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Endurance Age Question

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  • Endurance Age Question

    My horse shows promise in Endurance, the trainer/BO at my boarding facility has even said so. I would like to pursue this with her but there are no trails in walking distance of the barn and I do not own a trailer at this time. Most of the riders at my barn do HJ, Reining, Jumping etc...

    However in the future, when I can afford a trailer/hauling vehicle. I would like to work on some Endurance training and competing.

    How old is too old for a horse to be competitive in Endurance? Does age matter as long as they are in shape? My mare is currently almost 12. So, hypothetically would 15 be too old to start Endurance? I know very little about this discipline.

  • #2
    I have two friends who completed their first 25's last fall on horses that were 16 and 18. As long as your horse is sound and you condition her well, don't let age intimidate you. Especially if it's an Arab. They live forever. A 12 year old Arab could theoretically have a good 15 year left.

    Comment


    • #3
      Finding trails

      Well, now, my brain is not quite normal as we have been restricted to an indoor ring for the past four months waiting for the footing to be reasonable to go out for a trail ride, but.... NO TRAILS? HOW CAN YOU EVEN STAND GOING AROUND CIRCLES IN THE FREAKIN" ARENA FOR ONE MORE SECOND????? Oh, oops, pardon me. I warned you. Ahem.

      Anyway, on the chance that there are other good barns in your area that _do_ have trails access, you might want to go check them out. If the care and atmosphere and price, etc. are just as good at a barn with trails access, it might be good for your horse to get used to trail riding as a routine thing, get exposed to deer, uneven footing, water crossings, branches crashing down on windy days, etc. Then when you're in a position to travel to trails, she won't have to spend lots of mental energy coping with things like strangely shaped bushes or, my horse's nemesis, dead Christmas trees dumped in the woods. Of course, your horse may already have enough experience to cope with these things.

      Trailriding makes schooling better, and schooling makes trailriding better. I think your horse is going to absolutely worship you for getting her out on the trails more. :-)

      Comment


      • #4
        I adopted my Arab from a rescue when he was 11. He had been in training at a hunter barn for the previous year, no idea what he did before then. Two years later he had hock surgery (OCD that had apparently been brewing for who knows how long, didn't show up until we stepped up the distance riding). Nine months later we finished our first LD - 25 miles. That was last year, and he was 14. If all goes well this year, we might try a 50 in the fall. No one believes he's 15... he trots the pants off a lot of the young ones, and I expect he'll be like this for another 10 years.
        RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by SharonA View Post
          Well, now, my brain is not quite normal as we have been restricted to an indoor ring for the past four months waiting for the footing to be reasonable to go out for a trail ride, but.... NO TRAILS? HOW CAN YOU EVEN STAND GOING AROUND CIRCLES IN THE FREAKIN" ARENA FOR ONE MORE SECOND????? Oh, oops, pardon me. I warned you. Ahem.

          Anyway, on the chance that there are other good barns in your area that _do_ have trails access, you might want to go check them out. If the care and atmosphere and price, etc. are just as good at a barn with trails access, it might be good for your horse to get used to trail riding as a routine thing, get exposed to deer, uneven footing, water crossings, branches crashing down on windy days, etc. Then when you're in a position to travel to trails, she won't have to spend lots of mental energy coping with things like strangely shaped bushes or, my horse's nemesis, dead Christmas trees dumped in the woods. Of course, your horse may already have enough experience to cope with these things.

          Trailriding makes schooling better, and schooling makes trailriding better. I think your horse is going to absolutely worship you for getting her out on the trails more. :-)
          I agree with you. I used to board near a ton of trails. I loved it, loved it, loved it. My horse has lots of trail miles on her from living in NoVa. Unfortunately there are no barns in my area that have access to trails that I would be willing to board at.

          As far as going around in a circle in the arena... you do get a little stir crazy sometimes. Luckily we have cows to chase, great jumps and a trail obstacle course, barrels and pole bending.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Nike13 View Post
            I have two friends who completed their first 25's last fall on horses that were 16 and 18. As long as your horse is sound and you condition her well, don't let age intimidate you. Especially if it's an Arab. They live forever. A 12 year old Arab could theoretically have a good 15 year left.
            Well that gives me some hope She's half-Saddlebred / half-Appaloosa but she's got lots of trot and lots of go. When I was horse shopping I was looking for an Arabian or Arabian/pinto or Arabian/app and I found her and she had a very similar look to the half-Arabian.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by BigHorseLittleHorse View Post
              I adopted my Arab from a rescue when he was 11. He had been in training at a hunter barn for the previous year, no idea what he did before then. Two years later he had hock surgery (OCD that had apparently been brewing for who knows how long, didn't show up until we stepped up the distance riding). Nine months later we finished our first LD - 25 miles. That was last year, and he was 14. If all goes well this year, we might try a 50 in the fall. No one believes he's 15... he trots the pants off a lot of the young ones, and I expect he'll be like this for another 10 years.
              That's so cool. How long did you have to train to get up to say 15 miles? How often did you condition?

              Comment


              • #8
                Your horse should have no problem at all as long as she is sound and healthy. AERC and Endurance.net have some great conditioning info, not to mention this forum. Good luck!!
                Just cause you move to Texas, doesn't mean you are a Texan. After all, if a cat puts her kittens in the oven, It doesn't make them Bisquits.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SharonA View Post
                  Well, now, my brain is not quite normal as we have been restricted to an indoor ring for the past four months waiting for the footing to be reasonable to go out for a trail ride, but.... NO TRAILS? HOW CAN YOU EVEN STAND GOING AROUND CIRCLES IN THE FREAKIN" ARENA FOR ONE MORE SECOND????? Oh, oops, pardon me. I warned you. Ahem.
                  Funny you should say that. I just moved to a new barn yesterday and went out on a beautiful trail ride after work this afternoon. It's actually 53 degrees right now.

                  I realize to each his own, but
                  thought the same thing. How can someone just go around and around and around and around...

                  This wasn't directed to you, OP. It was just a thought I had while out riding today.

                  I do agree with Sharon. Why don't you just move to a barn that has direct access to trails?

                  Being a trail rider, that is my prerequisite for any barn I move to.

                  Hitching up a trailer and going off site to ride, may get old real quick...

                  So much nicer to ride off the property and right onto the trails. Maybe you have something like that in your area?
                  MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"
                  http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/f...wo/009_17A.jpg

                  Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Huntertwo View Post

                    This wasn't directed to you, OP. It was just a thought I had while out riding today.

                    It's okay, I'm the same way. Like I mentioned before - I have boarded at a barn near trails. I have a strong tie to the barn I currently board at. I could move to a barn that is close to trails, but I don't like any of the barns - the quality of the care isn't the same for the price.

                    I actually wouldn't mind trailering out too much. The trails are about a 15 minute drive. I used to have a friend who had a trailer and we went out a couple of times. But she moved away and I don't know anyone who has a trailer now that would want to go trail riding. I can't afford one at this point.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As long as horse has done SOMETHING and has been fit, I don't see a problem starting endurance at 15
                      Check out my blog!

                      www.bootsandsaddles4mel.blogspot.com
                      AERC miles: 740 and counting!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by showhorsegallery View Post
                        That's so cool. How long did you have to train to get up to say 15 miles? How often did you condition?
                        yes, check out aerc and endurance.net for good conditioning info. If the guidelines gave a range of ride times, frequencies, distances, etc for training, I always used the most conservative ones. For our first 25, it took us about 8 weeks to condition, and that was starting from a low amount of fitness (3-4 days a week of 5 miles or less). I would say we were up to 15 miles after about 6 weeks. But I was being VERY careful of his hock. This year, I have a 25 in 5 1/2 weeks, and I just started conditioning this week after not riding at all for an entire month due to the feet of snow we had.
                        RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Barns in Jacksonville

                          Showhorse,

                          Where in Jax are you. And what kind of facility do you require for your pony. I know a few barns out there that are right on the trails, but they are much more basic care than the average show barn. Basically 12/12 turnout, nothing fancy kind of places. Horses are all fat and happy though.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A horse is too old to ride endurance if the horse is not in sound condition to do so. Sound with regards to the body, metabolics, and recoveries.

                            As horses age they tend to have issues those three issues.

                            There can be other issues too. But those are the biggies.

                            Bottomline: On most horses, when they are 6 feet under, and gone over the rainbow bridge.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I notice you say 'competitive'. Generally, the older a horse is the longer it takes to get up to competitive fitness - if you mean speed-wise. If you are starting out as a novice won't you be doing short rides for completion, rather than speed? As others have said soundness is everything. Most horses can mange a sedate 25 miler without too much effort.
                              Read up the AERC site info and then
                              Have a go!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Arrows Endure View Post
                                Showhorse,

                                Where in Jax are you. And what kind of facility do you require for your pony. I know a few barns out there that are right on the trails, but they are much more basic care than the average show barn. Basically 12/12 turnout, nothing fancy kind of places. Horses are all fat and happy though.
                                I'm really happy with my barn, I don't see moving just for trails. I have a long-standing relationship with the BO. I do know there a lot of small nice private barns in Jax. One of the reasons I like my barn is the owner gives lessons in a multitude of disciplines and while I don't take lessons very often, I know I can just show up and take one whenever, as she teaches every day. Thanks for offering boarding suggestions though!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by wendybird View Post
                                  I notice you say 'competitive'. Generally, the older a horse is the longer it takes to get up to competitive fitness - if you mean speed-wise. If you are starting out as a novice won't you be doing short rides for completion, rather than speed? As others have said soundness is everything. Most horses can mange a sedate 25 miler without too much effort.
                                  Read up the AERC site info and then
                                  Have a go!
                                  I meant completion to begin with and possibly over time placing in some manner if it was going well. I don't know much about endurance - I've only been to H/J, Dressage, Barrel and Reining events. I do plan on looking into the AERC site.

                                  Comment

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