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View Full Version : Want to try out endurance rides



Crown Royal
Apr. 15, 2011, 07:46 PM
I'm mostly a hunter/jumper rider as far as competing goes, but I do a good bit of trail riding. I've done a few judged pleasure rides, but my trail pony isn't into waiting patiently under saddle for doing the obstacles and is too frustrated by that point.

So. What are the differences between endurance rides and competitive trail rides? What's the lowest amount of miles available in each? What goes on in each? Do you need another rider with you, or can you go alone? How do you get fit enough to enjoy them (use a butt cushion?) and what do you do to get your horse fit enough?

I have a 12.3hand Welsh cross gelding that loves trail rides, has a motor out on the trails, and will go on and on and on even when he isn't fit. I think he'd really enjoy them. I also have an Arab mare, large pony size, that does not run out of energy. She isn't spooky, just your typical snorty but confident Arab mare, that is extremely comfortable but still very very green. Only 12, but recently broke and still has her moments of bolting and doesn't yet tolerate a lot of upperbody movement. Not confirmed on the trail, but all in her favor for withstanding it with her super hardy feet. Good candidate?

Thanks!

gothedistance
Apr. 15, 2011, 08:21 PM
I'm mostly a hunter/jumper rider as far as competing goes, but I do a good bit of trail riding. I've done a few judged pleasure rides, but my trail pony isn't into waiting patiently under saddle for doing the obstacles and is too frustrated by that point.

So. What are the differences between endurance rides and competitive trail rides? What's the lowest amount of miles available in each? What goes on in each? Do you need another rider with you, or can you go alone? How do you get fit enough to enjoy them (use a butt cushion?) and what do you do to get your horse fit enough?

Many of your questions can be found in the websites given in the "sticky" thread at the top of the page. In short - Endurance is a "race" - group start, ride your own ride at your own speed, completion and placing based upon a successful negotiation of the trail within the time limit given for the miles division, and successful passing of all vet holds, including the final vetting at the end. Endurance is under the parent orginization AERC which offers Limited Distance (LD) which is 25 to 35 mile rides, as well as Endurance which is 50 miles in one day, to include rides of greater miles in increments of 5 miles, all the way up to 100 miles in one day. LD rides may only be held in conjunction with an endurance ride.

Competitive Trail Riding - start is timed per horse, speed is set at certain mph to complete the trail - rider must try to cross finish line within the speed parameters. Rides are offered from 7 miles on up to 40 miles in one day.


I have a 12.3hand Welsh cross gelding that loves trail rides, has a motor out on the trails, and will go on and on and on even when he isn't fit. I think he'd really enjoy them.
Sounds like a winner to me -- and a fun one at that. He'd be my choice. :)


I also have an Arab mare, large pony size, that does not run out of energy. She isn't spooky, just your typical snorty but confident Arab mare, that is extremely comfortable but still very very green. Only 12, but recently broke and still has her moments of bolting and doesn't yet tolerate a lot of upperbody movement. Not confirmed on the trail, but all in her favor for withstanding it with her super hardy feet. Good candidate?
"Moments of bolting" doesn't bode well for anyone. In endurance you don't ride just the feet - you ride the mind of the horse. It has to be a partnership for it to succeed. I'd wait until she had some education under her belt, and more respect for the rider so that she doesn't take the bit and just run.

Lieselotte
Apr. 15, 2011, 09:31 PM
Go to a ride as a volunteer, or to crew for somebody. That will be really eye-opening and educational. Here's the link to the official AERC ride calendar:
http://www.doublejoy.com/erol/Calendar%5Cdefault.asp

Also, get in touch with a mentor in your area, they'll show you the ropes:
http://www.aerc.org/Education_Mentor.asp

Good luck! This is a great sport and you have two potential candidates already. The mare may need a lot more work before she can be safe and sane in a large group of horses, and also alone, but if you put in the effort you may just have a keeper.