I'm actually a hunter/jumper rider but I recently purchased a horse for jumping. After being looked over more seriously by our vet after some issues, he feels that jumping will eventually wear him down joint wise.
However, he can still be flatted. As I'm not into flat work only I have to move him on. The other trainer who works me, works with an endurance rider and suggested that my horse would work well for endurance trail riding.
I have taken him out on trail rides with her (that were endurance) and he can go for hours. He's a TB and he's got a huge stride. The other TB that I rode with had to canter to keep up with his trot.
I guess my question is, what do you look for in an endurance horse? I know very little about the sport so I don't want to market my horse to a genre he wouldn't be suitable for. Obviously I think he'd rock it because we went for a 3 hour endurance style trail ride and at the end he was still looking for more trail but I realize there is more to it than that.
You look for sound legs and feet. First and foremost. Actual endurance competing is miles and miles of impact on all the joints, often on hard roads. So, if your horse has an issue or conformational problem that may lead to an issue then this may not be the horse for endurance. Is this a TB? A big/tall horse? Most folks wouldn't look at that type. I know many TB's can do endurance well but it's not a breed typically considered. On top of that, most folks pay very low prices for Arabians so are you willing to price your horse low? People are giving away TBs now, heck all kinds of breeds
Nope, I wouldn't touch him even for free, as a distance prospect. Soundness is crucial and compactness is a priority for me. The rigors of training alone would break him down and he'd never make it to an actual competition if he's already got knee problems. Endurance horses must be able to handle very rugged terrain for many miles and many hours. I'm thinking your horse would make a nice pleasure horse for someone who would want to do some English type showing on the flat. But never an endurance horse. Sorry. JMO
He's probably a very wonderful boy, but I wouldn't buy him either. Sorry, but I wouldn't. I think endurance riding is every bit as stressful as jumping. Up and down hills, climbing over rocks, trotting and cantering over terrain that would make some people's stomach turn green, climbing out of ravines, deep mud, river bottoms, steep slippery creek banks.
I did a ride early this year where we had a set of about 10 or so stairs built into the side of a tall hill. The horses had to go down the stairs, into the water at the very bottom. The course was out and back, so then we had to go up those stairs on the way back to camp.
There's another trail I like to condition on that has a hill that is so steep, we weave back and forth, switchback style. Stuff like that would be murder on a horse with knee problems.
Endurance riding is really hard work.
I agree - pleasure trail horse, but probably not suitable for endurance unless he were only conditioned and competed on flat sandy trails, and those can be hard to find.
Cool, thanks for the advice. The vet said he didn't think he'd break down "anytime soon" from jumping but why risk it? And I would feel the same way about this too. I want him to have a successful career at something and be loved, so if it's as a plain ole trail horse that's fine with me. I just want him to be used and happy!!
Our barn manager is discussing using him as a walk/trot/canter/ground poles horse since our beginner program is so huge. Not sure how he'd do, but it's worth a shot.
you probably can considered LD... or CTR's. Limited distance or competative trail riding. ( I rode w/ a girl who does eventing has a wonderfully huge OTTB who did beautifully- better than my arab over a flat 20 miles, well she rides him every day and well I ride once a week, but he was fantastic for 20 miles)
Anyway that's probably where you will want to look, Its distance but not as hard and demanding. You pretty much can pull a horse out of a stall and compete in those events if they are decant horses (not advacating this by the way) and yes you will probably lose money on him. =/ sorry just the way it is about now. Best of luck to you!
Great suggestion! Thanks! I originally envisioned him as an eventer because he did very well dressage and LOVES to go for long distances outdoors. The longer he's out, the more he loves it. We did a 3 hour trail ride all trot/canter and at the end he was still pulling and looking for more trail.
I'm cool with taking the financial hit so long as it's a good home for him.
Never thought of that. I'll talk to our farrier Thursday because he's super in love with my horse (as are most people who meet him) and he might have an idea. I only worry about foxhunting because sometimes those folks don't really treat their horses all that well. Or at least in my experiences.
You know there are alot of freebie or next-to-freebie horses out there that are equally great. I would take your trainer up on the schoolie offer or board him out at a retirement farm until the market opens up. It is really, really tough for really inexpensive, sorta unsound horses.
Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
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I am kind of curious as to why the vet was looking at you boy in the first place. it sounds like your vets opinion was fairly vague....like the horse might breakdown from jumping sometime I the future. it has been my unfortunate experience and the unfortunate experience of others I know that perfectly suitable horses are sent on down the road because of a vague undocumented statement from a vet looking to protect themselves from liability. all horses has the potential to get hurt injured, etc. a horse that you really like with the heart of your boy can be harder to find than a great talent. I would hate for you to send this horse on down the road because a vet was covering their behind which is more common than an accurate diagnosis. jmo