congregations of your choice to pray for healing this troubled world.

Monday, 6/22/20:  I keep getting emails and calls about our plans for the foreseeable future.  It is our intention to continue doing the XP Rides on the same weekends as we have been doing.  However, I have no idea what the conditions will be at the time of the rides.  I do not agree with the restrictions set down by some of the government agencies nor do I agree with the AERC’s requirements.  I do accept that everyone is entitled to their opinion but Ann and I are part of the high risk population and therefore feel we must be more careful than some of our younger and healthier friends. 

We are unable to meet the AERC Covid restrictions.  In addition, we are unable to make some of our most scenic mountain region rides meet the AERC mileage requirements without endangering horses. We can address the mileage issue by adding insane little loops at the end of an otherwise great ride but we cannot mitigate the dangers associated with the AERC Covid policy.  Therefore we will not be sanctioning the upcoming rides with AERC until their Covid restrictions are lifted or modified.  In the meantime we will continue with our rides but will be doing them as XP only events.  We will continue with our current XP Covid restrictions, which coincide or exceed the CDC and state regulations.  We will be limiting the rides to 25 with a possible expansion to 30 or more.  We will take things as they come and will make modifications based on current situations. 

THE ENTRY DEAL FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE: During the Covid crisis, which will undoubtedly remain into next year we not be doing AERC events until it is prudent and legal to meet governmental as well as AERC requirements.  Many endurance riders fall into the “most vulnerable” category due to age and existing conditions. We are not able to conduct an AERC event under these conditions but the WDRA does recognize XP club rides.

XP Rides and the Nicholson Family

Ann and I are doing well, although we are still suffering from cabin fever. We are fortunate to be in southern Utah as life is going on much more normally than in other parts of the country. Kane County has now moved to code green and people are free to travel as long as social distancing is practiced. However, Utah has recently seen a spike in cases, mainly across the I 15 corridor. 

Ann and I are committed to continuing with XP Rides as long as possible.  The entire sport seems to be dwindling away and our rides are no exception.  We hope to continue with our remaining 2020 ride schedule as non AERC events,  but we will have to make some significant changes to do so.  Thirty years ago we moved to Southern Utah with the specific intention of sponsoring XP Rides.  As the sport dwindles we may be forced to give up the more expensive venues further away from our winter home but we have no intention to cut back on our Utah and Arizona rides. Indeed we are still working on resurrecting the Color Country ride and are looking at other sites for new and exciting ventures.  Although Annie and I, along with the vast majority of our riders are at an age that is most vulnerable to succumbing to viral diseases, we are going to continue living with a positive outlook for the future and encourage you all to do the same. 


There is now an option to obtain what is called an EECVI. You can Google it. This is a relatively new program that allows veterinarians to issue a CVI(health certificate) for a six month period and allows you to to to multiple states and venues.  Its worth checking out. 



Breaking news can be found on the xp facebook page https://www.facebook.com/XP-Rides-205291171799


As of November 17 I have no clue as to where or when our next ride will occur.  During the winter as the Covid pandemic spreads we are facing an uncertain future.  If and when we can offer a ride we certainly will.  Meeting AERC covid guidelines is impossible in Inyo and Kern counties at this time.  Things change on a daily basis so all we can do is wait and see.

Convention News for 2020

XP Rides will no longer have a booth at the AERC Convention.  We have decided to support those who support us and have decided to have our booth at the MRER convention in Denver, Colorado.

The articles:




have been moved to the the General Ride Info Page

Carol McLeod has volunteered to build a data base for XP Results.  At some time in the future we will offer an option to include all your lifetime XP mileage in that database. Many thanks to Carol for taking on this task

Entry Fees in General: 

Ride information will be sent to those who have entered online usually within a week of the event. If you have not received a response with the information you are looking for you should call or email us. 


We usually do not require pre payment for most of our rides, so its easiest to just bring cash or check to the ride and pay when you decide how many days you have ridden.  Its the old time way of doing business based on trust.  That being said, times are different during the Covid Crisis.  We are dealing with such small numbers that we must know in advance that we have enough participants to make the ride happen. We may have to require advance payment until we get through the disease restrictions.


Entry fees are a composite of ride entry fees along with other charges that must be passed on to the riders. These hidden charges include fees to the various government entities such as the BLM, USFS and NPS as well as camping fees to state, country and private entities. They also include drug testing taxes levied upon the riders from the State of California and/or the AERC. In addition there are AERC rider fees which vary depending upon membership status. XP Rides and the XP Riders host a number of events, all of which have different financial conditions.  Not only do fees vary from ride to ride, they also vary within most rides. Our policy of not publishing fees comes from accusations of government officials going to the ride site, extrapolating information and applying it as they wish.  There will be a slight increase in fees on rides in the Peoples Republic of California due to increases in the charges for drug testing.  Cuyama is the only XP Ride that requires prepayment.  Most riders pay at the end of the ride on all the other rides.


Photos for Mt Carmel, Strawberry, Grand Canyon and Virgin Outlaw available at:

 You can learn more about each of our rides by going to XP Rides and Dates on the menu bar and scrolling down to the one you are interested in. 

XP Rides for the 2021 Ride Season

(Subject to AERC & Landowner approval)

Note that rides marked in red have changed days and weekends from their traditional times. 

Coso Junction ~ December 10-11-12, 2020 (ends on Sat)

Death Valley Encounter ~ January 1-2-3-4, 2021 (Ride starts after the NYE party on January 1. Three and Four day Pioneer offered)

Laurel Mountain ~ February 4-5-6, 2021 (ends on Sat)

Eastern Mojave ~ March 10-11-12-13, 2021 (ends on Sat)

 Cuyama Oaks ~ March 25-26-27, 2021 (ends on Sat)

Cuyama Rain Date ~ April 1-2-3, 2021

Mt Carmel ~ April 25-26-27 Rest Day April 29-30-May 1, 2021

Lonesome Duck Distance Ride ~ June 2 – July 25, 2021

Entries are by invitation only.

Strawberry Fields ~ July 29-30-31, 2021 *Special date this year only. Ride ends on Saturday.

Grand Canyon ~ August 29-30-31 Rest Day September 2-3-4, 2021

Virgin Outlaw ~ September 19-20-21  Rest Day  23-24-25, 2021

Color Country ~ October 29-30, 2021 (ends on Sat)

Sesenta Años ~ November 12-13-14, 2021



EasyCare, Inc. is proud to provide year-end awards to XP riders. EasyCare, Inc. has a full line of hoof boots and natural hoof care products that protect the hoof, allow horses to cover rough terrain, act as a spare tire in case of a lost shoe, and aid in the treatment of laminitis and other hoof problems. EasyCare’s hoof boot brands include the Easyboot, Boa Horse Boot, Old Mac’s and EasySoaker.  While the main focus at EasyCare is horse boot design, we proudly make other top quality products for trail riders and recreational horse owners such as Stowaway Saddle Packs, EZ Ride Stirrups, Comfort Pads, hoof boot accessories and natural hoof care products.



Please don’t be offended if the Duck doesn’t add you as a friend or associate on Facebook,  LinkedIn,  or  any other type of social media.  He just simply does not participate in those things!


Over the years our family has made a lot of great friends along the trail. We always look forward to the new ride year to renew those friendships and to make new ones. We hope you will be able to join us on the endurance trails this year. Come ride with us, you will be glad you did.