I have a horse that I am trying to sell and I think he would make a wonderful Endurance horse. I guess I want to know what Endurance riders are looking for in a horse. He is an Arab x and he moves really nice and forward. He hacks out and loves to go. He has awesome feet (barefoot). He has a lot of energy and can go all day. He is a nice horse and I think he would love the sport. I would love to pic your brains...Thank you, Marney
Would I be wrong in saying that they would prefer a prospect with a few documented ride results under their belt?
Many people will claim that the horse will go all day... but it can be a fairly ambiguous comment. Do they have a naturally low pulse and respiration rate? Do they eat and drink well in just about any circumstance? Do they take care of themselves?
And then it just depends. Many like to find a diamond in the rough and bring it into condition on their own. Some may want one that has already shown a competitive record.
Just throwing some initial thoughts out there. I, too, am interested in what others have to say.
The goes all day is subjective--one person's all day is another's amble thru the woods.
As was said earlier, some endurance people like to take prospects, others do not.
I would look for a horse that was in reasonably fit condition, had a decent base of long slow distance under their belt, not necessarily endurance but that would be a bonus, and had a sensible mind when alone on the trail or in a group. I had to deal w/ extreme horsie anxiety with my green mare and it WAS NOT FUN . I absolutely would not buy a prospect that spooked at every shadow including their own. Took lots of time and wet blankets to change and is just not worth it.
They absolutely would have to self load easily (another lesson learned), tie reasonably well and take care of themselves as far as eating and drinking when in heavy work. Forward is great but crazy is not. Hot is just fine as long as they aren't wont to throw themselves off a cliff or in the path of a semi when frightened.
I happen to like pretty and smart hence an Arab. I'm inclined to stay out of the horses way and keep the direction down to a minimum so smart is important. I've seen some wonderful crosses but for me it's the purebreds that have it cinched.
When I started searching for an endurane prospect, I looked at a lot of pictures, I really wanted one that was started, but an unbroke four year old mare caught my eye, here is what I like so much about her:
-First of all, she was pretty. Very attractive all around.
-She has a nicely dished head, which helps with the cooling of air.
-She is grey, I don't know if it's true or not, but greys are said to cool quicker.
-She has nice, straight legs, with decent bone.
-A nice deep girth, more room for a bigger heart.
-Low resting heart rate.
-Her heart rate come down quickly after excersie.
-Nice, big walk.
-Trot was very balanced, and had huge strides, very "catlike" in movement.
-Canter was easy for her, and appeared naturallt balanced.
-A lot of "go", but not crazy.
-I watched her in the round pen, at a full trot, for 20 minutes, never saw any sign of any discomfort at all.
-Passed pre purchase exam with flying colors, clean x-rays.
Ideally 8" bone, a long comfortable stride (not jarring) at both trot and canter. Lots of lung and heartgirth. Good wide chest. Low resting heart rate. Quiet demeanor during vetting. Used to lots of handling from all sides at the same time. Loads readily and travels quietly.
Height of mount is not crucial once most of the other criteria fit.
Most other "needs" are personal preference and/or can be taught.
You don't want something too well muscled. The leaner horses do better, good feet which you already have are required.
This go all day is overrated. I would love to see some of you really pick a good hard working trot and honestly hold it for an hour, no letup, no walking and see how you and your horse hold up.
I run roads 75% of the time just so I can find enough mileage to maintain a pace.
This is my first look at Strider. I bought him that day. I liked his type. Beautiful movement, engertic, light. Sorry for the poor picture but I just scaned an old picture.
I liked his type. http://i32.tinypic.com/e8k0te.jpg
Last edited by Shadow14; Jun. 4, 2008 at 08:40 PM.
I ride endurance, it's what I do, and I do it well.
When I look at a prospect:
I look for a good sized barrel, good bone in the legs. Nice conformation, perfect well..that's hard to find, but the closer to that the better obviously.
I avoid horses with obvious crookedness in their limbs, about 80% of the horse population has some degree of vargus, so that's tougher to avoid.
I like shorter backed horses, as long as it fits the rest of their body. But I won't turn down a longer backed horse if they are tied in well through their loins. Weak back/loins, becomes an issue when fatigue sets in, and it will.
I also like tougher minded horses, I want a horse that will NOT quit. When it's time to quit, when my horse has had enough, I'll be doing the quitting definitely- because those are my horsemanship skills. But I look for that 'eagle eye', whatever you want to call it. I want a horse that thinks fast on his/her feet and is somewhat independent minded.
Personality is a big one for me. I am looking for a partner, not a zombie.
As for the go all day- well endurance riders hear that a lot. Any fit/conditioned horse, should be able to go all day, so that statement really doesn't hold much water for an experienced endurance rider.
I for one tend to look beyond that statement and look for that undefinable presence that says. "Here I am, look at me, I will take you all the way if you have the will and want to go with me." The look of a champion, I guess is really what it is.
Best way I can explain it.
Originally Posted by ExJumper
Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.
Thank you all. This really does help and I do understand the go all day thing. This horse can go for hours and still want to go at a trot or canter he wears me out and I ride a lot. It makes me feel better hearing what you had to say and does make me realize he is a good prospect but my wording and what I was putting emphis on may be incorrect. Thanks again for all the good info...Marney
For both of my horses, I just looked for a young, inexpensive (free weanling and $800 3 y.o.) Arab / part Arab that appealed to me. No specific criteria, just decent conformation, and nice personality.
I also prefer geldings over mares and will not buy a mare. Too moody. I have some in my shoing cycle that are terrible at certain times so we change the schedule around to accomodate their mood.
As for youngster it is too much like a lottery. I want to see the mature thing so I know what I am going to end up with. I also feel that if you handle a baby too much you turn him into a spoiled brat.
I always seem to find 4 or 5 year olds with no handling so I get to break them how I want. If they get a bad habit it was my fault.