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  1. #1
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    Default TB for endurance?

    I'm curious why I don't see more about TBs in this sport- does anyone use them for endurance?
    I have a friend thats trying to get me to give it a try- she started a few years ago and is having the time of her life on the endurance rides.
    My TB hated the race track but it would be fun to have something with some sort of goal for me to do with him. He can go and go out on the trail so I was wondering if he might enjoy endurance?



  2. #2
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    Nov. 29, 2003
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    There's one here in the NW that's very successful at 25 and 50 mile rides. Plenty of people ride them, I think the biggest obstacle is keeping their feet in one piece, but they have plenty of drive and enjoy the job
    Windwalker Ridge: Gaited horses, lessons, training, sales
    http://windwalkerridge.cloud11.net



  3. #3
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    Cool! This guy actually has really good feet- so that sounds like a plus.
    Are there many rides in the SW WA/Portland area? I'm still trying to figure out how you guys can train here with all the rain and mud we get.



  4. #4
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    The TB is a fine middle distance horse. The Army used a TB model for most of its Remount Program (IIRC the numbers were 90+% TBs; the balance split between Morgans and Arabs, all of which were donated by influential people; and one ASB).

    I think the reason you don't see more TBs is that they are not really suitable as a long distance horse. If they were you'd see more. You don't and that's a strong suggestion that they are not.

    Remember that endurance riding is an event judged by stopwatch and yardstick. There's a lot less "human judging artifact" than you might see in something like dressage. And also a lot less breed/type prejudice.

    I'm not a TB guy, nor an Arab guy. But if I were going to look at serious endurance riding I'd be looking for Arab or Anglo-Arab out of lines that have proven themselves in competition.

    G.



  5. #5
    Steady Wins the Race Guest

    Default TB in endurance

    You do not see TB doing endurance because they are not bred for that type of raceing. They do not pulse down and cool off to meet the criteria needed to get through the vet check. This is not to say the can not do the sport. They just will not be able to compet against the Arabs for top place. The moto of Endurance is 'To Finish is to Win'. If you have any breed of horse, condition him/her to for the miles, and do a sensible ride, you can finish with a horse 'fit to continue', and you have won. You won't be in the top 10, but you can be proud of your accomplishement. I used a Morgan and a Paso Fino before I gave in and got an Arab. Arabs are definatly the beed for the sport.



  6. #6
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    I've seen lots of TB in endurance but you don't see them for long. They compete at a few rides and then they dissappear.
    I met a lady on a TB, we camped together at a few rides and she just loved the sport and for the first few rides was near the front but her horse slowly went lame and she had to give it up.



  7. #7
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    There is a HW male rider in MD that has been using the same TB mare for endurance for years and yes, he's also doing 100's on her. There's another man from further north that uses a huge TB, around 17 hands, for endurance. This guy has excellent bone and feet. Feet is the real key here, so many of them have thin walled/soled feet. Another key is being a sane, calm horse that simply takes everything in stride. They need to know how to chill, calm down and eat/drink.

    Bonnie S.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guilherme View Post

    Remember that endurance riding is an event judged by stopwatch and yardstick. There's a lot less "human judging artifact" than you might see in something like dressage. And also a lot less breed/type prejudice.G.
    That's not completely true. Endurance is MUCH more than stopwatch and yardstick. There are strategically placed and implemented vet checks with a multitude of factors deciding whether the horse goes on down the trail or goes back to the trailer. And yeah the CRI scores are pretty cut and dried, but the lameness exams aren't always. I had two vets collaborating and discussing if one of my horses was lame or not, at a ride. Also how well the horse eats, drinks, pees and poops determines their success - or lack of.

    I've seen lots of different breeds at endurance rides. I think the most important thing is how well the horse takes care of theirself, their soundness, and their mental ability to do the job. There are a LOT of Arabs getting pulled from races for metabolic or lameness problems. Just being an Arab doesn't give them a free ticket.

    There are LOTs of different breeds going the miles year after year after year. Endurance has different meanings for different people. Win, top 10, BC, lifetime mileage, years of competition, FEI, Versatility awards, points.

    This year's World Endurance Championship (100 mile race in Malaysia) turned up some horses that weren't pure Arabs. Look at the photo albums on endurance.net. Many of those horses look like pure TB, or Orlov Trotter, or crosses. The King's horse is half Appaloosa.

    A Paint horse was 6th place at Tevis in 07. (Skipa Slipa On Ice). The horse has an impressive record with 2BCs, and over 2300 competition miles so far. And as far as I know, he's pure registered Paint, which is essentially a QH. He's got that big tall butt with downhill build.



  9. #9
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    I tried with my OTTB but his bucking became a serious issue for me. We never completed a ride (through no fault of the horse). The more fit he got, the tougher he was to ride. So when we were fit for LD, he was a real pistol and not much fun for other riders and horses to be around. We had to plan accordingly during the en-masse starts of endurance rides.

    The horse was clean legged (view him in my profile) and very athletic--he was coming off a two-month lay-up due to a leg abscess in that picture. His biggest problem was weak feet (soft walls). We might have gotten through this, but now I'll never know. He needed a younger rider.

    His favorite gait was the canter, so my plan was to do enough trotting to cover decent distances and to allow him to canter when possible. He found that the most relaxing and would calm/cool down rapidly after a nice 22mph canter. He was not nearly as sure-footed as some Arabs I've ridden, but he was safe enough when not bucking.



  10. #10
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    Maty - did you check him for ulcers? Since my horse had them, I've been reading all I can. It seems like if you have a horse that gets worse and worse behaved, the fitter and more they're ridden, ulcers are highly suspect. That's what happened in our case also. The more I rode her and the fitter she got, the hotter and spookier she became. I just did a 25 on her on Sunday though and she was absolutely perfect. Only one spook but it was legitimate. I've been riding her at night also and back 2 or 3 months ago - wooo no way. I would have been dead before I got down the driveway. But since the treatment she is a brand new horse.

    They say 90% of OTTBs have ulcers, and many of them are very severe, so I wonder if that was Butch's problem?



  11. #11
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    Are there many rides in the SW WA/Portland area? I'm still trying to figure out how you guys can train here with all the rain and mud we get.
    Well first we get really good waterproof gear most of our winter riding is done on fire roads which means the footing is good all winter.

    To find our about rides in PNW look at the PNER website (Pacific Northwest Endurance riders) which whill list them all http://www.endurance.net/organizations/PNER/

    There's a very active group of us in the area
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  12. #12
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    yeah, I still ride several times a week all the way through winter, old logging roads mostly, so the footing is good and we can still condition. I have a Carrhart jacket that's wonderful, and you learn to tack up at the trailer really really fast! Once you're on, it's not too bad, especially if you have some company
    Windwalker Ridge: Gaited horses, lessons, training, sales
    http://windwalkerridge.cloud11.net



  13. #13
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    A2, looking back, I really wish I had checked him for ulcers. I had been very careful about them after treating him for ulcers the first year I got him. We'd been through the fitness = racehorse thing a couple of times, but I think the leg abcess might have pushed him into an ulcer despite my best efforts at prevention. Because I'd been so careful about feeding him appropriately, it didn't occur to me it was a possibility until I was reading an unrelated article months later. Heck, he suffered laminitis as a result of that abscess, so why not uclers, too? He'd been a bucker all along in an exuberant way, but it got nasty after the abscess.



  14. #14
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    Is it required to start out at the same time as all other horses?
    That might be a problem as I know my guy would be REALLY amp'd up by that- the first time I took him into an arena after he got back from the racetrack he had a little melt down when he saw all the other horses in there.
    Actually thats how I started taking him out on trails so much, it seems he really enjoys it and is pretty mellow when he can just get out an move on the trail. We did an organized 15 mile ride last summer and he was OK with that- actually better once we got away from the start area with all the activity, horses, dogs, and trailers.
    I really would just want to do this for fun, not necessarily to get too competative with it.



  15. #15
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    Paul Mellon won the Old Dominion Ride several times on his tb, Christmas Goose.

    Paul calls Virginia home, and on weekends he rides as much as he can. Last month, riding on a mount called Christmas Goose, he won, for the fourth year, Virginia's famous 100-mile ride, a three-day exercise that is meant to test the endurance of the horse as much as the ability of the rider. As a result of all his exercise, Paul, at 5 ft. 10 in., is still fit and slim at 70.
    "The Hundred Mile Ride, or How to Cook Your Christmas Goose" by Paul Mellon

    “I’ll thank the Lord the life I’ve led
    Was always near a Thoroughbred.”
    "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by certifiedgirl View Post
    Is it required to start out at the same time as all other horses?
    .

    NO. You can start anytime you want after the race starts. At first I hung back giving the pack a chance to clear the area but before long more and more did this so even holding back 5 minutes seemed to put me in a pack.
    But again you can start anytime you feel like once the starter gives the ok.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by matryoshka View Post
    A2, looking back, I really wish I had checked him for ulcers. I had been very careful about them after treating him for ulcers the first year I got him. We'd been through the fitness = racehorse thing a couple of times, but I think the leg abcess might have pushed him into an ulcer despite my best efforts at prevention. Because I'd been so careful about feeding him appropriately, it didn't occur to me it was a possibility until I was reading an unrelated article months later. Heck, he suffered laminitis as a result of that abscess, so why not uclers, too? He'd been a bucker all along in an exuberant way, but it got nasty after the abscess.
    Well, the most important thing is that you cut the ties before you got hurt seriously! No horse is worth life and limb. You made the right decision.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow14 View Post
    NO. You can start anytime you want after the race starts. At first I hung back giving the pack a chance to clear the area but before long more and more did this so even holding back 5 minutes seemed to put me in a pack.
    But again you can start anytime you feel like once the starter gives the ok.
    Well, not quite "any" time. Most rides have a cut off limit of about 15 minutes. So in other words you can't hang out in camp for an extra hour to let the trrail clear, but you can start a few minutes after everyone else.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by certifiedgirl View Post
    I'm curious why I don't see more about TBs in this sport- does anyone use them for endurance?
    I have a friend thats trying to get me to give it a try- she started a few years ago and is having the time of her life on the endurance rides.
    My TB hated the race track but it would be fun to have something with some sort of goal for me to do with him. He can go and go out on the trail so I was wondering if he might enjoy endurance?
    I think this alot like saying, "I want to do dressage. Can a ***** horse (breed) do it?"

    The answer is always "yes," you just have to decide how hard core you are about the sport and where you want to go.

    Obviously, feet is the main drawback for TBs (and I worked with racehorses for years, so I've seen ALOT of TBs), closely followed by the hotness. If they can stay sound, will they calm down enough in vet checks to pulse down?

    But much of this is management. There ARE TBs out there with good feet, you just have to find them.

    I read somewhere that "there has never been a major 100 mile endurance ride that wasn't won by an Arab gelding." Well, I was sorry to hear THAT, because I love mares. ANd I'm not sure it's even true.

    But that is at the very top of the sport. Just like WBs dominant the upper levels of dressage & jumping, Arabs dominate the upper level of endurance.

    Still, you could do a great job with a TB if it's the right TB. Get a good farrier and start training!



  20. #20
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    My NZTB was FABULOUS at LD -- the only reason he didn't move up to doing 50s is that *I* don't want to.

    At least until he tore a suspensory at Yellowhammer last year. He was the only one of our horses that was left going out on the third day and got injured with only a 9 mile loop left -- that wasn't a fault of anything other than bad luck -- he got a back foot in a rock hole and twisted it getting it free, ripping off his back shoe and tearing the insertion of his suspensory.

    True to his tough TB roots, he trotted the rest of the way in sound, but once the adrenaline wore off, he was VERY lame on it.

    He'll not go back to the sport seriously, mostly because I'm going to have to be sooooo careful about the footing that he is competeing in, but there are a few LDs with safe and good footing that he could do.

    The statement about TBs not pulsing down and cooling off like an arab is just plain WRONG. All three that I have done the sport with came down as fast as, if not better than, the arabs that I ride with.

    In fact, the NZ horse was considered, to quote a vet in the box, to be a "freak" because when fit, his resting is so low and he comes down INSTANTLY. Even my 16.2 big bodied TB pulses right down with his fit arab friend, so you won't know until you try.

    Shoes and pads were always my friend, though.

    Best of luck, and I have always wanted to sponsor an award for OTTBS doing distance, so anyone with any ideas about that, let me know.

    Libby
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