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Cantering across the finish line?

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  • Cantering across the finish line?

    I did my second LD 25 and on my way in we picked up the canter and cantered all the way in. Now my horse is a dressage horse and we use the endurance to get out of the arena and we both LOVE it! As we were cantering in we passed 7 people that were walking in. They looked at us like we were crazy for cantering in. He pulsed down in 2 minutes. Is this fast? He had the same attitude at the end as he did when we started the ride.
    Is it bad to canter in even if you know you can pulse down quickly and at no harm to the horse? Should we move up to a 50mi if the 25mi are seeming so easy? I don't want to stress the horse, as we use the endurance rides to relieve stress! What do yall think? Thanks!

    Here we are smiling all the way along!


    Oh, also, are the boots in the pic OK? They are open front boots. I noticed most people did not wear protective leg wear. What is the best leg wear for the rides? Thanks!

  • #2
    if your horse can pulse down, then cantering past the finish line is fine. I have known many top endurance riders doing just that.
    Good for you to take your dressage horse on 25 miles. Unless you are seriously considering going into endurance riding, 25 miles will give you and your horse the chance to stretch out and have fun. What level is your dressage horse?


    • Original Poster

      Great! Thanks for the advice, please keep them coming! He has shown 3rd (got a 68% on 3-1) and is schooling 4th Level. Oh and he is just a paint!
      I am conservative with him on the trail, because it would be very expensive for me to replace him, and I am just a poor trainer . But I think I learned a lot about him on the last ride, it should help me next time!
      I do day dream about doing a 100 on him...


      • #4
        About the boots, use boots only if you know your horse has an interfering problem, IE he is know to occasionally clip himself with his own feet. Otherwise, ditch them. There is no boot that will prevent a strain or absorb concussion moving upward from the foot to ground impact. All a bunch of sales hype and monkey-see-monkey-do silliness. Boot can prevent cuts and blunt force trauma from the outside, like a foot winging in against an ankle, or a rock with your horse's name on it. Most of the rock cuts are around the pasterns anyway. Boots hold heat, hold mud and sand and can rub. I use very simple Toklat splint boots to protect the inside of my horses hind ankles/cannons as he will occasionally nick himself (base narrow hind leg conformation) but I have to remove them the instant I hope off at vet checks, wash them before putting them back on and try to fasten them tight enough to not be sucked down the leg in deep mud but not so tight that they rub. Pain in the a*#!!!

        Leave them off. Let strong legs be your horse's best defense.



        • #5
          I rarely use boots because they usually end up full of sticks, burrs, water, sand, and rocks. That causes more damage than leaving them bare. Unless your horse interferes, I wouldn't use boots.


          • #6
            In a Limited Distance the rules state the horse and rider finish when the horse meets the pulse criteria after crossing the finish line, NOT the time when it crosses the finish line. Also the pulse criteria at the finish is normally lower BPM than that set for the previous vet checks. Glad to hear your horse came down within 2 minutes. That's not too bad, but... for an LD you should walk into the finish to be down to pulse within 30 seconds of crossing the finish, if you aren't already at pulse the second you step across the line. 5 minutes should be the maximum time you should accept (on a personal level).
            I didn't know that, thanks!
            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.


            • #7
              Technically, it makes more sense to walk in to the finish at an LD since your horse will pulse down faster, but it can certainly be fun to canter across, to "show off" and if there is a photographer there.
              Most people will probably be walking in, at endurance distances too- unless they are racing- just because you are in the mode of cooling your horse off and putting it away at that point, but nothing wrong with cantering.


              • #8
                If you're just out there to have fun and don't care about pulsing down quickly and placing, I dont' see anything wrong with cantering across the finish line. Mom and I did LD's last year, and endurance this year. I think we usually walked across the line last year. THough I remember riding into camp sometimes. It depends on the trail, the heat. We would try to come in so we could just strip our tack, sponge a little water on them if it was hot, and go pulse down. That's pretty much what we try to do in endurance too, though in reality I think we take a little longer to pulse down and come in a little faster. I have cantered over the finish line a couple of times this year, and it is the most wonderful feeling.


                • Original Poster

                  LD's not a race?

                  So then, LD's are not a race? Then why do they give placings just like they do for the endurance?
                  On a side, what if you see people ahead a mile or so close to the finish line. You know you can canter past them and still pulse in faster than they can walk in. Would you still walk in or would you canter in?

                  As for the boots, my horse does not interfere, but if we get any bumps on the legs, they will be frowned upon during a pre-purchase exam, if I were to ever sell him as a dressage horse. Although, I think I would prefer to go with no boots after reading this forum.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Atheta21 View Post
                    So then, LD's are not a race? Then why do they give placings just like they do for the endurance?
                    No - they are not a race.

                    Typically the finish line for racing across is a ways back also. Racing horses into camp can be very dangerous.


                    • #11
                      Since when are LDs not a race? They award placings 1-10. You have 6 hours to finish 25 miles, and 8 hours to finish 35. Finish criteria is a little different than in endurance because you have to pulse down before you get your finish time. But as far as I know, you're still racing. Unless you want to just finish and aren't concerned about placings. If it weren't a race, wouldn't it just be a trail ride? Can you explain further what you mean, JW?

                      LD riders probably strategize a little differently because of the low criteria at the ending vet check. My LD rides so far have only been for experience and training for my youngster. I wasn't concerned about placings but only wanted a good experience and good vet cards so I can't comment on the LDers racing strategy.


                      • #12
                        All AERC rides are technically races though the majority of people are not racing, just going out to acheive their own goal.

                        Your final time for LD is when you pulse down, not when you cross the finish, so for the LDers who choose to race, it is a decision for them to make, whether they want to come in ahead of their competitors and hope they pulse down fast or come in more slowly and be likely to be down right away.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                          Since when are LDs not a race? They award placings 1-10. You have 6 hours to finish 25 miles, and 8 hours to finish 35. Finish criteria is a little different than in endurance because you have to pulse down before you get your finish time. But as far as I know, you're still racing. Unless you want to just finish and aren't concerned about placings. If it weren't a race, wouldn't it just be a trail ride? Can you explain further what you mean, JW?
                          The Limited Distance winner is the first to pulse down to the pre-ride determined criteria. You can 'race' in and 'beat' 4 other horses - yet if those horses pulse down prior to your horse - they will place higher.

                          For endurance it is a race to the finish and the first across the line is the winner - UNLESS they cannot meet pre-ride determined parameters within the hour after crossing the finish line.


                          • #14
                            A recent example: At the 30 mile LD ride I did last week, I was riding with two other riders the last 17 mile loop. We had been trotting just about the entire time, and about a mile from camp, I told them I wanted to walk into camp. They continued trotting in. About 1/2 mile from camp, I got off, loosened my horse's girth, and hand-walked him in. The other two riders I was riding with were so far ahead of me I could barely see them (at this point we were in a big open area). I figured they crossed the "finish line" at least 10 minutes before me. But I was the first one to pulse down. I came in 13th out of 30 some riders. I was sooo happy because it was a difficult ride for us (deeeppppp sand 90% of the trail)

                            The whole thing about LD is that it teaches you to learn about your horse, including how long it will take your horse to reach 60 bpm after you slow down to a walk. A Top 10 in an LD (although some rides don't give Top 10 and BC in LD - that's a different thread) may depend on how well you know your horse - is it better to hand-walk your horse the last little bit or race in confident your horse will pulse down before the other rider behind you strolls in on foot?

                            That's part of the fun - strategy.
                            ** The Happy Hoofer - Your local horse resource for NW FL & south AL - Visit www.HappyHoofer.com
                            ** Sept 19 & 20th Blackwater Boogie Endurance Ride has been Cancelled. Visit ww.FiveFlagsAHA.org


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Just Wondering View Post
                              The Limited Distance winner is the first to pulse down to the pre-ride determined criteria. You can 'race' in and 'beat' 4 other horses - yet if those horses pulse down prior to your horse - they will place higher.

                              For endurance it is a race to the finish and the first across the line is the winner - UNLESS they cannot meet pre-ride determined parameters within the hour after crossing the finish line.
                              I get what you're saying, but isn't that still technically a race? The criteria is just different. First to pulse down versus first across the finish line. If there's 25 people in the ride, and you cross the finish in 25th, you're not going to pulse down before someone who ended 3 hours ahead of you. So of course you have to make respectable time in order to be in the top 5 or top 10. Doesn't the AERC refer too all events as races/rides? Depending on if you just want to ride, or if you want to race. Well, except for 12 to 15 mile novice rides.


                              • Original Poster

                                I still don't understand how it is not a race since the AERC even publishes the LD Results in its monthly magazine. It seems that the AERC thinks it's a race. If the governing body thinks it's a race, who does not think it so?
                                I like the strategy part. It's super fun! Maybe convincing us that it's not a race is Justwondering's strategy!


                                • #17
                                  Yeah, it's kind of strange. LD's are races in a way, and then in a way, they really aren't. It's kind of frustrating. Finishing a 50 is so much more relaxing because you aren't waiting impatiently with a stesthescope for the horse to pulse down. I remember several times coming in with other people at the end of an LD ride, and I always top tenned. You don't want to be frantic, trying to get your horse to pulse down but it's hard not to be jittery when you see the other doing the same thing.

                                  Just last spring, on my only LD ride of the season, I was riding with two other people, and they for some stupid reason decided to gallop in the last couple of miles. I was probably stupid myself for going with them, but I didn't figure I'd have much chance of beathing them if I fell too far behind. I think my little mare took four or five minutes to pulse down, (just behind one of them, and several minutes ahead of the other), which I didn't think was too bad, considering. And I suppose it is a safer way to finish, since the people aren't really trying to 'race' in. That can get ugly. Just don't ask me how I know.


                                  • #18
                                    Yes, technically both LD's and endurance are races. But even with the different criteria, many consider LD's more of a "training" step rather than the final goal and so the racing aspect is frowned upon.

                                    Then again there are some who consider the LD their final goal and have no problem with racing. I also believe there are also some regions who do not consider BC or Top Ten recognition for LD's but simply record a finish.

                                    I did top 10 in an LD once inadvertently. We were entered for the 50 but dropped down as the trail had really deteriorated by the 2nd day of the race. The rain, the hills and mud didn't phase my horse and we just stayed steady motoring along. I was shocked to have my name called for a top ten prize during dinner. It was fun but my goals were fixed on doing well in 50's so never really considered it significant beyond the cool gift bag I received.

                                    The nice thing about distance riding is that everyone can set their own goals and concentrate on what is important to them.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by pandorasboxx View Post

                                      The nice thing about distance riding is that everyone can set their own goals and concentrate on what is important to them.
                                      That's what I love about this sport. And if your goals change from ride to ride, that's ok too. I know a couple people in our region who will never move out of LDs. I talked with one lady who said that she has a really bad hip and back and her horse is older. She loves the 25s and tries to improve her times but she'll never do a 50 because she physically can't. She likes to ride with newbies or people on young horses out for the first few times because she likes the companionship and she likes to mentor others. That's her calling in this sport.

                                      Lately there's been a big debate about this on endurance.net. Some people think LDs and even 50s detract from the sport which was initially always 100 miles. They think that 100 milers are the only "true" endurance race. Then some people think the LDs and 50s attract more people and make the sport grow. It's a big controversy.

                                      I guess my take on it is that it can be a race for you, or it doesn't have to be. But 50s or 100s could be the same thing. To finish is to win. If people only want to finish then they might take a full 12 hours to complete a 50 and only get the finish. I guess then they wouldn't be racing. If an LDer wants to strategize and WIN, then they would have to mange the time and the horse in such a manner that they could get to the finish line but also pulse down first, and therefore win. I guess it's just what you make it???


                                      • #20
                                        Interesting info GTD. This season I want to do a couple more LDs and then try a 50 late in the season, next fall. The next year I want to be doing 50s only. Since I'm done with school, I will have the vacation time to be able to do it, which I didn't have this year. Do think that if people can or will only do 25s that they should just not compete at all, and just trail ride on their own time? Say if they know they're doing LD today, and 10 years from now they'll still be doing LD? I guess I have mixed feelings about it. I don't know enough about the history of LDs to say much. From what little I do know, it seems that the 25s and 35s would be very beneficial to new riders, young horses, older folks, etc.