Adapt or Die


AERC and its ride managers are businesses that provide recreational events for horsemen on the North American continent and they must learn to adapt or die. Its time for AERC to grasp the fact our sport is failing to keep up with its changing demographics.


Participation in AERC events is on a downward spiral. AERC riders are growing older and becoming physically unable to continue participating in the sport many of them have centered their life around. There simply are not enough juniors and young people to make up for the dwindling numbers. When I started this sport I went to rides in a brand new pickup truck that cost $1600.00 pulling a new two horse trailer that cost $495.00. I slept in a tent and bought hay that was $17.00 a ton. I used the best farrier in southern California, and he was more expensive than any of the others. He charged $7.00 to shoe a horse. The vet got $10 to worm it. When it came time to choose a profession, I chose to become a veterinarian. Now the farriers are getting in the hundreds to tack on shoes and the owners can worm their own horses for under $6.00. If veterinarians had failed to adapt, as AERC has, they would have starved to death.


There are several things that AERC can and should do. Probably the most productive would be to eliminate the LD division. For that matter, they can eliminate the Endurance division as well. It’s really simple and its what XP Rides will do in 2018. We will no longer talk about LD riders and 50’s or Endurance Riders, as they are all XP Riders. They are mostly all AERC riders as well. This simple fix will encourage our older generation to keep going down the trail, adding to their lifetime AERC mileage. Is there anyone really worried that someone is going to beat Hosebag’s 65,000-mile record by combining his or her Endurance miles with their LD miles? Bear in mind that LD riders generally pay twice as much per mile to both AERC and ride managers, yet they are considered second-class citizens. They aren’t second-class, they are the ones who have saved the sport as many rides, including the XP, would have faded away without the support of the LD riders.


In 2018 there will be no longer be LD divisions in XP Rides. There will only be mileage divisions, period. AERC should do the same. All the year end, regional and national awards can be slightly modified in name only to reflect our adaptation to a system that treats all our riders as equally important. In a perfect world, as I see it, new riders would start at the lowest distances, even intro rides, and work their way up to try longer and more challenging distances and events, finally escalating to the highest level of endurance competition, The Tevis Cup. We need to stop the bickering over the different levels. FEI, hundreds, Tevis, fifties, twenty fives, intro rides and multi-days are all important and their advocates can devote their energies to improve their favorite venues instead of insisting everyone fit into their shoe.

New for 2018

Starting with the 2018 ride season, in addition to the above proposal,  the XP Rides will be adding an Intro Ride to all of our events.  These rides are also known as Fun Rides or Duck Rides.  We have offered Duck Rides for many years but we are going to formalize the events to a limited degree and will be more diligent in keeping track of the rider mileage in ALL divisions. This means that your ALL of your mileage will count  for the year end awards regardless of what division you rode in.  Just to be clear, we will include AERC Endurance Miles, plus AERC Limited Distance Miles, AS WELL AS XP INTRO/FUN/DUCK MILES. We are doing this as we now have many riders and horses who have reached an age at which it is no longer fun or even possible to “go the distance”.  These old campaigners, have been reluctant to drop to the “lower” levels of competition for various reasons. We miss them and want to offer them an opportunity to continue in the sport they have supported for so long.  Starting with the Coso Junction Ride in December we will track mileage from all divisions including the Intro/Fun/Duck rides.  This cumulated mileage will then be the basis for the year end XP awards.  

The 2018 Bar H Ranch Ride will be an XP Ride but will not be AERC sanctioned. Mileage will count toward the XP end of year awards.  There will be an AERC Clinic in conjunction with the event.  Join us for a laid back, fun weekend. 

We are expanding our 5 day events (Mt Carmel ~ Grand Canyon ~ Virgin Outlaw) to 6 days.  They will start on a Sunday and run for three days. Then there will be a rest day on Wednesday. Another three day Pioneer Ride will start on Thursday and run though Saturday.  We have received numerous requests and suggestions for this so we will give it a try and see how it goes.  

2018 Results through Death Valley are now posted

Our next ride:

Eastern Mojave Scenic XP 


Updated Thursday, February 1st 21:00.

I have received a permit to hold the ride at Cima Road. The conditions of the permit require us to notify the rangers 24 hours prior to coming on the preserve, so we won’t be able to start marking trail till Saturday morning, two days later than planned. 

                                       February 8-11, 2018

 50 & 25 or 30 & 10 or 15 each day

Further information that has not been edited for 2018 is available under the drop down menu for the Eastern Mojave ride.  The information really hasn’t changed much other than Dr. Kim Ludnum is replacing Dr. Vale as the assistant control judge.  

Some general information regarding all of our rides that occur on public lands is in order.  In 2013, when the federal government shut down there were endurance events in progress that were stopped even while horses were on the trail. We find this an absolute travesty of justice, and is a direct result of politicians on both sides of the aisle wanting to cause as much pain and suffering as possible with the mistaken notion that the other side will take the blame. In reality it is both sides who have failed us all and who rightfully deserve the blame. We did not feel it was fair to go on with the ride in the Mojave Preserve as it is ruled over by the National Park Service and as everyone is aware, the NPS shut down all facilities. They also shut down any permits that required monitoring, which ours have done in the past.  This meant that the imminent federal shutdown of February 8th could stop the ride.  I specifically requested a statement from the NPS before the first shutdown as I had no idea how long it would last. When it was pushed on to the 8th of February it now created a massive problem for us all. We could not afford to spend all it takes to put on a ride and have it cancelled at the last minute. Nor could people traveling from long distances, even Canada, afford to take a chance there would be no event. Because of this I obtained last minute permission to hold the event on a private ranch that could not be interfered with by the actions of the feds and their bureaucrats. The NPS was completely unresponsive to my requests until last Monday and even then it wasn’t a done deal until this morning.  Now you know the rest of the story.  I hope everyone can make it and we will once again have a great time in the desert as the weather at this point look to be the best ever. 

See you there,  Dave and Annie







Laurel Mountain is over and a good time was had by all. (I think) I will get results up as soon as possible.  Thanks to all who came. We had great weather and good trails. 



Phone 907 209 8881 or e-mail

Ride Photos by Lynn Glazer 




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 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.  


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.  We have not increased any of our ride fees for many years and have no plans for any increases in the foreseeable future. Cuyama and Lost Padres are the only XP Rides that require prepayment.  Most riders pay at the end of the ride on all the other rides.

Photos for Lost Padres and Cuyama available at:

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

XP Rides for 2018 Ride Season

Coso Junction ~ December 2 & 3

Death Valley Encounter ~ December 28-31

Laurel Mountain ~ January 27 & 28

Eastern Mojave ~ February 8-11

Bar H ~ AERC Clinic PLUS Bar H Ranch Ride ~March 3

The AERC website is incorrect. There is no sanctioned endurance or LD ride at Bar H.

Cuyama Oaks ~ March 23-25

Lost Padres ~ April 7 & 8 DO NOT SEND RELEASES TO THE RANCH.

Mt Carmel ~ April 22-23-24 Rest Day 26-27-28

Strawberry Fields ~ June 29-30 July 1

Grand Canyon ~ August 26-27-28 Rest Day 30-31-Sept 1

Virgin Outlaw ~ September 23-24-25  Rest Day  27-28-29

Sesenta Años ~ November 9-10-11

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. 





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.