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Basics Needed for Endurance

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  • Basics Needed for Endurance

    Howdy!

    I am wanting to start endurance (LD) with my 17 year old Anglo Arabian. I am going to start training him slowly now for a race that is in October so I will have plenty of time. My question is this: what is the bare minimum I should buy for my first race?

    I am willing to spend whatever I need for my horse to be comfortable, but I do not want to spend over a thousand before I know this is something we are definitely going to pursue. We will most likely never get past the LD's as this is just for our enjoyment/entertainment.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! I'd like to add that since we have not ridden more than an hour and a half or so at a time, I will be watching him closely for how our current saddle is fitting for longer rides. If something is just not sitting right after a few hours in the saddle, what are some lower budget, endurance-friendly saddles I could look into? I have kind of looked into the Down Under Kimberley series? Am open to buying used as well. Thanks!

    Markie
    & Cadbury

  • #2
    Markie -

    There is a sticky at the top of the forum that gives several links to sites that will help you along in your endeavor to accomplish your first LD.

    There is no "bare minimum". There is no dress or tack code unless the ride specifically states a requirement - like a helmet. You can ride bareback, in shorts, and with a halter if the mood suits you. Just train in the tack you have. You don't need to buy anything
    beyond what you currently ride in as long as nothing chafes, pinches, rides up, or galls you or your horse. Frankly speaking, 25 miles isn't a big deal, not enough to have you looking to buy unless your saddle is complete crap and making your horse crabby and cranky. Most endurance saddle dealers will allow you to try out saddles on a trial basis. Not a lot of quality new saddles are under $1k except Barefoot. The higher end saddles will have to be used resales.

    Please be aware you will NOT be "racing" in a Limited Distance ride. You will simply be riding to complete within the timeframe allowed for the distance. It is only when you move up to Endurance distances that you can think about racing. But with a 17 year old horse who has not done any distance competition, you might want to get a few LD completions under your belt to decide if your old horse is up to the longer, harder distance.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks for the info! I am actually digging through that sticky right now

      I get that I will not be "racing", I just worded it wrong. Also, I am *pretty* sure he has done some distance with his previous owner. I will see how he does in the LD's and then take it from there! Thanks again!

      Comment


      • #4
        Ditto what Gothedistance said above.

        As you start conditioning for your first LD ride, you will find out things that are working and things that may not. There are 2 rider comfort options you might want to consider: 1) some sort of no-bounce drink holder. I use the slim-packs made by Stowaway and 2) stirrups more like these

        Start with everything you are currently using and see what happens. Happy conditioning!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by TXTorres View Post
          Thanks for the info! I am actually digging through that sticky right now

          I get that I will not be "racing", I just worded it wrong. Also, I am *pretty* sure he has done some distance with his previous owner. I will see how he does in the LD's and then take it from there! Thanks again!
          Super!!! If Cadbury (Love that name! Does it end with "Egg"?) has done distance before, you're already ahead of the game. I'm sure he'll be able to teach you a thing or two ...or three!

          PS: if you want to go treeless with an Endurance saddle, check out the Bob Marshall, the Barefoot, and any of the English style treeless. If you prefer a treed, look into the Arabian Saddles, specifically The Solstice.

          Comment


          • #6
            When I am working with new riders I always tell them that if what they are riding in works, don't change a thing!

            If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

            You'll have years and years to go into debt based on all the neat 'stuff' you can buy to support your distance riding habit ... :-)

            I will say, however, that I can't think of a single person who has bought EasyRide or similar endurance stirrups who regretted the purchase.

            If it rubs on a conditioning ride, you can bet it will rub at your LD ride, but other than that, if you and your horse is happy, pretty much anything goes.

            Enjoy, have fun, and welcome!

            --Patti

            Comment


            • #7
              Personally I would also make sure you had breeches that weren't going to rub in any way shape or form I really like the Irideon ones that dry super quick.
              I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
              If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

              Comment


              • #8
                I ride in my foxhunting saddle - a Stubben Roxane. I find it comforable and it fits my Arab. I just use a regular leather girth with elastic on one side. We foxhunt in a traditional flat leather hunt bridle, but I do endurance and trail ride in a biothane sidepull from Running Bear. It has the ability to attach a bit to it (I school in it too sometimes) if you need it.

                However, I did my first one in a leather snaffle bridle.

                I don't like leather bridles for stuff like that long term because it gets gross and is more involved cleaning it than just dunking it in a bucket of water while I do something else.

                My guy goes barefoot even on trails where they suggest shoes. He really just doesn't need them.

                I use just a couple TuffRider saddle pads (new one for each loop). None of my stuff is terribly fancy or endurance specific other than my obnoxious blue sidepull.

                Outfit you and the horse in comfortable gear and have at it.

                I like the SnugPax saddle bags if you're looking for some. They're great for endurance and just trail riding.

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I first started out, I stuffed everything including my ride card in my half chaps. The only thing I bought special was a sponge on a leash, which is pretty much a must have. And of course, electrolytes for the holds. What you "need" is well fitted tack that is comfortable for you and your horse, plus general horse care items for camping and holds

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Oh yes. Wide track stirrups. I have the Composite Wide Track ones. I foxhunt in them also. I love them.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      when I did my first LD, it was in my eventing cross-country gear, and we didn't really prepare at all- horse was pretty fit from eventing work, and we'd commonly go on very long trail rides on weekends. It was a blast.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by candysgirl View Post
                        Oh yes. Wide track stirrups. I have the Composite Wide Track ones. I foxhunt in them also. I love them.
                        The side stirrups will definitely make your ride more comfortable. You don't NEED them to compete (I didn't get mine for several years), but they certainly are NICE.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Wow guys, thanks for all of the tips/ideas! Sounds like I need to just get to riding and then figure it out along the way in the next couple of months

                          I think my first purchases will be wide stirrups and a breast collar for starters.

                          The lady I bought my gelding from was riding him in a synthetic Western Wintec saddle. I bought the same for him since she said it worked great for him (she used this on him for several years), but I have ended up riding in my dad's old roping saddle for the most part, which fits him great. Obviously I do not want to do a long ride in such a heavy saddle, but I am not in love with the Wintec. I can live with it for now though, as long as Cadbury is comfortable.

                          I have read so much on endurance this week that I feel like my head is going to explode. I need to quit thinking about it so much and get out and ride! Waiting for it to dry up here

                          Thanks again everyone! Ya'll are awesome!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A breastcollar is a good idea, especially if you will be riding on any kind of hills. I have seen some really scary accidents from saddles slipping back.

                            A sponge on a rope is also really helpful in hot weather, but you don't need to buy a fancy leash for it -- I made mine from climbing rope, a mesh drawstring bag with a sea sponge in it, and a few snaps from the hardware store. Good idea to practice using it before you get to a ride

                            Other than that, go have fun! I showed up to my first endurance ride in my regular english tack, tied my horse to the trailer with a hay bag and a bucket of water overnight, and slept in my truck. There are so many options for gear out there, and you'll get a much better idea of what you want with experience. If you see something you like at a ride, ask the person about it. I've found that most endurance people love talking about their gear -- and all things endurance
                            RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              BigHorseLittleHorse,

                              That is AWESOME! My parents are trying to dissuade me by telling me I'll need a camper, etc., but I don't mind roughing it! Between now and then, I am going to work on bringing Cad to strange places, tying overnight (will be checking on him frequently!), etc. He's done ALL of this with his previous owner, I think he just likes to freak me out sometimes! That's ok though.. he's the best teacher ever!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Are you riding by yourself or with groups? It might be a good idea to ride with some small groups and trot and canter. Also try breaking off from the group and leapfrogging. You'll get a better idea of your horses temperament in a competitive mode. If you can volunteer at a ride that is great learning tool.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by TXTorres View Post
                                  BigHorseLittleHorse,

                                  That is AWESOME! My parents are trying to dissuade me by telling me I'll need a camper, etc., but I don't mind roughing it! Between now and then, I am going to work on bringing Cad to strange places, tying overnight (will be checking on him frequently!), etc. He's done ALL of this with his previous owner, I think he just likes to freak me out sometimes! That's ok though.. he's the best teacher ever!
                                  Gosh, no. You will see everything from $50,000 4-horse LQs pulled by tractor trailer cabs, all the way down to 30-year-old rusted-out BPs and compact SUVs. I've gotten lots of little upgrades over the past few years to make me and my horse a bit more comfortable, but I still sleep in a tent (or on a cot in the horse trailer if the weather is really bad). Endurance is all about you, your horse, and the trail -- everything else is just icing on the cake
                                  RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    So cool! I will be going to a ride in September just to check everything out. Can't wait to see all of the different set ups!

                                    One more burning question for you lovely people: What do ya'll think of nylon gear (bridles/breast collars, etc.)? I'd like to pick a color for Cad and biothane is pretty pricey (though worth it!). I figured I could swing by with some nylon if we're only doing the LDs?

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by harnessphoto View Post
                                      When I first started out, I stuffed everything including my ride card in my half chaps. The only thing I bought special was a sponge on a leash, which is pretty much a must have. And of course, electrolytes for the holds. What you "need" is well fitted tack that is comfortable for you and your horse, plus general horse care items for camping and holds
                                      See the sponge on a leash depends on time of year. My first one was in October and it was chilly out! I still don't actually own a sponge on a leash.

                                      I've also never given electrolytes. Carrots have a ton of natural electrolytes and I've just brought several pounds to each ride and fed him basically as many as he's wanted.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I still don't actually own a sponge on a leash.
                                        never used one either. I doubt you'd need electrolytes for a LD.

                                        Comment

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