My dad's first partner was a 19 year old Tenn. Walker and they were awesome together until he was 21. Dad now rides a Paso. My dad didn't start riding until he was in his 60's and didn't like posting. My mom has ridden an arab, a wonderful TB mule, a paso and a QH.
We have two Hanoverians, full brothers, who we use for endurance at present. One is 21 and his little brother is 7. The younger one just kept getting fitter and fitter and we hadn't trained him all that well so he became very very enthused and showed it. We are working now with a PNH trainer to see about making him safe again. If horses are not fit they get tired quicker and slow down which is good and bad. The 21 year old is a joy to me. He has 450 miles and I hope we get to 1000 before I move on to his little sister.
The barn we ride out of has had several horses that they trained for the 100 mile race in SW VA around the Homestead for several years. One was an 16+HH TB, who did well. The other horse they regularly raced was a draft cross named, Canada. I believe he retired the lightweight trophy after winning it for 3 years running. Hubby and I got to ride the boys while they were in training to help get them fit.
The last year Canada raced, hubby was riding him and he was being a pain since he was so fit. Hubby got tired of the jigging so he found a natural bowl area in one of the pastures and let him run. It was a big bowl area and they did 5 laps at a full gallop before Canada started coming back to hubby. They did a sixth lap to make sure the beans were gone and we had a very nice ride after that incident. Canada is what we refer to as an "Oh My God" horse. That is when you are going into a jump/bad situation, you take a look at it and say "Oh My God" and the horse takes you safely over/through it.
He is about 15.2 hh probably some hackney in him but no one knew for sure. He was my husband's favorite ride. He is now up in PA and we miss him.
My best buddy trail partner is a 10 year old appy gelding, Sanderson (aka Sandy). He's 15 hands, short backed, long legged, and has tons of go. He's on the hot side, and has been known to spook now and then, but he can also be unbelievably bold and brave. Typically his general attitude is "Where are we going today? Awesome, let's do it!"
How he came to be mine is a kind of unusual (and long, please bear with me) story. He was amongst a bunch of weanlings that were dropped off at a farm next door to my own barn at the time; whoever bred him got into things over her head and couldn't afford to feed so many mouths. She made arrangements with this farm to donate one older mare to the therapeutic riding program run there, and showed up with a stock trailer full of wild babies + said older mare. She literally unloaded all of them in a pasture & abandoned them.
Anyway, some volunteers at this therapeutic riding program took pity on the poor little things, and decided to adopt one together (once it became officially legal to do so.) They came to my place and asked if they could rough board a baby at my barn, and could I help them decide which foal to take on. Sure!
The farm kept the babies in the pasture. They were a motley little crew of underweight, scab-ridden Arablets & this one puny roan-spotted thing with pink eyes & no tail. The story was, supposedly, that the appy was an orphan. Sure enough, he was the only one who had any interest in people at all. While the others all skittered away, this urchin boldly stared us down...and approached us! Turned out he was quite friendly and didn't mind being handled at all. "This is your foal, ladies."
He came to stay at my place shortly thereafter. His benefactors had intended to sell him once he was healthy and had a little more ground work under his belt. These ladies had very little practical experience with babies, and asked me for a lot of help in handling him. Big surprise, I bonded with the little bugger. Before Christmas that year, they told me he was mine if I wanted him.
I've ridden several different arabs, a arab/appy cross, a foundation bred appy, and am now competing on a TWH. I just bought the walker this fall, but he's done 2 rides and just loved it--hope to do some 50's with him this spring. My son rode a POA when he was little--that was way cute, he went through the vet lines himself (he was 9) and trotted his pony out and everything.
My distance horse was a little grade palomino, she had a very big trot and big walk but a very lousy canter. I think she might have had some stdbred in her, arab, qh maybe? she was barefoot most of her life, i did put shoes on her at times but only fronts, she had no problem with distance but i never did 100 with her, i think she could have in her younger days but not sure about me.
My bestest buddy is my 22 y/o bay Arabian gelding, Conny. I have been blessed with his presence since he was 4 y/o, and he's an awesome trail horse.
We started out showing, but he HATED it although he was bred for the performance ring. I took him out on a trail ride just to see if his attitude would lighten up a bit, and voila, that is what he was meant to do!
He has a wonderful ground-eating trot, and is always in front of the pack, looking ahead to the next hill or water crossing. Ears up, eyes bright, he's the very epitome of what you want in a trail horse. He can still do the 25 milers without a problem, and I have a feeling he's not going to be ready to retire anytime soon.
Sheri is also supposed to be an awesome trail horse, and I can't wait for the weather to break so I can put her through her paces out in the woods. However, not having been ridden for almost 2 years, and at 21 y/o, I'm not going to push her as far or as hard as the "old man".
Casper will be ridden on trails too, although I think little man's forte is going to be the Western Pleasure show ring. Just a hunch.
I ride an OTTB. He so did not want to be a race horse that his second ride after bringing him home from the track was on the trail and he went on the buckle. There is something to be said for an ex-racehorse; they have seen it all. He's got a long sweeping trot and he is easy to condition. He also camps great. My husband rides a barrel shaped foundation QH. He is a genetic freak. He should not be able to excell at CTR, but he does. He always has great P and R. He has an extremely fst trot; he always has to walk the last mile in so as not to get the time penalties for being too fast.
Well, my trail work (finding/clearing/marking/unmarking) has been on: grade/draft cross (Heinz-57's), appy, araby/appy, and several TWHs. Last spring, I tried "Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch" on my 18yo TWH mare with a dislocated coccyx (mine, not hers) and took Rider Option after the first loop. Chiropractor is still working on it. I'm currently conditioning several Cleveland Bay x Tennessee Walkers. We'll see what happens. And no, they're not "gaited" but sure are smooth and really cover the ground!!!
I am currently riding two 6 yr olds. O Night Divine (Diva) is a PB Arabian, about 50% Russian lines. She has done two LD's, one CTR and one 50 miler. I bought her as a 3 yr old from the breeder. She's a solid 15.1 hands now, has a RHR of 28. She really has the heart and lungs for distnce riding. Right from day one she has been a VERY forward horse, loves to be in the lead.She just digs into the trail and keeps on moving forward. Tires me out trying to keep the pace down on short rides around home. I'm hoping that maturity will mellow her. I hope, I hope, I hope......
My other child is Mighty Mouse (aka Mouse or Brat Boy). He was a rescue basicly. He has a smidge of qtr in him so is registerable as a 1/2 Arab. Gotta get that done. He's quite the character, loves working cows! He can cover ground with a huge trot (only 14.3) and is a very talented jumper. I think he would look great in harness too.
I'd love to attach pics but don't know how to send them to this forum.
The world of endurance is perfect for the Shagya Arabian, either as a purebred or the cross of purebred Arabian X purebred Shagya.
The Shagya adds more height, more bone, better legs and feet and the shoulder and hip angles are improved. Plus you have the steady, very adaptable Shagya mind that can fire up and come down just as quickly.
Fayette de Cameo is the premier example of this cross. She was the Tevis winner in '02, year before that "best condition winner" as a five year old.
Fayette took a year off to raise a foal, but is now getting ready to compete in the Emirate races in Dubai.
There are not enough Shagya or the crosses around, but you can be assured that when they compete they do very well!
We have four fully approved stallions, three imported from Europe. They are wonderful crosses on your purebred Arabian mares and also on the Thoroughbred mares to give you the Anglo/Shagya.
Another bonus for breeding Arabian mares, if the offspring is a filly, she may stand for the breed inspection, and if approved will be the beginning of a purebred Shagya program.
Purebred Shagya are limited to no more then nine purebred Arabian ancesters in the fourth generation. This is strictly enforced!
The purebred Shagya is NOT a strain of Arabian, but its own breed, began 200 years ago in the Austro-Hungarian empire. Before WWII there were 3000 a year being foaled and they were considered the ELITE horse! Following the war only about 300 were left and today the total population is about 1800.
Those of you interested in breeding endurance horses might wish to investigate this wonderful, charming, and very athletic breed. New breeders are seriously needed in order to preserve and save this unique rare sport horse!
I have never had anyone visit my farm that has not been competely won over by the excellent characteristics found in these horses.