First endurance ride in May...am I nuts?
Okay, so, I have set a goal for 2011...to finally get my husband's mare, a 10 year old Arabian who people have repeatedly told me would make a great endurance horse and my husband really wants me to compete on, to an actual endurance ride. We've selected a 55 mile ride in May with the help of an experienced endurance friend.
So...am I crazy? I did one 35 mile LD just for kicks a few years ago, not on this horse, but I have some idea of the environment at a ride. This horse does 25-35 mile rides pretty routinely (like, most weekends), and finishes within the typical ride guidelines from what I know (as in, good time and pulses down quickly, these are just fun rides). She has naturally low P&R and great recovery times. Also sound as a dollar with good bone, ground-covering at all 3 gaits, used to riding some of the toughest terrain out there (we're in some pretty rugged mountains where there aren't really trails, and it gets pretty hairy especially when I follow deer trails and get us going straight up a mountainside that is more fitting for bighorn sheep than horses :lol:). This mare is a star, though, and is used to going on large group rides with crazy horses, being passed at speed and passing, riding in groups or branching off on her own, etc. She's also used to hauling away and camping out, so I don't think the environment of endurance rides is going to bother her. And even if it does, she's still easily manageable and never gets totally nuts even when she's upset. She's one of those horses who doesn't seem dead broke because she has so much energy if you're not really working her, but is totally sane and reliable with a decent rider even if she does get snorty sometimes. And she settles down to business pretty quickly, I like a horse with personality but too much silliness is discouraged. ;)
Also, am I doubly crazy for trying to do this with a full time horsey job? I'm a trainer, I currently have 14 horses in training and am mostly a one woman show. I have a guy who does most facility maintenance for me and feeds when I'm gone or on the days I train at another barn and get home late, but I do most of the feeding and care and all of the riding. It's a lot of work, and it is hard to ride horses consistently when I don't absolutely need to...but she really could use more work than she gets, and I could make the time if I spent less time goofing off on COTH and other online places... ;) And also, just in case you were worried, if I feel she is not fit I have no qualms about scratching beforehand or pulling her during the ride. I'm not an endurance trainer and most of my clients who I've mentioned it to think I'm nuts for even considering it, so no ego there. :lol:
We did do a 45 mile ride in about 10 hours 3 weeks ago without particularly trying to hurry, which made my endurance riding friend laugh at my concerns. But I can't help it, I overthink everything. ;)
I guess I don't really know what the point of this thread is, just that somehow a 55 mile competition ride seems so intimidating even though I'm excited about it, so I figured I'd post... ;)