View Full Version : Endurance horse confirmation type??

Mar. 29, 2010, 09:35 AM
So you might have saw from my last thread that I have had a spark of interest in getting involved with endurance and searching for a working student type position.... but probably also saw that I just dont really live in the area for it, so my best best is most likely to do a lot of research and do some of my own training, which I think I feel pretty confident doing so.

My next question is in regards to my pony. In eventing and dressage there are of course certain characteristics of confirmation that make up a good dressage horse or a bad one... and they dont always of course guarentee a good dressage horse but looking at confirmation can definley help with predictions. I was wondering if there is anything that might give you guys the impression that my pony would transit well over to endurance, as I do not plan on getting a new horse yet for this new interest.

I suppose I am lucky enough to have a breed of horse that is seen in endurance and that is she is a morab. Her grandfather was Morafic. She is 9 years old and 14.1. She dosnt have the big trot like I see in most endurance horses, but since she has been training in eventing and going long distances at the gallop I was thinking that could have prepped her well for starting endurance training. She has the large heart girth area... but I dont really know what else to look for.

I am not looking to make it to the top with her, I was just wondering if she would be fine to get my foot in the door and maybe even do well at a 25-30 mile?? I don't think she is the ideal confirmatinaly type for endurance... but neither was she for dressage and eventing and she seem to still have down pretty well. Her training is as follows: I have had her since she was 5 months old and she is trained to about 2nd level dressage and jumps 4'. She has done prelim level event courses.

In the picture she was 3 months pregnant, she lost the foal :( So she isn't normaly such a pork. :winkgrin:

Mar. 29, 2010, 10:26 AM
The mare looks lovely, but you won't know what she can do until she starts doing it. Conformation plays a big part, but you will find a horse needs heart as well. The best horses are built like a radiator to get rid of heat in the most expeditious manner, but there are lots of exceptions. Who took her to prelim level? You might talk to them about your plans since it requires quite a bit of conditioning to get there.

Have you contacted anyone who does CTR and can help you get started? Good luck, CTR/endurance is lots of fun and a great group of people.

Mar. 29, 2010, 10:30 AM
A very pretty girl. I don't see a thing that suggests she would be unsuitable for a twenty five or thirty mile ride.
Good luck and have fun.

Mar. 29, 2010, 11:06 AM
In general, people look for Arabs or Arab crosses, good bone, straight legs, good hooves, a long stride, just well balanced conformation overall. But all types of horses can do well in endurance, especially 25s. Attitude is really important also- if the horse likes being out there, and also if it doesnt get too stressed out or wound up and takes care of itself, what with all the trailerling and camping out and being out on the trail, being passed by other horses, etc.

Endurance is different from other sports in that it really is something individual with you and your horse and you can just jump right in and do it. Of course, there are some "big name" people and international competitors out there, but mostly it is just backyard people and their horses. You will see all levels of riding ability. If you have experience in dressage and eventing, you will probably be a better rider than 90% of people out there and you should have enough horsemanship skills to do fine. Just plan to take it slow and easy at first.

Mar. 29, 2010, 01:02 PM
2010 ECTRA Sanctioned rides listed


Mar. 29, 2010, 03:39 PM
ARE there even "working student type" positions in endurance? my impression was no, it was just people who decided to get out and try it.

Mar. 29, 2010, 03:57 PM
yeah, its been really hard to look up. i havnt been able to find much. its like how everybody says, its very independent. the way it works is not the same way it does for dressage and eventing. its kinda sad i think. working student type positions are such a good method of starting off a professional career in eventing, dressage, and jumping. i enjoy being a working student; working at the farms, observing trainers, traveling to shows, and obtaining not just training philosophy but practical barn managment, breeding, etc and that just dosnt seem to apply for newbies in the sport of endurance... you just kinda gotta go out and figure it our by yourself. Hopefully all of my practical expierence from my previous student jobs, will give me some insight into geting into endurance, I just wish I kne of somebody in my area that I could mentor... I looked you the mentor page at aerc and there just dosnt seem to be anybody that close to me.

Anybody located near Philadelphia? I was thinking of trying a competitive trail or two, since it is kin to endurance and people seem to have connections between the two sports. I don't know... I have been a maniac at google lately. But I think you guys are gonna be the only form of real information :)

Mar. 29, 2010, 04:00 PM
Wendy- I actually see your location says you are located near Philadelphia... do you happen to do endurance? Maybe you some connections I dont know? Mentors, endurance groups/clubs/etc... even if I cant find an official mentor, Id love to at least get to ride with some other people involved in it. I'd also love to volunteer at an endurance if you know of anybody hosting any runs. ;)

Mar. 29, 2010, 04:38 PM
Here is the next closest ride to you --- perhaps you might want to call and volunteer?

Foxcatcher map!! 4/17/2010 ride details
miles 25/50 near Elkton MD-Ride Secy Louisa Emerick 410-398-7234 louisaem@comcast.net
mgr Barbara Bateman vet Nick Kohut
This is held at Fair Hill, super nice ride!

Here is the AERC ride calendar for 2010 (for the NE)

Basically, endurance is not a professional sport such as the other disciplines --- folks train their own horses, and those that do sell any fit for competition get far far under a market value for the horse. If you look at endurance.net, you'll see horses with huge miles on them with asking prices of 2-3-4K......
its a participant sport, like foxhunting and thats why you dont see the WS options. If this your sport of choice, then I would suggest you start with some ECTRA sanctioned rides to 1. get familiar with the sport and 2. the start to conditioning your horse. Most start with a 25/30 miler and then move up... eventually to the 2-day 50's and so on.....
Also, by getting involved volunteering at a *local* event, you meet folks that you can then ride with .... you may need to trailer to a common spot to *train*... so, get your wheels in order!

If you ever come to the Harrisburg area, you are welcome to come ride with me and some others --- there is a nice 26 mile loop in the mountains to train on.

Mar. 29, 2010, 06:21 PM
I second the suggestion to volunteer at a ride. It gives you a chance to see the whole workings, and you'd have a good chance of meeting a mentor (you'd be the "mentee"). Both sides can have a compatibility check without the need for obvious judgment. Chose a mentor wisely and make sure they really have your interests at heart.

Your first ride could be pretty stressful if you are trying to wing it on your own - it all depends on what kind of person you are and how you function, not to mention your horse. Learning to camp with your horse can be harder than the actual ride - though if you have done eventing, its probably not that big a deal.

It doesn't take that long to learn the basics, but the rides are "real world" - not man made obstacles, and depending on the rides in your area, you should have confidence in difficult water crossings with steep banks and strong currents, narrow trails with drop-offs, riding in company, and passing and falling behind on the trail to be out there safely. Some rides are better than others to start with - that's where a mentor can really help you.

Its easy to say that dressage riders are "better" than many endurance riders without taking into account that it is a different skill set. I have seen people get hurt through suddenly being in situations they had never anticipated and making bad choices - stretching yourself is good its much more fun when you are not too far from your comfort zone, IMHO.

Mar. 30, 2010, 01:53 AM
Second what monicabee said! If you don't volunteer at a ride, you will be totally confused when you first ride a ride. If you DO volunteer at a ride, you will only be somewhat confused at your first ride! Trust me, I just completed my first LD, so I know all about being a clueless newbie. I have a mentor and I've been reading and planning this for TWO YEARS, and I was still confused.

You'll learn so much getting your first horse legged up for her first LD! Do a few rides on your pony before you decide on a "better" horse. It's nothing like you think it is. You might love it and you might hate it - but you ought to find out on your own pony.

Mar. 30, 2010, 12:21 PM
I did foxcatcher last year as my first LD, never having volunteered before. Lots of people do foxcatcher as their first ride, so they're really newbie-friendly. Everything was well-organized and well-explained. That being said, the thing that I was really clueless about was pacing my horse during the ride. Luckily, I ended up riding with a total stranger who was super-nice and showed me the ropes. Our horses were both acting up and calmed each other down beautifully. I think if I hadn't ridden with her, I probably would have had a pretty awful ride.

So I would advise you NOT to do what I did, and to go volunteer first! I'll be at foxcatcher, and I ride near Radnor Hunt. I would certainly not recommend myself as an experienced mentor, but I'd be happy to go on a training ride with you sometime. PM me if you're interested.

Mar. 30, 2010, 01:29 PM
Okay, so I contacted somebody about volunteering at Foxcatcher that is in 3 weeks or so. If anybody else from here is going let me, I'd love to be able to have some people to talk to in between everything.

Mar. 30, 2010, 02:54 PM
I don't think it's at all possible to have a "professional" career in endurance, and if what you really like is the group dynamics of a student-like position I think you may not enjoy the independent nature of endurance. Most people just get out and do it.

Mar. 30, 2010, 08:58 PM
Post over on the endurance.net board (http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp/). Plenty of folks not listed on the mentor list will be happy to meet up with you on a trail head and talk through things. There used to be a yearly CTR clinic in the NJ pine barrens. Very helpful!! I went on to volunteer at the 2005 NAEC in Fair Hilll and learned plenty more there. Life circumstances changed and I never did get around to competing.

The biggest thing that struck me about endurance folks was how friendly and welcoming everyone was. There is a complete lack of the snootiness you see in a lot of other disciplines even at the highest levels. There's no way to buy your way into endurance. You can take an inexpensive horse and a LOT of work and do very well.

Mar. 30, 2010, 09:08 PM
Also wanted to say, there isn't really any such thing as "not in the area for it." Endurance folks put a TON of miles on their trailers!!! There is also a lot of Endurance/CTR crossover since so many people "ride to finish" and both at their core are just really lovely long marked rides with friends! The northeast is a GREAT place to be since there is such a high concentration of rides there. Here's a list of ECTRA rides. There's a clinic scheduled for June, too.


And the AERC rides:

Apr. 1, 2010, 05:33 PM
Here are a few rides close to you also........(aerc)

I dont have the dates, but there are calendar links listed before that you can look up all the ride info.
**Mustang Memorial is in Nov.