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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luseride View Post
    Go to a local barrel race and you will see all kinds of people on horses. The ones that win ride well because they stay out of their horses way and let them get the job done. The rest are a wreck waiting to happen.
    Dressage shows too

    I have to admit I feel really, really sorry for the endurance horses with bad riders. It must make their job 10 times more difficult with a sack of potatoes on their backs!



  2. #22
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    Ouch-this one bothers me a lot, especially from the overhead view! Whenever we hit rough stuff with our horses I tell the kids to just stay in the middle- these folks are all over the place!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjsvj...eature=related



  3. #23
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    The flip side of this coin (that people with money can pay a trainer, and buy a really expensive, well trained, and compliant horse, and go compete and win)...

    is that people who have lots of talent, and not much money/trust fund/privelege, can have a career in horses. Please note the 'well trained' in the above paragraph. Somebody trained that horse. If you can figure out how to get paid for training a horse well...that can be your living.


    Some 'trainers' are pretty sorry, but others are very good at what they do, and with time they can turn out not just a rank amateur with a good performance but, with time and teaching, a GOOD amateur with a good performance- and a happy horse.

    I don't like watching poorly ridden horses any more than the next person, but we were all beginners at some point. And it sure can frost you if someone with more money than talent beats you...but really, if you think about it, it's more the person that trained the horse (and also possibly partly the person who bred the horse- more $$$$) beat you.

    Without the folks with money who couldn't get their horse competitive themselves, there would be no horse professionals- even teaching up/downers at horse camps.


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  4. #24
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    Keep in mind Endurance prioritizes its skill set differently. I'm fairly sure there are more MDs and DVMs in the sport and those are the kind of skills that really make a difference. Understanding endurance conditioning of horse and rider, diet, drug-free management - all that stuff, also good. Good riding is important, but not in the same way it is riding for an eq medal. Being balanced, reducing the number of calories your horse is burning while keeping him balanced and in control - that's great riding in endurance. Some would do well to spend more time on it. Working well with others, like on a team, is not a necessary skill Knowing how to braid neatly or coordinate colors; also not.

    Also keep in mind the sport has a fairly libertarian set up. You are free to show up, enter, and do permanent damage to your reputation as a horseman any weekend you like. You MAY NOT damage your horse negligently, and many with the money and arrogance to show up without a clue are pulled and sent back to camp about an hour into what will be their first and only endurance ride, before too much harm is done. Other have this experience, go home and get a clue and return noteworthy competitors. It's also true that any old trail horse and any old rider with a very modest amount of disposable income can participate successfully in this sport with some practice and preparation, and how many horse activities can you say that about???

    I agree with those who've said they learned more about horses doing this sport than in all the years prior. I sometimes now stand bewildered by the things experienced horsemen just "don't get" about horses and am so grateful this sport was shared with me.


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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboymom View Post
    Ouch-this one bothers me a lot, especially from the overhead view! Whenever we hit rough stuff with our horses I tell the kids to just stay in the middle- these folks are all over the place!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjsvj...eature=related
    I watched that from start to finish and was kind of surprised at how many people had trouble riding up that hill. Now granted there was a lot to look at with people standing around but it wasn't that bad. Is a climb like that unusual in endurance races?

    What I noticed was a lot of people who had no base of support....lower legs just swinging back and upper bodies falling forward and they hampered their horses ability to climb. Not everyone for sure...some did a lovely job...but a couple were kind of scary. The few horses that turned around and headed back down were pretty out of control.

    Sadly you will see riding just as bad at lower level events or dressage shows. I don't think endurance has more than their share of beginners or bad riding if that video was representative of the sport.



  6. #26
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    Endurance definitely has the worst riders. The reason is that riding lessons are not necessary they way they are in other disciplines. And if no one corrects your faults you will end up doing the same thing over and over. Endurance is full of what I call "lifetime beginners" and there's a strong "lessons? I don't need no stinking lessons!" mentality. (I'm in Los Angeles, lots of endurance riders here.)

    There may be a few bad apples among other disciplines, but no one gets stuck in the beginner mode like in endurance. I have a friend who did endurance for twenty years, then retired and took dressage lessons. She assumed she was a good rider because of all the miles and years of riding, and was shocked when she was told she was a beginner and put on a beginner horse. It wasn't that she didn't know how to ride dressage, she didn't know how to ride at all. There are basic skills that apply to all riding disciplines.

    I'm surprised someone brought this up. Endurance has a poor reputation mainly because of this. Most good horsemen will roll their eyes when someone mentions endurance. BTW, when I say poor reputation it's considered an easy sport for people who can't ride. I'm not saying it is easy, but when so many participants are stuck at beginner level, that's how people will view it.


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  7. #27
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    Meh.
    Those people spending a lot to get a made horse or have their trainer do the work are supporting professionals in a way most of us cannot. As someone here said in another thread: "Rock on big spender!"


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  8. #28
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    the gal on that bay horse who wanted no part of Cougar Rock, at about 5 minutes- that was hard to watch. The horse had no confidence in the route, she had no skills to help him, and I just kept waiting for the horse to truly say enough, and for her to land in a heap on those rocks. She had no business doing a point and shoot trail ride, much less Tevis. Wow.



  9. #29
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    I moved from Auburn, CA, where I had lived since 1960, to Morriston, FL. In California I pretty much ignored the endurance people. I did not realize that in moving to Florida I would be in another hotbed of endurance. I know some of these riders personally now and yes, some of the riders are absolutely horrible. But the top ones do a ton of conditioning and take dressage lessons on a regular basis. They are excellent horsemen.



  10. #30
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    I've really never thought of this or watched much endurance riding at all but this is interesting youtube material to me this morning...

    Seems like the most important preparation is to make sure your horse is ok with camera people hiding off trail! Really?? camera stationed on the uphill side of a cliff?

    this is a sad little cross section of riders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0aDumcUS3s

    I understand that there are real pros mixed in with real beginners all in the same field where in most horse events there are more divisions...it's scary to see badly out of balance and floppy bouncy on a cliff-side trail or mountain goat rock climb. It's like the Olympics letting novices compete along with the pros.

    I felt bad for that horse too-we went up something similar this spring and my good horse chose a bad initial flight path through the rocks and I had to help him pick a better way. sometimes the horse can choose their way but sometimes they need your help in addition to your balance and steady hand. Poor horse when he needs help and there's nobody home! Too dangerous for beginners.



  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arab_Mare View Post
    Then there are the, "Ooh! Cool! Horsey ride!" kind of folks, who just have the cash or connections to ride fancy fit Arabians. They make me want to absolutely puke.


    Basically, am I just completely insane? Or is Endurance Riding one of the equestrian disciplines which doesn't need experience or skill, just horse? It just seems as though the integrity of the sport has declined, and now it's just about how good the horse is, not how good the rider is.
    I agree that quite a few endurance riders are horrible riders. They have only done trail riding, never taken lessons and hate arena work. I think that some of the racers who Top Ten frequently are actually some of the worst riders- the horses are braced against them in the beginning of the rides and then as they get tired towards the end, are really strung out, and are never balanced or have any support from the riders. Some of the horses even seem to excel in spite of the rider.
    Even though there are some riders who pay to ride someone else's horse on Tevis, there are riders who have many, many endurance miles who lack basic riding skills- they put in the time to condition their own horse, but look horrible doing it. So I wouldnt say that they dont put their time in, because they do, but they dont do well in endurance because of actual riding skill. Its because they are competitive, brave and have lots of stamina.

    Of course, these are generalizations because there are also plenty of good riders out there- it seems like people who have also had exposure to different disciplines and formal riding experience.



  12. #32
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    I feel so much better about having just told a friend who expressed interest in trail riding that in my opinion he should do some basic lessons also. (My background is dressage, but I imagine any kind of basic balanced-riding flatwork approach would work out, depending on what's locally available. Something to teach you how to work with the horse, mostly.)



  13. #33
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    From Fact and Fiction About the Tevis Cup Ride...


    "You need to be an extreme athlete to ride the Tevis Cup Ride. No! There are many ultra-runners and world class athletes who start the Ride each year. But there are more fit, healthy, and optimistic people who do fine without the rigors of cross training, personalized exercise routines, and fancy equipment. Buckle winners have ranged in age from 11 to 80. Many have finished, probably without a doctor’s consent, while battling chronic illnesses and nursing broken bones. While there is definitely a correlation between personal fitness and long term comfort on the trail, many people have finished the Ride dealing with less than favorable individual issues."

    Sounds to me like they encourage anyone to try it, in good shape or not. Similarly there are no weight restrictions on riders in this race. They do however say in the same document that "No abuse or inhumane treatment of equines, accidental or deliberate, will be tolerated" - can an unfit, overweight or unskilled rider be deemed abusive or inhumane towards the horse?
    ............................................
    http://www.xanthoria.com/OTTB
    ............................................



  14. #34
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    I wouldnt say that the Tevis organizers just "encourage anyone to try it"- there *are* miniumum qualifications of AERC ride miles that you have to meet, although they are not that extensive.

    50s and 100s are very tough, but I think that the rider's mindset is far more important than their fitness or physical condition. Its amazing how many senior citizens are out there, as well as overweight people or people battling health issues.

    One area where I have a lot of respect for endurance riders is our bravery. Compared to say dressage riders, who are often afraid to leave the arena or to ride a green horse or a horse that *may* spook.

    I personally would not want to be overweight, for my sake as well as my horses, but I wouldnt go so far as to say that would be abusive...



  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post
    I guess if I'm trying to be ironic I need to put that little smiley in.
    haha, sorry I guess I'm a little oversensitive. Endurance has its share of fantastic riders and horrific riders, just like any equestrian discipline.

    The difference in endurance is that everyone rides the same trail, whether you have 100 AERC miles or 10,000. It's one of the many things that I love about this sport, and it's one of the best ways newbies get to learn. Since there are very few endurance trainers out there, riding with and watching experienced competitors can teach you a lot. It's certainly been that way for me, and when I found myself at my last ride being a mentor for the first time, it was a great feeling to be able to help someone else as so many others have helped me.
    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.



  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigHorseLittleHorse View Post
    The difference in endurance is that everyone rides the same trail, whether you have 100 AERC miles or 10,000. It's one of the many things that I love about this sport, and it's one of the best ways newbies get to learn. Since there are very few endurance trainers out there, riding with and watching experienced competitors can teach you a lot. It's certainly been that way for me, and when I found myself at my last ride being a mentor for the first time, it was a great feeling to be able to help someone else as so many others have helped me.
    How do you train for endurance riding? You need to find a special trainer, an all-round trainer, who can teach you dressage and jumping, as well as trail riding. Learning how to ride on the trail, open and close gates, deal with dangerous situations, and simply experience as much as you can, WITH A KNOWLEDGEABLE TRAINER WITH YOU. Learning dressage helps immensely on the trail as well.



  17. #37
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    Every facet of riding has people who buy their way into competitions. Ready made hunters and jumpers, dressage push button competitors, barrel racers...lots of guys foxhunting on horses they haven't a clue on but bought to pack them around. I watched one pretty high level x-country on TV, fat girl on a horse she couldn't ride at all and slopped all over the place...daddy's money couldn't buy her talent, just the horse.
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"


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  18. #38
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    is that people who have lots of talent, and not much money/trust fund/privelege, can have a career in horses. Please note the 'well trained' in the above paragraph. Somebody trained that horse. If you can figure out how to get paid for training a horse well...that can be your living.
    You *do* have a good point, Fillabeana, but there are some mighty big hurdles for this.

    1.) Just getting ANY experience when you are *ahem* poor and having to ride whatever you can get is difficult. SOMEWHERE you have to get money for entry fees, hauling, and gear, regardless of your sport (Even rodeo bronc/bull riders have to get TO the rodeo and pay the entry fee, and they uses the RODEO stock and only have to train themselves <wink!> )

    2.) Getting facilities where you CAN train can be very difficult for folks who live in less population dense/less boarding facility focused areas can be VERY expensive. And even when you are GOOD, it is difficult to train well in the middle of a mud lot <grin!>

    3.) When you haven't had access to the good horses and entry fees for the bigger competitions, it is VERY hard to develop a reputation that will let you compete for customers against the "Daddy's Money bought me a horse that let me compete nationally and go to enough shows to get year end trophies" folks. New folks to ANY sport often want the fastest possible path to their own success, and finding a horse pro with limited finances but good skills is usually the SECOND route they take, after spending a CRAPLOAD of money on a Bling trainer that has a fancy farm, lots of trophys and not a lot of real, hard-earned experience on the less talented horses.

    ESPECIALLY in Endurance, newbies looking for help often look for folks that are currently top-tenning/winning without looking into how many horses that rider lamed/soured/over-rode to get that season's "Winner" horse. Long term endurance riders care about longevity...but they also have often got enough experience (or else they don't stay in endurance) that they don't feel a LOT of need for outside help.

    There is a level of "not-rich but can get experience/reputation/facilities" below which you will forever be shoveling manure and riding dangerous horses while watching privileged riders ruin good horses. And heaven forbid that you want to do something with horses that isn't popular in the area where you grew up (tough to get much Dressage experience in the average small Southern town, or gaited horse experience in Wyoming/Montana) (these are generalities, I *KNOW* it can be done, but it ain't as easy).

    The rub is, HOW do we get folks, in our microwave culture, to stick long enough with ANYTHING to want to "Do it right by the horse" and grin and bear it in the meantime?



  19. #39
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    While I don't disagree about the varying levels of riding skill in endurance, this thread has had a lot of "poor horse" comments. There are a couple of things I'd like to say in defense of endurance riders relative to horse care. I don't think any group of riders pays more personal attention to the well-being of their horse: from feed, hydration and conditioning to reading and interpreting vital signs - a lot of riders (in many sports) don't even know how to take a heart rate or temperature, let alone how to interpret the results. One reason is that, unlike many horse sports, the sport of endurance is not awash in BNTs and full-service boarding barns where the trainer or BO/BM is responsible for horse care, vet visits, farrier, etc. Endurance riders have close personal relationships with their vets and farriers and are very interested in learning all they can to keep their horse healthy and sound. And one of the best things for endurance horses is that they typically don't spend the majority of their days in a stall. Endurance riders understand the benefit of freedom of movement.

    FYI, I ride LDs and competitive trail and have many friends who ride the longer distances. I take a weekly lesson including dressage and some (small!) jumps and most of the distance riders I personally know have their own programs with trainers.

    Just felt like someone needed to speak up for the good aspects of the sport and its participants.
    Last edited by GotMyPony; Aug. 13, 2012 at 02:52 PM. Reason: typos!
    It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.


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  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotMyPony View Post
    While I don't disagree about the varying levels of riding skill in endurance, this thread has had a lot of "poor horse" comments. There are a couple of things I'd like to say in defense of endurance riders relative to horse care. I don't think any group of riders pays more personal attention to the well-being of their horse: from feed, hydration and conditioning to reading and interpreting vital signs - a lot of riders (in many sports) don't even know how to take a heart rate or temperature, let alone how to interpret the results. One reason is that, unlike many horse sports, the sport of endurance is not awash in BNTs and full-service boarding barns where the trainer or BO/BM is responsible for horse care, vet visits, farrier, etc. Endurance riders have close personal relationships with their vets and farriers and are very interested in learning all they can to keep their horse healthy and sound. And one of the best things for endurance horses is that they typically don't spend the majority of their days in a stall. Endurance riders understand the benefit of freedom of movement.
    The term "poor horse" is not referring to the horse's health, it's referring to how much crappy riding the horses are putting up with.



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