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Crazy? QH as endurance horse?

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  • Crazy? QH as endurance horse?

    I have a client horse here who needs a new job. She doesn't fit into the old one so well and it's mutually agreed that we should find one that suits her.

    One thing that has always stood out about this mare is that she has incredible stamina and endurance. She cannot be worn out. She conditions easily. Naturally forward and likes to go without being crazy. And go... And go..

    I remember her owner once saying to me that she thought she would make a great endurance horse.

    Thoughts? I know nothing at all about endurance riding except that I won't be doing it!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

  • #2
    Foundation QH like you find on most working cattle ranches could easily cross over to hobby endurance riding. Quarter Horses are my go to short sweet speed demons that will walk on down the road for miles and miles. But for the heavy duty endurance they just won't have the stamina. What was the QH's old job and if she is just arena sour competitive trail riding might be right up her ally. It's a lot of fun and I highly recommend it. Bonus AQHA offers points and bonuses for it and nary an arena in sight.
    Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
    Originally Posted by alicen:
    What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


    • #3
      Go to one endurance ride and you might be hooked! While endurance might be dominated by Arabs, I think many QH's find their niche in distance riding. I made it through my first 25-miler AERC ride on my Arab thanks to a kind lady on a stock-type paint, who I ended up doing the entire ride with. I think that paint trotted the entire 25 miles, even while I cantered some on my Arab.

      ETA... a great way to start out in distance riding is Competitive Trail. I did my first distance ride ( NATRC competitive trail) on my QH.

      "We are all doing the best we can from our own level of consciousness.”
      ― Deepak Chopra


      • #4
        looking at Tevis completions...

        The record for completions by one horse is thirteen times, set in 1998 by Pat Chappel on Thunders Lightning Bar, a 20 year old Quarter Horse mare.

        The oldest horse to complete the Ride was Ace's Wild, a 26 year old quarter/grade, ridden by Moire Donald in 1980.

        So much of it is the individual horse. There are lots of successful quarter horses in endurance. Tell your client to go have fun!


        • Original Poster

          Thanks! Great Info, I will look into marketing her as an endurance prospect then.
          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


          • #6
            I don't want this to sound bitchy, but there is a lot more to an endurance horse than one that wants to go and go. They have to be sound, sound, sound. Have fantastic feet, straight legs, flat muscle. The heavier-type QH won't really get looked at by distance riders because they are much harder to cool and just don't have the endurance. That said, there are plenty of anomalies out there doing things they "shouldn't" be able to do!

            Does this horse have trail experience? Has it camped? What's his/her resting heart rate? These are all things you will be asked by potential riders. The horse might be better off marketed as a good trail horse over an endurance horse.

            Good luck!


            • #7
              Any breed of horse, if it's got the right stuff can succeed. You've seen the movie Hidalgo, right?


              • #8
                I have to go with Eddy's Mom here. Trail horse would be a better advertising angle until the mare has some experience with endurance.
                Still Crazy After All These Years


                • #9
                  Having gone through the research and shopping process for my first (endurance) horse less than a year ago, I have to tell you that I would have never taken an ad for a QH seriously at all. Maybe a QH/Arab cross, but not a PB QH, especially not one without a proven track record in endurance, or at least CTR.
                  I have no intention dismissing the breed at all, and just with anything in life there are exceptions and unusual success stories, but anyone who is more serious about this discipline is just so much better off with a breed that's "made" for longer faster distances.

                  If this horse has great stamina, find out what his recoveries are like after 10, 20, 25 miles, and also what happens when he is asked to climb or ride in the heat of the day. What you think looks like stamina now, may not be when put to the test. And remember, "real" endurance begins at 50 miles...

                  So it's probably best to check how good a trail horse he is and advertise him as a CTR prospect first. Maybe someone wants to take it on, and next thing you know, he finishes Tevis! But there are too many unknowns, so I can't imagine you will find any serious endurance riders buying. And to be honest, an inexperienced rider may easily do damage overriding a horse that's not suited for the sport.


                  • #10
                    I agree with what the last few posters said if you are going to advertise the horse. I would also mention what you did in the original post about the horse being naturally forward and likes to go without being crazy. Has the horse been out on trails at all? Any soundness issues? Might mention those things. Many people like a steady eddie that they can take to a 25 or 50 mile ride and have fun with while camping, chatting with friends, and enjoying the scenery. As the riding population ages this becomes more true.


                    • Original Poster

                      Mmmmmm... Wouldn't all those fun things be left for the buyer to do If I sold her as a very cheap * prospect*? Because I'm not riding any horse for ten miles anytime soon I think prospect is the operative word for me, maybe it doesn't mean the same thing in the endurance world? To me it means the horse has shown natural aptitude for something but is completely unproven. I'm not taking her camping or trail riding from dawn till dusk either but she ties and trail rides just fine now, how much more do you have to have accomplished as a prospect? We are talking about a sales price sigificantly cheaper than a used midrange saddle.
                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                      • #12
                        I just did a dreamhorse search by putting in "AQHA, mare, endurance riding" and got a list of 20 horses. I think you can put that down if you go with dreamhorse, or possibly put "prospect" if you go elsewhere.

                        Good luck to you. She sounds like a fun girl!


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for the help she is a fun girl. It's really important to her owner and I that she end up doing something she enjoys and can be successful at. So we' ll see what happens!
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                          • #14
                            She's really not a prospect for endurance that most are going to look at. QHs are (usually) harder to cool out, don't have the stamina, and take longer to recover. to be considered a prospect for Endurance (50m plus) i would expect that she has at a minimum completed some Competitive Trails Rides.

                            saying a trail horse is an endurance prospect w/o having the lower levels is like saying a horse that is at training level is a Grand Prix prospect. Well yeah.. eventually, but there are a whole bunch of levels in between.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                              Mmmmmm... Wouldn't all those fun things be left for the buyer to do If I sold her as a very cheap * prospect*? Because I'm not riding any horse for ten miles anytime soon I think prospect is the operative word for me, maybe it doesn't mean the same thing in the endurance world? To me it means the horse has shown natural aptitude for something but is completely unproven. I'm not taking her camping or trail riding from dawn till dusk either but she ties and trail rides just fine now, how much more do you have to have accomplished as a prospect? We are talking about a sales price sigificantly cheaper than a used midrange saddle.
                              Not really if you are selling her as a prospect. I think the only true endurance prospects are those bred for the sport, or those who have shown aptitude at the above mentioned activities. I still think you'll get more interest marketing her as a trail horse, I think she will get completely looked over as "an endurance prospect." Good luck with the mare!


                              • #16
                                You say the mare is good on trails and is level headed. A horse like that is THE most sought after type for trail and pleasure in my neck of the woods, and the hardest to find. A sane, sensible and level headed trail mount that will happily go all day at a leisure pace while not acting like an idiot should be very easy to place, especially at a reasonable price. Why not advertise her as such? Or is she a little too "forward" for that?


                                • #17
                                  Look up Skipa Slipa On Ice - owned by Pam Bailie. Paint stock horse with over 2,000 competition miles and 50 some rides. Even a couple BCs. Finished 6th at Tevis a couple of years ago.

                                  There are fat halter type QHs then there are working cow bred type QHs built to carry a 250 lb. cowboy across the prairie from sun up to sun down rounding cattle and fixing fences Sure, they're probably not going to be setting land speed records alongside the Arabs but I believe that many of them can go the distance if properly conditioned and have good conformation and so forth. I've seen quite a few QHs, Paints, and Apps at rides. We shouldn't lose touch with what the American Quarter Horse originally was. http://www.diamondhquarterhorses.com...e_History.html

                                  My big bodied QH has done a 25 and a 35 LD and had great vet scores and no problems. She just needs plenty of time to stretch and warm up after getting off the trailer and vetting in. She's part TB but still is awfully big and the lady that rode her just wanted to finish and didn't care about placing.
                                  Last edited by Auventera Two; Jun. 17, 2010, 12:56 PM. Reason: added Tevis, and more QH info.


                                  • #18
                                    Not sure if I would *market* the horse as an endurance prospect, as I would agree with other posters about certain horses being bred specifically for endurance--naturally lower heart rates, soundness factors, good feet. I would think most people looking specifically for an endurance horse and/or prospect aren't going to lean toward an unproven QH, but who knows?

                                    With that said, I did just complete my first 25 miler on my 17.1H Dutch warmblood gelding. We came in 8th out of 30. Would never do any more than LD's ( Have an Arab filly for the longer rides) with him as I know his limits, but hey, who would've guessed his big butt could even finish an LD let alone be somewhat competitive at it!

                                    But really, each horse is different and just because your guy is a QH doesn't mean he couldn't do well with the right rider!


                                    • #19
                                      I just did a training session with my QH and a friend on her Arab... My QH did ok... but showed that he certainly will Never be an Endurance horse... a solid CTR yes.

                                      Marketing is marketing. When selling a horse, especially a performance horse --- they really do need to be doing that *______put the thing they do here________*!

                                      When you put the words *cheap* and *prospect* in the same... it connotates that horse doesnt know anything...
                                      best to work on the horses strong points.

                                      In my area --- a well trained horse suitable for quiet trail... tack and go...trail or show ...will Always sell over a prospect and even over a *cheap* horse.

                                      People do NOT have the time to invest in horses anymore... they work, kids, family... the list is endless >>I see all those head shaking !
                                      If you want a good sale... find the best trait of this horses ability and polish it~ to a T.
                                      IN GOD WE TRUST
                                      OTTB's ready to show/event/jumpers. Track ponies for perfect trail partners.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                        Look up Skipa Slipa On Ice - owned by Pam Bailie. Paint stock horse with over 2,000 competition miles and 50 some rides. Even a couple BCs. Finished 6th at Tevis a couple of years ago.
                                        I've camped next to them at some rides. Thats a cool horse- definitely doesnt look like a typical QH though.

                                        I agree that any horse can do well in endurance and there are so many levels. Most people are just riding to have fun or complete their own goals. Most people wouldnt purposely buy a QH for endurance though. I think a lot of people with unusual breeds probably had the horse first and then decided to try endurance.

                                        Also, lots of people think that because their horse has a ton of energy and is very forward that they will do well in endurance, but some of those horses poop out after 12 or 15 miles or so. Or get too mentally wound up to do well or be enjoyable to ride. My endurance horse is actually kind of lazy on the trail at home but really will go and go effortlessly at endurance rides.