Obstacles aren’t insurmountable, especially for distance riders! Instead of their usual in-person convention this March, the American Endurance Ride Conference decided to go virtual with their 2021 Unconventional Convention. Participants can watch live on the 6th and 7th, and content will remain available to watch throughout the month.
Open to interested equestrians in the U.S., Canada and around the world, the convention features eight seminars that will appeal to everyone from new riders to experienced endurance enthusiasts.
Vendors will have virtual booths and many are offering convention-only specials. The convention also includes raffles, including one for a Treeless Saddle, valued at more than $3,000, donated by Saddle Up LLC. Awards and virtual get-togethers for various regions are scheduled for Friday afternoon, with the national awards ceremony presentation on Saturday to close out the convention.
“Although our in-person conventions are always terrific, going virtual this year will allow many more people to experience an AERC convention,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “The opportunity to see so many eminent speakers for such a low cost is one that should appeal to trail riders and distance riders alike.”
The seminar schedule can be accessed in real time, which allows attendees to present questions and comments to the speakers. Can’t make one or more of the seminars live? The seminars can be watched at any time through March 2021.
The first day includes “How Your Body Works With Your Horse” with Stephanie Seheult, DPT, followed by Langdon Fielding, DVM, discussing “Thumps and Other Electrolyte problems.” Melissa Ribley, DVM, a longtime ride vet and rider, will cover “Riding for Your Climate Conditions,” followed by “Find and Make a Good Endurance Horse” with Nick Warhol.
Day two begins with Dr. Seheult presenting an exercise routine geared for riders. Dean Hendrickson, DVM, a Colorado State University veterinary school professor, will speak on “Wound Care on the Trail,” followed by “The State of Equine Drug Testing” with Heather Knych, DVM, PhD, equine pharmacologist at UC Davis’s K.L. Maddy Equine Analytical Pharmacology Lab. Dr. Fielding will close out the seminars with “What to Watch for—Before Your Ride” to help riders arrive at their ride with the healthiest horse possible.
Through February 18, the cost to attend all convention activities is $60 ($50 for current AERC members). Additional household members are an extra $10. After February 18, the cost increases to $65 for the first attendee.
For full details, schedule and speaker bios, and a link to convention registration, see AERC.org/2021conventioninfo.pdf
Saddle raffle tickets are $5 and all sales benefit the nonprofit association that celebrates distance riding, with emphasis on equine welfare, research and trail building and maintenance. Additional raffles include gift certificates and products in the national raffles and ride entries and local goods specifically for AERC’s nine regions.
Virtual vendor booths are priced low to encourage businesses, small and large, to reach distance riders, with options for live videos and chats, contests and special sales. For vendor information, see AERC.org/2021vendorbrochure.pdf